Wildfire News

UPDATE ON SCHOOLS AND GRADUATION SERVICE IN MOUNTAIN EMPIRE DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – All schools in the Mountain Empire school district remain closed today due to the Border Fire.   The Mountain Empire High School graduation is tentatively set to be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. contingent on air quality and fire conditions. 

BORDER FIRE HOLDING AT 7500 ACRES, CAL FIRE REPORTS TODAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire has issued an update at 11:32 a.m. advising the Border Fire is holding at 7500 acres, but still only 5% contained. Evacuation orders remain in place for Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch and Canyon City.  The Red Cross has an evacuation shelter set up at Los Coches Creek Middle School at 9669 Dunbar Lane in El Cajon.

RESCUES AND A SMALL FIRE AT THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Hikers at trailhead to Three Sisters Falls (file photo)

June 20, 2016 (Julian) – Yesterday, a small vegetation fire off Boulder Creek Road a half mile from Three Sisters Falls near Julian was swiftly doused. Palomar Hot Shots, helicopters, U.S. Forest Service and a Cal Fire air tanker attacked the blaze when it had charred only a quarter of an acre at mid-morning yesterday.

MAIL DISRUPTIONS FROM FIRE

June 20, 2016 (Campo)--Campo's  Postmaster has posted the following message on Facebook for those whose mail service was disrupted there today: 

Mail Delivery: Campo/Lake Morena area had partial mail delivery today. Your carriers were pulled back due to the current hazards and for employee safety. There is a possibility the same situation will occur tomorrow. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me at 619-478-5466 or message me. All mail is being held at the Campo Post Office. If anyone has meds they are expecting to be delivered please call so we can help get them to you. Thank you. Stay safe. Please share this. I am also a Campo resident, so I am watching this fire as well. ---Postmaster Cindy

7,500 ACRES CONSUMED BY BORDER FIRE; 5%CONTAINED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Sparks across roadway driving through the Border Fire, by Richard Edwords

New fires are burning in Mexico near the border

June 20,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The Border Fire has swelled to 7,500 acres and is still only 5% contained, Cal Fire announced this evening, adding,  “Triple digit temperatures and single digit humidity is creating extreme fire behavior and increased activity is being experienced.”

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for Potrero,Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch. Dog Patch and Canyon City communities.  An overnight evacuation shelter is set up at Los Coches Creek Middle school at 9669 Dunbar Lane in El Cajon.

Two new fires, possibly ignited by sparks from the Border Fire, are now burning in Mexico within a couple of miles from the international border south of the Border Fire conflagration.

Jan Hedlun in Potrero warns that people who did not evacuate when instructed by authorities are now facing restrictions. “Once you leave they won't let you return and many of us have livestock or animals we're tending,”she says.”My well meter has melted so no water at the house but friends dropped off a bunch of water. The worst of times brings out the best in people!”

DIANNE JACOB BLASTS FOREST SERVICE FOR REFUSING TO FLY TANKERS FROM RAMONA AIR BASE, WHERE CAL FIRE IS LANDING SAME PLANES

 

East County News Service

June 20, 2016 (Ramona) --Supervisor Dianne Jacob  posted blisteringr remarks on her Facebook Page today, with the Border Fire raging out of control and forcing evacuations in multiple rural commnities: 

"The following is my statement in response to reports yesterday that United States Forest Service (USFS) air tankers were not utilizing the Ramona Air Attack Base, and instead were flying to San Bernardino in between drops on the Border Fire. The same Next Generation Air Tankers used by CAL FIRE were safely refilling at the Ramona Air Attack Base yesterday.

“The USFS and federal leaders are failing our region and unnecessarily putting lives and property at risk. The Board of Supervisors last summer called on the USFS and the federal government to land their Next Generation Air Tankers at the Ramona Air Attack Base in order to increase the frequency of drops on a wildfire. CAL FIRE has demonstrated that these types of planes can safely use the Ramona airport. Now we need the USFS to demonstrate that public safety is a higher priority than bureaucratic stubbornness. These planes can carry up to 3,000 gallons of retardant and increasing the frequency of drops gives us a better chance of knocking down dangerous wildfires,” Jacob concluded.

FEMA FIRE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE GRANTED FOR BORDER FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Cameron Corners, March 20, by Joe Doe

March 20, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the State of California battle the Border 3 Fire burning in San Diego County.

The FMAG provides federal funding for up to 75% of eligible firefighting costs.  Eligible costs can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools; materials; supplies and mobilization; and demobilization activities.

NEW SHELTER OPENS AT LOS COCHES; ADVISORY EVACUATIONS AT BUCKMAN SPRINGS

 

Update 4:30 p.m. - The Pacific Coast Trail near Campo is threatened. Hikers are advised to stay off the trail, Cleveland National Forest reports.  The fire is also threatening the Hauser Wilderness area.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, Left by Richard Edwords, Kamps Propane

June 20, 2016 (San Diego's East County) 4 p.m. -- Per County Emergency Services:  The Sheriff's Department has issued an evacuation advisory near Campo and Buckman Springs due to the Border Fire. Evacuations are currently voluntary. Residents can go to Golden Acorn Casino, 1800 Golden Acorn Way, which has been set up as a temporary evacuation point. It is not a shelter.

