Wildfire News

SEE SMOKE? FIREFIGHTERS TRAINING AT VALHALLA HIGH SCHOOL THIS WEEKEND



By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2017 (Rancho San Diego)--San Miguel Fire District along with Heartland Fire Rescue and Santee Fire Department will be conducting fire and rescue training this weekend at Vahalla High School, located at 1725 Hillsdale Road in the Rancho San Diego area of unincorporated El Cajon.

The fire rescue drill will be Saturday November 18 and Sunday November 19 from 9am to 3pm.  Smoke machines will be used during training - neighbors might see smoke coming from the school during these training events.

ALL LANES ON SOUTHBOUND I-5 CLOSED SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHTS

 

 

 

East County News Service

November 17, 2017 (San Diego) — Caltrans crews will close all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 (I-5) from the Interstate 805 merge to La Jolla Village Drive Sunday and Monday night from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning for bridge work.

All motorists will be detoured to southbound I-805, to westbound State Route 52, to the SR-52/I-5 interchange.

Crews will be working on two separate bridge projects. One is the construction of the Gilman Drive Bridge project, the other is bridge maintenance at the I-5 Sorrento Valley Viaduct, this pavement work will take place on the main lanes of I-5.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CITIZEN’S INITIATIVE TO REPEAL AND REPLACE JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BENEFIT FEE

 

By Pat Landis

November 10, 2017 (Julian) -- Citizens residing within the boundaries of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) are proposing for adoption the repeal of the existing annual benefit fee approved in 1984, to be replaced with an annual benefit fee more consistent with current expenses, and to raise the level of service for emergency medical response, fire suppression and related services within the boundaries of JCFPD.

NEW ALERT SDG&E CAMERAS PROVE TO BE CRITICAL FIRE WATCH TOOLS FOR REGION

 

Devices improve fire detection and protect communities

East County News Service

November 8, 2017 (San Diego) – The public, firefighters, and SDG&E crews can now watch for fires in real time on 15 new video cameras across San Diego county. You can view them here.

FIRE CAPTAIN TAKES OWN LIFE AT PINE VALLEY BRIDGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2017 (Pine Valley) – Local firefighters, heroic in battling flames and saving lives, today are grieving the tragic loss of one of their own.  Cal Fire Unit Chief and County Fire Chief Tony Mecham announced yesterday on Facebook, “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I notify you of the passing of Fire Captain Ryan Mitchell from Station 20. Ryan took his own life this morning at the Pine Valley Bridge shortly after completing his shift.”

SDG&E RESPONDS TO RESIDENTS’ CONCERNS OVER DESCANSO POWER OUTAGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2017 (Descanso) – Residents on the Descanso Neighbors Forum on Facebook complained of power outages. On October 24th, Maggie Leavitt posted that power had been shut down for the seventh time in three weeks. She suggested the outages may have been intentional due to a red flag alert to prevent fires—and limit SDG&E’s liability.

PG&E DISCLOSES EX-PARTE COMMUNICATIONS IN EFFORT TO INFLUENCE SDG&E WILDFIRE COSTS CASE; RATEPAYER FILES SUIT SEEKING TO PREVENT RATEPAYERS FROM BEING CHARGED FOR 2007 FIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2017 (San Diego) – An ex-parte meeting between representatives of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison and a California Public Utilities Commissioner’s advisor was held October 4th regarding the application by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for authorization to recover costs related to the 2007 wildfires.  SDG&E has sought to charge ratepayers for its uninsured losses pursuant to a Wildfire Expense Management Account (WEMA).

WILDOMAR FIRE NEAR LAKE ELSINORE SENDS SMOKE ACROSS NORTH COUNTY

 

Update:  The fire has grown to over 800 acres and 450 homes are evacuated, however it is now 50% contained.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: ECM news partner 10 News

October 27, 2017 (San Diego) – The #WildomarFire has charred 700 acres in the Wildomar  are of Cleveland National Forest, which is located near Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, just over the San Diego-Riverside County line.

Two hundred homes have been evacuated. The fire is currently 15 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Find details on evacuations here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5652/

Smoke from fires in Mexico including a large forest fire near Rosarito also continue to impact air quality in San Diego County, prompting the county's smoke advisory cautioning residents to avoid outdoor activities in areas with smoke.

COUNTY ISSUES SMOKE ADVISORY

 

Smoke from fires in Mexico drifting into San Diego County

October 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego’s Air Pollution Control District (APCD) issued a smoke advisory Thursday, suggesting people should limit their outdoor activities if they smell smoke from the fires burning in Mexico. Portions of North County were also impacted by a brush fire in Riverside County.

AEROBATICS STUNT PILOT AND PASSENGER PRESUMED KILLED IN FIERY CRASH; COMPANY HAD PRIOR FATAL ACCIDENT AND SAFETY VIOLATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Smoke from crash visible on UCSD’s HP Wren camera

October 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The small plane that crashed late Saturday afternoon east of the El Capitan Reservoir, sparking a 20-acre brush fire during a red flag warning for high fire danger, was an Extra EA-300/L plane registered to KD Leasing in Henderson, Nevada, National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSA) records indicate. 

EXCESSIVE HEAT AND RED FLAG WARNINGS ISSUED

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2017 (San Diego) - The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a red flag warning for high fire danger as well as an excessive heat warning. Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday could top 100 degrees in our inland region and may stay above 70 degrees even at night. 

A REPORTER’S REFLECTIONS ON THE FIRESTORMS OF 2007

 

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Harris Fire viewed from Barrett Junction, the morning of October 21, 2007

October 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Ten years ago today, I was among the first reporters on the scene when the devastating 2007 firestorms began.  I couldn’t believe that just four years after the deadly Cedar Fire, the nightmare was occurring again –on what turned out to be an even more horrific scale.  

