Wildfire News

BILL INTRODUCED TO FIGHT WILDFIRES LIKE OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS

 

This year's wildfire season is the most expensive on record. Last year, the Pioneer Fire burned nearly 190,000 acres of the Boise National Forest.

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo: U.S. Forest Service

September 25, 2017 (Boise, ID) -- A rare moment of bipartisanship is catching on among Western states' members of Congress with a bill to treat wildfires more like other natural disasters.

FIRE AT SPRING VALLEY HOMELESS CAMP THREATENED CONDOS; HAZMAT CONSULTED AND FIRE CREWS DECONTAMINATED DUE TO HUMAN WASTE

 

East County News Service

 

September 24, 2017 (Spring Valley) – This morning around 1:30 a.m., San Miguel Fire District Engine 16 and Brush 14, along with San Diego and Bonita Fire, responded to a vegetation/trash fire at a homeless encampment near Spring Canyon Drive in Spring Valley.

BACKCOUNTRY STRONG: SPAGHETTI DINNER TO SUPPORT JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE DISTRICT SEPT. 30

 

By Valerie Watts

September 24, 2017 (Julian) -- "Backcountry Strong!"  That's what the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is, and wants you to know it!  The Julian Volunteer Fire Company Association and the Julian Fire Plugs will be holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Saturday, September 30 at 5 p.m. at Station 56, located at 3407 Hwy 79 in Julian.  They will be accepting donations and offering spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and drinks.  They even have vegetarian options available.  There will be speakers and entertainment.

SAN MIGUEL FIREFIGHTERS FLIPPING PANCAKES SATURDAY FOR A WORTHY CAUSE

 

Source: San Miguel Fire Department

September 19, 2017 (El Cajon) -- This Saturday September 23, San Miguel Fire District Firefighters will be flipping pancakes and serving breakfast in support of the San Miguel Firefighters Charitable Foundation.  The breakfast will be held at Fire Station 19 located at 1273 Clarendon Street in El Cajon from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

SUNRISE POWERLINK MITIGATION OPEN HOUSE SEPT. 19 IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 14, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - The Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group (SPFMG) invites you to a public open house where you can learn more about the fire mitigation grants program and the results of the Year 2017 Grants Program.  The open house will be held Tuesday, September 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

BRUSH FIRE BURNING IN POTRERO

 

Update 5:02 p.m. - Forward spread has been stopped. Fire is still zero percent contained at 20 acres. Firefighting aircraft are on scene.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

September 7, 2017 (Potrero)  4:52 p.m. -- A brush fire burning in Potrero, one mile west of the Tecate Port of Entry, is now 20 acres and zero percent contained, however forward spread has been stopped.

Cal Fire has named the blaze, which began within the hour,the #BorderFire9.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE PRESENTS $2.6 MILLION TO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

September 7, 2017 (Jamul) - Members of the Jamul Indian Village tribal government presented $2,677,500 to the San Diego County Fire Authority Tuesday at the fire station across the street from Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. This is on top of a recent $1.1 million contribution toward road and traffic improvements.

MAJOR CALIFORNIA FIRES SCORCH FEDERAL FORESTS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, AND MAJOR CITIES: L.A. COUNTY A DISASTER AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photo left:  Los Angeles Air Ops via L.A. Fire Department; Jason Moore on Twitter

September 3, 2017 (San Diego) – The Border Fire near Dulzura is 100% contained. But across California, many far more major brush fires are blazing. Several local firefighting agencies have dispatched crews to aid in conflagrations across the state.

CHIEF’S CORNER: STRUCTURE TRIAGE DURNG A WILDFIRE

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 3, 2017 (San Diego) -- Have you ever wondered how firefighters determine which homes to defend and which ones we don’t during a wildfire?

As firefighters, we lay out our plans for the tactical operations before a brush fire by pre-planning our districts. During a brush fire, it’s imperative that we make quick but well-thought-out decisions that reflect life safety issues for both responders and citizens first, followed by property conservation.