The American Red Cross has opened an overnight shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School (9969 Dunbar Lane, El Cajon) for residents impacted by the Border Fire.

EVACUATIONS ORDERED IN CAMPO, POSSIBLE EVACUATIONS NEXT IN LAKE MORENA

By Miriam Raftery

June 20, 2016 (Campo)--Cal Fire has ordered mandatory evacuations of Star Ranch, Forest Gate, Canyon City, Dogpatch and Cowboy Ranch in the Campo area due to the Border Fire.

Scanner traffic indicates an advisory evacuation in Lake Morena.

A red flag alert is in effect per the National Weather Service. 

Below is more info from the Sheriff earlier today on the fire that has scorched 1900 acres and is 5% contained:

BORDER FIRE 5% CONTAINED, 1900 ACRES: SCHOOLS CLOSED, 3 INJURED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter

June 20, 2016 (Potrero) -- The Border Fire has charred 1,900 acres and is now 5% contained as of 9 a.m. according to Cal Fire.  The community of Potrero remains under evacuation order. Highway 94 remains closed through the area.

Scanner traffic indicates a second fire has been reported in Mexico close to the Border Fire; we are awaiting confirmation and details.

Mt. Empire School District has announced all schools districtwide will be closed today due to the fire. Three people have been injured including a firefighter. Several outbuildings have burned, per Cal Fire. Hundreds of firefighters from across Southern California are battling the blaze in steep, rugged terrain that has burned in many years and is dry from years of drought during triple-digit heat.

The emergency shelter for today is at Campo Elementary School, 1654 Buckman Springs Road.

BORDER FIRE IN POTRERO NOW 1,500 ACRES, EVACUATION CENTERS OPEN

Update 10 p.m. The fire is 5% contained and a firefighter has been injured, CalFire reports. An emergency overnight shelter is open at Campo Elementary School, 1654 Buckman Springs Rd.in Campo.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: air tanker battles the Border Fire, by Leon Thompson

June 19, 2016 (Potrero) --As of 7:20 tonight, the fast-growing Border Fire has charred 1,500 acres and led to mandatory evacuation orders for the entire town of Potrero, per Cal Fire.  Structures are threatened. 

Residents fleeing the Border Fire can now go to these evacuation centers:  Campo Community Center ( Cool Zone )  at 300 Sheridan Rd, Campo Elementary School ( Red Cross Shelter ) at 1654 Buckman Springs Rd, or the Dulzura Community Center at 1136 Community Building Road off State Route 94 (note corrected address). This information has been verified through Red Cross and Campo Community Center employees.  The Sheriff reports a third evacuation center opened at Campo Elementary School, 1654 Buckman Springs Road, Campo.

If you need emergency assistance in evacuation, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information, check the San Diego County Emergency website at www.sdcountyemergency.com or call the San Diego Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at 858-565-5200.  For help with large animal evacuations due to , call the San Diego County Animal Services at (619) 236-2341.  Follow additoinal updates on Twitter at .

Road closures in effect on Highway 94 are changing rapidly as the fire moves.  Get the latest traffic and road closure information at https://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx.  Here are closures as of now:

BRUSH FIRE IN POTRERO: EVACUATIONS AND HIGHWAY CLOSURE

 

NOTE: We have posted a new article with the latest updates on this fast-growing fire.  New updates will be posted here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/border-fire-potrero-now-1500-acres-eva...

 

Follow us on Twitter at EastCountyAlert for the most timely updates. Please post any info you have in the comments section below our story.  You can email photos to editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

RURAL FIRE STATIONS GET FOUR NEW QUICK-ATTACK VEHICLES

 

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

June 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- San Diego County Fire can now dispatch up to four new quick-attack vehicles to assist CAL FIRE operations when a brush fire breaks out in a hard-to-reach part of the backcountry.

SIG ALERT: CRASH SHUTS DOWN WILDCAT CANYON IN LAKESIDE

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Update 8:10 a.m.  Big-rig tow is nearly at the scene. After towing away vehicles, road shutdown will be changed to one-way closure for next 10-12 hours while power line repairs are made, per CHP website. SDG&E will handle the traffic one-way closure.

Update 7:30 a.m. -- The fires are now out.  Two people have been transported to trauma centers with injuries.

June 14, 2016 (Lakeside) -- 6:40 a.m. A SIG ALERT has been issued for a two-vehicle crash on Wildcat Canyon at Willow Road in Lakeside. One vehicle is on its roof, the other 100 feet down an anbankment with people trapped inside. The crash sparked several small brush fires and knocked down power lines, causing an outage to 21 customers with power restoration estimated at 9:30 a.m. per SDG&E.

Lakeside and Heartland Fire are on the scene. 

