Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council began as The Chimney Canyon Fire Safe Council, a group of concerned homeowners following the devastating Cedar wildfire that swept into San Diego on October 26, 2003. 312 homes were destroyed in Scripps Ranch. Our neighborhood borders a City-owned canyon that was filled with mostly dead and dying Eucalyptus trees and a 25-year accumulation of dry volatile groundfuel. We were extremely fortunate. Firefighters stopped the fire within 70 feet of entering our canyon. The name Chimney Canyon came from a local firefighter who, three days after the fire, told us that had the fire entered our canyon 200 more homes would likely have been destroyed.
Determined to find a way to reduce the fire danger we were living with, we soon discovered the California Fire Safe Council. We formed the first urban chapter of the FSC in San Diego County. Our initial mission was to clear the ground fuel and create a firebreak for our neighborhood. Early in 2004 we incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This qualified us for Federal fire prevention grants and to employ the services of the California Conservation Corps – a State youth organization formed to train Junior Foresters and First Responders for disasters such as wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. In August 2004 we were awarded two U.S. Forest grants to assist in providing our neighborhood with a 100-foot firebreak.
In January 2005 we teamed with the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, changed our name, — and extended our mission to include all of Scripps Ranch, a 12,000 home community. In July 2005, we formed an Alliance with 12 Federal, State, and Civic organizations to promote fire prevention in Scripps Ranch. We have established firebreaks in over 650 homes. In addition we have cleared six recreational trails, removed 340 dangerous trees, and planted 165 new trees.