BORDER FIRE NEAR DULZURA IS 75% CONTAINED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photo, left:  Cal Fire, 9/2/2017

Photo, below right: Paula Maness, 9/1/2017

September 2, 2017 (Dulzura) – The Border Fire south of Dulzura is now 75 percent contained and has charred an estimated 130 acres, according to Cal Fire.

The brush fire began yesterday along Highway 94 near Marron Valley Road.It is currently spreading to the northeast and is not expected to impact populations. Firefighters will remain on scene constructing containment lines and  mopping up hot spots.

BRUSH FIRE HALTED IN LAKESIDE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photos: Robert E. Younger

 

September 2, 2017 (Lakeside) – A vehicle fire on Wildcat Canyon Road  ignited dry brush, just north of Muth Valley Road and south of Pata Ranch Road. Named the Ranch Fire, it charred an estimated three-quarters of an acre this evening before forward spread was halted, Cal Fire reports. 

CAL FIRE HELICOPTER ASSIGNED TO “BORDER” FIRE MAKES HARD LANDING

 

East County News Service

September 1, 2017 (Dulzura) – A Cal Fire helicopter assigned to firefighting on the Border Fire south of Dulzura today made a hard landing in a field adjacent to the brush fire.

The pilot was the sole occupant on board and did not suffer any injuries, Cal Fire reports.

BRUSH FIRE IN DULZURA'S BEE CANYON

 
 
East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

Update 11:54 a.m.  The Sheriff advised residents through Alert San Diego that  the fire is in the Bee Canyon area of Dulzura. No evacuations have been advised but residents are urged to stay tuned to local media and make sure your mobile phone is registered with AlertSanDiego to receive evacuation notices, www.ReadySanDiego.org and follow Cal Fire for updated fire information: https://twitter.com/CALFIRESANDIEGO

Update 11:40 a.m.  The fire is now 15 percent contained and has burned 120 acres, Cal Fire reports.

Update 10:45 a.m.  Fire is now 110 acres and still zero percent contained. SDG&E's helicopter, several fixed wing aircraft and over 220 firefighters are among the resources at the scene. 

September 1, 2017 (Dulzura) -- The #BorderFire burning in Dulzura has charred at least 50 acres of brush and is zero percent contained.  The blaze began at 5:40 a.m. near State Route 94 and Marron Valley Road. There are no road closures at this time. The fire is burning to the north and east.

Resources committed include 20 fire engines, 10 hand crews, 7 water tenders, 3 bulldozers, and 3 Type II helicopters.

You can view video and a map at Cal Fire's Twitter feed here:  https://twitter.com/CALFIRESANDIEGO

FORWARD SPREAD HALTED ON FIRE NEAR BORREGO

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

Photo:  Ranchita Sheriff substation

Update August 27, 8 a.m.  The fire is now 80 percent contained and Montezuma Valley Road is reopening.  Full containing is expected later today, Cal Fire reports.

Update 9:30 p.m.  The Montezuma fire is now 60 percent contained.

August 26, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- The Montezuma Fire has charred 62 acres and is now 20 percent contained, with forward spread stopped, Cal Fire reports.

The blaze began this afternoon when a Jeep Fire ignirted dry brush along Montezuma Valley Road near Borrego Springs. 

SHRINERS’ HOPES OF REBUILDING CAMP BURNED IN CHARIOT FIRE DIM WITH JUDGE’S RULING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Nadin Abbott

August 22, 2017 (Mount Laguna) — Many of you may know the Shriners as the clowns in fez hats driving miniature cars to delight crowds at the Mother Goose Parade each year.  But they also own hospitals across the nation dedicated to treating children.

EVACUATIONS: ECLIPSE FIRE NOW 200 ACRES, BURNING NEAR CAMPO

 

Update August 22:  The fire is 80% contained and holding at 200 acres, per Cal Fire. 175 federal, state and local firefighters have been battling the blaze.  Cause has not been determined.

Update 6:00 p.m.: Forward spread of fire has been stopped and threat to Campo Indian reservation mitigated, Cal Fire reports.

Update 4:12 p.m.:  Campo Sheriff Substation reports  is at 200 acres. Safe zone is at Mountain Empire High School, 3305 Buckman Springs Rd. in Campo. Fire is advancing at moderate spread, 10-15 mph winds, 0% contained.