CAL FIRE SUSPENDS BURN PERMITS IN SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES

 

Source: CAL FIRE

June 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- While recent rains this winter and spring have been a welcome sight in California, drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of San Diego and Imperial Counties. This suspension takes effect June 13, 2016 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves.

CHIEF’S CORNER: WILDFIRE FOREST – BAD!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 8, 2016 (San Diego) -- Brush fires chewed through hillsides from San Diego to Ventura Counties and every county in between, challenging firefighters and making hillside homeowners very nervous this past weekend as a very hot and long brush fire season is now underway.

FIRE TRAINING EXERCISES IN ALPINE THIS WEEK

 

East County News Service

June 7, 2016 (Alpine) -- San Diego County Fire Chiefs, in cooperation with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the community of Alpine, are conducting their annual Fire Preparedness Exercise June 6 – 8, 2016 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m...  Emergency Service Agencies from throughout San Diego County will come together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

FIRE IN BOULEVARD

 

June 6,2016  (Boulevard) – A wildland fire is burning near the border in Boulevard’s Tierra Del Sol Community, CAL FIRE and County Fire ChiefTony Mecham reports.  The blaze started late this afternoon and is currently about 8 acres, with no structures threatened. It has a moderate rate of spread.

According to CAL FIRE, the fire is off of Zarina Lake Drive in Tierra Del Sol.  However Donna Tisdale, Boulevard Planning Group chair and a resident of Tierra Del Sol, told ECM that the fire appears to be south of the Southwest Powerlink at the south end of Tierra del Sol Road.

MULTIPLE FIRES IN REGION

 

 

 

East County News Service

Photo: Temecula Fire along I-15, via Twitter by Sofie Casillas

June 4, 2016 -- We have reports and updates on several fires burning across southern California including I-15 between Rainbow and Temecula, the Pala fire in San Diego's north county, and a hay truck on fire near the county line in Inkopah on I-8.

HEAT WARNING

 

East County Alert

June 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for inland areas of San Diego and Riverside County due to a strong pressure ridge over the southwest.  Temperatures as high as 108 degrees are forecast in some desert areas, with Borrego Springs expected to reach 103 degrees this weekend and mountain areas forecast to see temperatures close to 80.

BURN INSTITUTE HOSTS FIRE PREVENTION MEETING AT HEALTHCARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA

 

 

East County News Service

 

May 26, 2016 (La Mesa) - The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host “Fire, Burn and Fall Prevention,” a free presentation from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22. The program is part of the library’s Wellness Wednesday series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Advance RSVP is not necessary. Speaking will be Mary Vilgera, community outreach specialist, Burn Institute.

NEW WATER FILTRATION PRODUCT WOULD SAVE LIVES IN EMERGENCIES WITH SAFE WATER

 

 

East County News Service

 

May 19, 2016 (San Diego) -- Sagan Industries LLC, a San Diego manufacturer and distributor of consumer water filtration products, has launched its newest product, the Sagan AquaBrick™ Water Filtration System, the company announced.

 

“The AquaBrick is perfect for outdoor and recreational adventures, emergency preparedness and humanitarian aid,” “said Rick Muir, CEO, Sagan Industries. “We feel honored and privileged to play a part in maintaining the health of people everywhere.”

FEDS AND STATE GEAR UP FOR “SERIOUS” FIRE SEASON IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: 2015 Lake Fire

May 18, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell warned Tuesday that the Sierra snowpacks are melting “faster than we have ever seen.”  Despite El Niño rains, he predicts, “We anticipate a very active fire season in California.”

SPEAKERS AT WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS EVENT SHARE INFO ON UPCOMING FIRE SEASON

 

By Janis Russell

May 5, 2016 (Lakeside) - The California Fire Safe Council held a Wildfire Community Preparedness event, in partnership with the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County and Farmers Insurance, at Barona Creek Golf Club on April 23.   The speakers discussed the severity of the fire situation statewide, emphasized that wildfire risk is now year-round, and gave updates on resources available to help before, during and after a major fire in our region.

SURGE OF CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTERS HIRED TO PREVENT WILDFIRES

 

Residents urged to prepare for wildfires now

East County News Service

April 20, 2016 (Sacramento) -- With spring now taking hold in California, CAL FIRE is already staffing up for fire season, while focusing the efforts of its crews on preventing large and damaging wildfires. Recent rains have been a welcome sight to drought parched California, but CAL FIRE firefighters are not letting their guard down, instead they are training for another potential busy fire season and working hard to prevent wildfires. Across the State, CAL FIRE has already hired a surge of over 400 additional seasonal firefighters, whose focus includes fire prevention, fuel reduction and defensible space programs.

THE GOATS ARE BACK—CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

 

April 20, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, will be taking steps to clear brush from eight and a-half acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas in Lemon Grove. Goats will be used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area.

ELM began delivering 150 adult and 50 juvenile goats (kids) on Monday, April 18, 2016. The brush clearing event will last approximately 2 weeks. The goats may be visible to those traveling along the 125 freeway in the area of Lemon Grove during this weed abatement process.

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