County supervisors Tuesday unanimously accredited a program that may enable farmers and ranchers entry to their land throughout a wildfire or different kind of emergency or pure catastrophe.
As proposed by Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond, the agricultural passes, or “Ag Move,” will give vetted ranchers and farmers restricted entry to their property, when deemed protected, to look after livestock or crops throughout emergencies.
Ag Move playing cards will establish farmers and ranchers to firefighters, regulation enforcement businesses — together with the California Freeway Patrol and county sheriff’s deputies — and different emergency personnel.
In an announcement, Anderson mentioned the playing cards “will assist to remove the dilemma many farmers and ranchers should face throughout pure disasters: to depart behind their animals — placing their livestock and equine in danger, or to disregard evacuation orders — placing their very own lives in danger.”
Desmond mentioned that in San Diego County, agriculture supplies greater than 12,000 jobs and has an financial impression of just below $2 billion.
“I’ve heard many tales throughout emergencies the place farmers or ranchers determined to stay on their property to guard their property as a result of they feared they might not be let again in to look after crops or animals,” Desmond mentioned in an announcement. “Having this Ag Move obtainable to our farmers will enable for a greater collaboration with firefighters, and can in the end make our neighborhood safer.”
Anderson mentioned a move program is essential in a area recognized for devastating wildfires.
“This measure provides ranchers a chance for well timed entry to their ranches throughout what’s an extremely hectic, and infrequently life-or-death state of affairs,” he mentioned. “I’m grateful for county workers’s exhausting work in creating the framework for this program and hope to see it save many lives.”
In accordance with Desmond and Anderson, the Ag Move program will start accepting purposes for business cattle and equine operations in September. It’ll embody different business livestock and agricultural operations in fiscal 12 months 2023-24.
To develop this system, the county labored with numerous governmental or instructional businesses and business teams, together with the San Diego County Farm Bureau, Cattleman’s Affiliation, county Hearth Safety District, College of California Cooperative Extension and U.S. Forest Service.
Throughout Tuesday’s assembly, Desmond mentioned the Ag Move “is an efficient transfer ahead,” and related packages have confirmed profitable in different counties.
“We wish all people to be protected,” Desmond mentioned, including the move may encourage individuals to evacuate sooner.
Tony Mecham, San Diego fireplace chief for Cal Hearth, reminded everybody with animals to have an evacuation plan.
Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.