Update 3:50 p.m.:  Campo Indian reservation is also now threatened, Cal Fire tweeted moments ago. Evacuations are in progress.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Donna Tisdale

August 21, 2017 (Campo) -- The #EclipseFire has burned 25 acres at La Posta Road and Royal Willie Road in the Campo area.  Structures are now threatened and evacuations are occurring at a Navy training site on La Posta Road, Isaac Sancheez, Cal Fire public information officer, has advised ECM.

The fire is burning at moderate rate of spread and no structures are threatened, according to Cal Fire.  The California Highway has ordered closure of La Posta Road. 

SDG&E has dispatched its air crane to help battle the blaze.

HEATED DISCUSSION ABOUT STATION 19 AT SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD MEETING

By Kendra Sitton

August 16, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Finding a new home for Bostonia’s Station 19 dominated the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District Board meeting on Aug. 9.

Upon a motion by Director McKenna, seconded by Director Kim Raddatz, the board voted unanimously to direct the Fire Chief to hire a consultant to plan, direct and oversee the due diligence processes and respective timelines, and make recommendations back to the Board on options for placement of a short-term and/or permanent fire station at 657 E. Bradley, El Cajon.

THE LAST STAND: JULIAN-CUYAMACA IS ONLY VOLUNTEER FIRE DISTRICT THAT HAS NOT YET JOINED COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY

 

Story and photos by Julie Pendray

Photo:  County Fire Authority Chief Tony Mecham addressed about 100 people at a special meeting of Julian/Cuyamaca Fire Protection District on July 27.

 

August 9, 2017 (Julian) – Impassioned pleas to save the volunteer fire operation in this historic California gold mining town were rebutted by cold, hard, financial facts at a special public meeting of the Julian/Cuyamaca Fire Protection District.

JULIAN-CUYAMCA FIRE DISTRICT RESIDENTS TO HEAR DISSOLUTION PROPOSAL FROM COUNTY JULY 27

Country threatens to take away all funds and a fire/paramedic engine if district board refuses County’s offer

East County News Service

July 27, 2017 (Julian) -- On Thursday, July 27 at 6:30 pm, at the Julian Fire Station (3407 Highway 79 in Julian), the San Diego County Fire Authority will make its final presentation to try to convince the community to dissolve its volunteer fire department and be accepted under the Fire Authority. 

The meeting will begin with a professional video mad for  the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD),  followed by a Powerpoint presentation by County Fire Chief Tony Mecham. The audience will be able to ask questions and express concerns.

The County is proposing that, at a cost of $1.5 million, it will provide a staff of three professional firefighters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if the JCFPD refuses the offer, the County will withdraw all financial support that it has been giving for 30 years, including a paramedic/engine placed at CalFire almost 2 years ago.

ILLEGAL SKY LANTERNS LAUNCHED IN LAKE MORENA VILLAGE RAISE FIRE CONCERNS

 

 

Users could be prosecuted and held liable for damages; sky lanterns have caused fires and serious harm elsewhere

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2017 (Lake Morena Village) – Residents in Lake Morena Village are fired up over dangers posed by illegal sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, launched in the area in recent weeks.  Sky lanterns are illegal in at least 30 states, including California due to fire dangers.

Claudia Millerbragg, moderator of the Campo-Lake Morena Neighborhood Watch Forum, says she found one in her yard about three months ago. Since then, she told East County Magazine,  “Community members have seen four different ones in the sky in the past couple of weeks. Usually Saturday night.”

Millerbragg says she spoke with Captain Cox at the Lake Morena Fire Station.  “This is what he stated,” she posted on the Neighborhood Watch Facebook page yesterday. “1. If a fire lantern lands in your yard, pick it up with gloves on and put in a paper bag. Call the station or main Calfire number. 2. Video any lantern being lit or just leaving property. Call 911. And it is against the law to fire off the lantern.”

300-ACRE LOST FIRE BURNING NEAR WARNER SPRINGS

 

Update July 23, 2017 8 p.m.-- The fire is 40% contained and has burned 255 acres. The evacuation advisory for Chihuahua Valley Road has been lifted as firefighters make good progress on this fire.

Update July 23, 2017, 8:20 a.m. (Warner Springs) -- With better mapping the fire is now estimated at 210 acres. Cleveland National Forest and CAL FIRE are fighting it in a joint command.  Hiikers are urge to avoid the Pacific Crest trail in the area. An evacuation advisory is in effect for Chihuahua Valley Road.

East County News Service

July 22, 2017 (Warner Springs) -- A 300-acre wildfire dubbed the #LostFire is burning four miles north of Warner Springs and is zero percent contained ths evening, according to County Emergency Services and CAL FIRE.

The blaze began at the Indian Flats Campground off State Route 79.  Indian Flats campground has been evacuated. Hwy 79 closed at Indian Flats Rd., Chihuahua Valley Rd. and Puerta LaCruz Rd

SDG&E RESPONDS TO POWERLINK MITIGATION QUESTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2017 (Jamul) – At last month’s Jamul-Dulzura Planning Group meeting, concerns were raised over Sunrise Powerlink Mitigation grants – specifically, why some homes near the high voltage line in Deerhorn Valley received no grant money, while homes in Alpine further area where added to the eligible area for grants and did receive funds. Questions have also been raised as to why Alpine has representation on the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Board, but Deerhorn Valley/Jamul does not.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE LAUNCHES FACEBOOK PAGE WITH REPORTS OF ACTIVE FIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – San Miguel Fire District has launched a Facebook page to alert residents about daily fire and rescue incidents within the district.  You can view the page here: https://www.facebook.com/SanMiguelFireRescue/

JENNINGS FIRE 90% CONTAINED; ALL EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED

 

 

Update July 13, 2017:  The fire is now 90% contained and holding at 400 acres, Cal Fire reports.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Renee Owens

July 12, 2017 (Lakeside) - The Jennings Fire that began yesterday in Lakeside has charred over 400 acres and is 30 percent contained. Cause of ignition was a vehicle.

All evacuation orders and warnings for the Jennings Fire have been lifted in the fire area.  The Temporary Evacuation Points at Joan MacQueen Middle School and Granite Hills High School have been closed. All roadways are reopened.

MORE DRAMATIC JENNINGS FIRE PHOTOS

 

East County News Service

July 11, 2017 (Flinn Springs) – “I watched this whole fire play out, since we live so close,” Renee Owens wrote in an email to ECM. “It’s not the first fire I have ever witnessed, but this one got so hot and moved so quickly at first it was downright scary. You could hear the trees pop and explode, the fire reached 60 foot flames on some of the steep slopes, and stopped right at the I-8 just a couple hundred feet from a huge propane storage tank. It traveled frighteningly fast at first, but once the air tankers and helicopters showed up - combined with hitting some steep and sparsely vegetated cliff faces - they managed to tamp it down pretty quickly despite the heat and wind. It came within a couple hundred feet of houses near Dunbar lane. Watching it go from enormously hot and fast to under control was seriously impressive, and we owe some major thanks to the pilots on this one.”

As of 10 p.m. tonight, the fire is 10% contained and has burned over 400 acres.  All roads have been reopened.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: JENNINGS FIRE RAINBOWS

 

East County News Service

July 11, 2017 (Flinn Springs) — Renee Owens sent in these photos of the #JenningsFire burning between Lakeside and Alpine in San Diego’s East County, including the eerily beautiful images of “fire rainbows” – illusions created by helicopters dropping water on the flames. 

JENNINGS FIRE AT 400 ACRES: PARTIAL REOPENING OF I-8

Three firefights injured battling blaze

By Miriam Raftery,  photo by Jonathan Goetz

July 11, 2017 (Alpine/Lakeside./Flinn Springs) -- The #JenningsFire that began at 1:40 p.m. near Lake Jennings in Lakeside has swelled to 400 acres, Cal Fire reports.  Forward spread of the fire has been stopped.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for 15000 Viewside Lane along the south side of I-8 in Alpine and is a structure threat to five homes. 

An evacuation center is open at Joan MacQueen Middle School located at 2001 Tavern Road in Alpine.

An earlier announced evacuation center at Granite Hills High has been closed.

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