Out of the ashes of those fires, East County Magazine and our East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts were born, to help fill a need for critical information in real-time.

ON WILDFIRES’ ANNIVERSARY, CONCERN THAT RESIDENTS ARE LESS PREPARED

 

Photo by Miriam Raftery: 2007 Harris Fire in Rancho San Diego

Video by José Eli Villanuevahttps://youtu.be/kgnVYh3lQrM

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications

October 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- As firefighters struggle to get deadly wildfires under control in Northern California, San Diego County and City officials marked the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Wildfires and called upon residents to do their part to prepare for another emergency.

CAL FIRE INCREASES STAFFING IN PREPARATION FOR SANTA ANA WINDS

 

Source: CAL FIRE

October 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- As Firefighters in Northern California continue to make progress on 9 large wildfires burning across the State, the true magnitude of the devastation of loss of life and property is beginning to come to life.  This recent series of fires is the deadliest in California State History. Since the start of the October Fire Siege on October 8, there have been 21 major wildfires that burned over 245,000 acres, forced 100,000 people to evacuate, destroyed 6,900 structures and sadly took the lives of 42 people.    

WATER TRUCK DRIVER DIES IN NAPA ROLLOVER CRASH; ALPINE WATER TRUCK DRIVER NOW IN NAPA FIRE AREA SHARES PHOTOS

 

By Miriam Raftery, photos by Richard Edwords

October 17, 2017 (San Diego) – A contracted firefighter from Missouri has died in Napa Valley after the water truck he was driving overturned.  Fatigue may have been a factor, according to Cal Fire. 

Richard Edwords, a contracted water truck driver from Alpine on the scene in Napa, has been sending photos documenting his experience in the fires to East County Magazine, including poignant notes of thanks, such as this one (right):

GREEN FIRE 75% CONTAINED: WITNESSES RAISE QUESTIONS OVER HOW FIRE STARTED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2017 (Cuyamaca) -- The Green Fire is 75 percent contained at eight acres as of 10:30 a.m., Cal Fire reports.  The grass fire began yesterday afternoon near the Green Valley Falls campground area in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, not far from State Route 79.

A witness, who asked that his name not be published, told East County Magazine that he and his wife were hiking on the Harvey Moore Trail moments before the fire started and saw several people in the meadow.  Arriving at the parking lot and learning of the fire, the witness says the saw the people -- a couple and a third inidividual, get into an SUV and drive away.

WILDFIRE RELIEF CARAVAN TO LEAVE FROM EAST COUNTY ON FRIDAY; DONATED ITEMS NEEDED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2017 (El Cajon) –“The unimaginable destruction of the ongoing northern California wildfires that have taken homes, schools, and lives has proven devastating to thousands upon thousands of families,” says Nancy Padilla, one of three East County women organizing a caravan of relief supplies to help fire survivors. “The daily images from this historic disaster have been both heartbreaking and terrifying, leaving those affected with literally nothing in the way of personal possessions. This week we will be collecting much needed supplies that will be transported by us to the affected area next weekend, and hope that many of our friends and supporters will be able to contribute to our efforts. Every little bit will help, and however much you can spare, in whatever form you give it, is meaningful and will make a difference,” she adds.

31 DEAD, HUNDREDS MISSING IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

 

Update October 16, 2017:    The death toll is now at least 41, following death of a water truck driver. 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Courtesy of Cal Fire

October 12, 2017 (San Diego)—The complex of nearly two dozen firestorms raging across northern California have now collectively surpassed in deadliness the 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 16 people in San Diego County. 

At least 31 people are now confirmed dead across northern California and the toll will likely climb higher, with hundreds of people still missing and dozens of official searchers combing the rubble of burned homes and businesses with dog teams, searching for bodies.

CHIEF’S CORNER: DEALING WITH WILDFIRE SMOKE EFFECTS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- Wildfires seem to be burning daily in almost every county. You may not live directly in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) however you will likely be impacted by the large amount of smoke generated by these fires.

Particulate matter generated from the smoke is the main public health threat during short-term exposure to wildfire smoke, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.

WINE COMMUNITY RALLIES TO PROVIDE AID AND RESOURCES TO FIRE VICTIMS



Wine industry organizations throughout California form support network to assist vintners in three counties; leaders call for national support

 

Photo: Twitter user RSLRutledge

 

October 11, 2017 (Santa Rosa) -- Wine industry leaders have formed a support network to provide immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California and are calling on the national wine community for additional help.  Organized by a group of association leaders representing the Golden State’s major winegrowing regions, support efforts include fundraising and creation of an online resource where vintners can find and offer resources, such as generators, trailers, lodging and manpower.

WILDFIRES TO OUR NORTH - ARE YOU READY HERE?

 

BRUSH FIRE NEAR BORDER IN TECATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts Service

Photo: Skott Dehla Crozz on Brush Fire Partyline's Facebook Page

October 9, 2017 (Tecate) – A brush fire is burning just south of the border in Tecate, Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez advised in a phone interview with East County Magazine.  Cal Fire has positioned resources on the U.S. side of the border to prepare in case the blaze crosses over.

“I've seen 4 fire trucks heading out the 94,” Candie Wemple said in an email to East County Magazine. Posts on social media indicate black smoke is visible from Campo, Potrero and Barrett Junction.

GAS LEAK IN CREST

 

Source: San Miguel Fire District

October 9, 2017 (Crest) -- At approximately 8:40 a.m. this morning, a driver lost control of their vehicle on the 2200 block of La Cresta Rd in Crest and crashed into a residential gas meter. The driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Due to difficulty in securing the gas leak, La Cresta Rd could be closed up to 12 hours, into this evening.

Pages