Earlier today, I stood alongside Supervisor Joel Anderson, emergency personnel, farmers, and ranchers to announce that applications are now open for the Agriculture Pass program!
What is an AG pass?… During a wildfire or other disaster, the Ag Pass allows commercial livestock or agriculture operators access to evacuated areas to care for crops and animals.
Who is Eligible? – Phase 1 starts today with commercial cattle and equestrian operations and managerial employees in the unincorporated area.
If you’re interested in applying, you can do so, by applying here.
All other commercial agriculture and livestock operations in the unincorporated area will be in phase 2 next year in the spring.
Are You Exempt from Evacuating? Holding a pass doesn’t authorize an individual to ignore evacuation orders and it doesn’t guarantee access. Since conditions can quickly change, the final decision on access will be determined by law enforcement and fire personnel at each roadblock and within the evacuated area.
We’ve taken many steps at the County when it comes to fire safety, including adding new firefighting helicopters, increasing defensible space, and increasing cameras in the backcountry. This AG pass is just another tool in the toolbox when it comes to keeping our County safe from fires.
I have heard many stories during emergencies where farmers or ranchers decided to remain on their property to protect their assets because they feared they would not be let back in to care for crops or animals. This is dangerous but understandable. The goal is with this AG pass, there will be better collaboration and trust between farmers and law enforcement officials.
We want everyone to be safe – and I believe implementing this AG Pass program will save lives.
To learn more about the AG Pass program, CLICK HERE.
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond