Wildfire News

COUNTY TAKES ACTION TO WAIVE FEES FOR BORDER FIRE SURVIVIORS TO REBUILD, ALSO PROVIDE BINS FOR DEBRIS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Day 2 of the Border Fire, Cal-Fire

June 28,2016 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to help those who lost homes or buildings in the Border Fire. The County will waive fees for building permits and plan-check reviews. 

Fees will only be waived for structures that were legally permitted originally, prior to the fire. The Board’s Tuesday action would also distribute trash bins to people in the fire areas to help them clear debris.

The Border Fire started June 19th and over the past 10 days has charred over 7,600 acres, destroyed five homes and 11 outbuildings. CAL FIRE reported Tuesday that the Border fire, which grew to 7,609 acres, was 92 percent contained.

“It’s an absolute tragedy for anyone who has lost everything,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, whose district includes the Potrero, Campo and Lake Morena communities ravaged by the Border Fire.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BORDER FIRE SURVIVOR ASKS SUPERVISOR JACOB AND AGENCIES TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING ON FIRE ISSUES IN THE AREAS THAT BURNED

 

By Jan Hedlun

Potrero Resident and Wildfire Survivor

June 28, 2016 (Potrero) --I have heard that local and government agencies involved in the Border Fire are already patting themselves on the back, saying they handled everything perfectly without having sat down with community members for input.  I notice they are holding meetings to tell each other what a good job they’ve done; meetings that most of us recovering from the wildfire did not hear about and could not get to.

I just saw on a Facebook post that today the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are going to “chat about how to provide assistance to victims of the fire at their meeting today." * Chat? Didn’t they have a multitude of meetings after the Cedar (2003), Harris and Witch Fires (2007) that dealt will these topics?  Didn’t they come out with resolutions back then?

I’ve not heard from anyone that Supervisor Jacobs or other authorities have been out here to ask people face-to-face what happened and what could be improved upon. Don’t you think they would want to know all the facts from the people that were involved before holding all these self-congratulatory meetings?

TRUCK CARRYING CRANE HITS OVERPASS ON 67

 

June 28, 2016 – 4:30 p.m. – A truck carrying a crane has reportedly struck the overpass bridge on State Route 67 southbound at Prospect Avenue in El Cajon and is stuck, according to the CHP incident page.  Lanes are blocked and a fuel spill has reportedly occurred.

A bridge supervisor is en route.  We recommend avoiding this area.  

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THE AFTERMATH OF THE BORDER FIRE

 

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

June 27, 2016 (Potrero/Campo) - The Border Fire started Sunday, June 19. Since then, it has burned more than 7,000 acres, destroyed five homes and 11 structures. These images, taken on June 23 in the Potrero and Campo communities, show the aftermath and the efforts taking place to help residents get back to their lives.

 

View the full gallery at http://www.countynewscenter.com/the-aftermath-of-the-border-fire/ and scroll down for highlights.

BORDER FIRE 90% CONTAINED; 9 FIRES BURN STATEWIDE

 

East County News Service

June 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Over 5,200 firefighters are battling nine large wildfires in California, Cal Fire advises. While the Border Fire in San Diego’s East County is now 80% contained after burning 7,609 acres, other major wildfires are scorching areas across California.

The largest is the Erskine Fire in Kern County, which has charred over 45,000 acres and is now 40% contained, though evacuation orders remain in place. Several new fires broke out yesterday during high temperatures and low humidity.

Below are the latest updates on fires statewide, with links to full details.

CHIEF’S CORNER: IT’S HOT, IT’S DRY, IT’S THE 4TH OF JULY—THE FIRE DEPT. NEEDS YOUR HELP!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- It’s hot, it’s dry, it’s the 4th of July! These words make fire officials cringe, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It will be a long three-day 4th of July weekend and the fire department needs your help!

SDG&E DRAWS PRAISE FOR SWIFT RESPONSE TO OUTAGES DURING FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – During the Border Fire, SDG&E rapidly mobilized resources that have been substantially beefed up since prior firestorms—getting electricity back on swiftly in burned-out communities sweltering in triple-digit heat.  For many rural residents,electricity also powers wells that provide water in and in some cases, equipment burned. 

But as of this morning, power has been fully restored in all areas impacted by the fire,according to SDG&E’s outage map.

“The SDG&E crews have been amazing. They have not stopped since the fire swept through,” Potrero resident Jan Hedlun writes. “They have a camp up next to the Potrero Community Church and are working, working, working. The rate of speed they took to get most of us hooked up is wondrous. I watched them using a helicopter to move the poles over the ridge. Well coordinated crews.”

HELP NEEDED FOR RESIDENTS AND ANIMALS IN CAMPO, LAKE MORENA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Rapture's Horse Rescue joined efforts led by Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton with help from local community members and businesses to bring supplies to Potrero

June 25, 2016 (Campo/LakeMorena) – With the Border Fire now 70% contained, relief efforts continue.  Shontel Grivno at Rapture’s Horse Rescue Foundation sent us the following e-mail this morning asking for supplies of non-perishable foods, water  propane and animal feed for fire survivors, livestock and pets in the Campo/Lake Morena communities:

BORDER FIRE 45% CONTAINED; EVACUATION SHELTER CLOSES FRIDAY

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – This morning Cal-Fire reports that the Border Fire is 45% contained after scorching 7,483 acres.  Five homes and 11 outbuildings were destroyed. 

The evacuation shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School in El Cajon is closing today. All evacuated areas are now reopened, however some road closures remain in effect.  View full details from Cal Fire at: https://twitter.com/CALFIRESANDIEGO/status/746347587112828928

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RESIDENTS HEAR UPDATES ON BORDER FIRE, THANK FIREFIGHTERS AND VOICE SOME CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: County Fire Chief Gary Croucher

June 23, 2016 (El Cajon) --At a community meeting Thursday night at the Los Coches Creek Elementary School in El Cajon, fire officials gave a briefing on steps they took to battle the Border Fire, which since Sunday has burned close to 7,400 acres, destroying 5 homes and 11 outbuildings.  

Residents voiced gratitude toward firefighters for  valiant efforts to save homes and lives, also acknowledging much that has improved since the 2003 and 2007 firestorms thanks to better investments in firefighting equipment and technology.

But some voiced concerns over areas they hope to see improved-- notably helping children and young teens forced to evacuate when parents were away at work, slow communications early on about the fire’s progress, animals lacking food and water in the evacuation zone, and inadequate water at Lake Morena for firefighting aircraft due to the city of San Diego draining the reservoir too low.

TACTICAL FIRING NEAR POTRERO

Source: Cal Fire

June 23, 2016 (Potrero) Tactical firing Operations are being conducted above the north east corner of the Border 3 Fire., Cal Fire advises.

These firing operations are one of the many tools used to stop and or slow down the spread of large fires. The firing operation, along with direct perimeter control efforts, will continue throughout the day and night until the objective has been met.

UPDATED ROAD CLOSURES IN BORDER FIRE

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

June 23, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Cal Fire and the County Office of Emergency Services have released the following updates on new and contining road closures due to the Border Fire.  Also, a large plume of smoke visible this afternoon is due largely to a backfire lit to protect communities.

Below is the latest info on road closures:

LAKE MORENA, CAMPO STILL THREATENED; COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT ON BORDER FIRE ISSUES

5 homes lost

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Facebook post by Kerra Elizabeth McAhren

June 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – This morning, the Border Fire is now 20% contained and has scorched 6,8450 acres as over 1,900 firefighters battle the blaze.  Five homes (of which 3 were secondary homes on the same property) and eleven outbuildings were destroyed, while one other home was damaged, Cal Fire confirms. Residents on the Campo-Lake Morena Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook have been posting eyewitness accounts, photos and videos as well as thank you messages for firefighters at https://www.facebook.com/groups/345408365593244/.

There will be a community meeting at the Los Coches Creek Middle School located at 9669 Dunbar Ln., El Cajon, CA at 7:00 pm today hosted by the Cal Fire IncidentManagement Team with an update on the Border Fire.  Representatives from agencies managing and supporting the incident as well as local dignitaries will provide a briefing and answer questions.  Public inquiries regarding the Community Meeting or Fire Information, please call 2-1-1.

“The fire still remains a threat to the communities of Lake Morena Village, Campo as well as the outlying recreational assets as the fire continues to move north and northeast. This is still a dynamic and active fire, residents in the surrounding area of the fire should continue to be prepared to evacuate if need be,” Cal Fire’s latest update reads.

FIVE HOMES LOST IN BORDER FIRE; BLAZE 20% CONTAINED

East County News Service

 

June 22, 2016, 8 p.m. (San Diego's East County ) -- Cal Fire reports that the Border Fire is 6,723 acres and 20 percent contained. Five homes total were destroyed; two of the homes were primary dwelling units and three homes were second dwelling units/guest houses. No information is avalable yet on the locations of homes that burned.

1900 firefighters are assigned to battle the blaze, including crews from Lakeside Fire (photo, left) who worked to cut a firebreak today.

The Potrero Branch Library will re-open on Thursday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a Cool Zone. No data or WiFi service will be available at the library. Cool Zones can help you beat the heat. A complete list can be found here.

EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED FOR WESTERN POTRERO

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

June 22, 2016 (Potrero) --CAL FIRE reports that an evacuation order has been lifted for the following areas for some Potrero residents at 4 p.m. and for the general public at 6 p.m.:

  • West of Potrero Valley Road at Potrero Valley
  • West of Potrero General Store at 25125 State Route 94, including the north and south sides of State Route 94
  • Potrero County Park

Residents who live in this area will be allowed back in with photo identification. ll other evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect.

CAL FIRE also reported the following road closures:

ANIMALS DYING IN POTRERO,OFFICIALS REFUSE ACCESS TO AID LIVESTOCK AND PETS IN EVACUATION AREA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy County Animal Services:  Dog rescued from Border Fire by reporter Joe Little from ECM news partner 10 News on Highway 94 in Potrero.  The County is seeking the owner of the dog, which suffered four burned paws.

June 22,2016 (Potrero) – A humanitarian crisis is occurring in Potrero, where fire and law enforcement authorities continue to deny access to residents seeking to bring in feed and water for pets and livestock that are dying  of neglect in triple-digit heat within the evacuation area for the Border Fire.

Within the past hour, Colin Richard posted this message on the Potrero Town Feed on Facebook:

CHICKEN FARMER DEVASTATED BY LOSSES--AGAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Cal Fire firefighter douses hot spots during Border Fire

June 22, 2016 (Potrero)—Joe Cebe, Sr. lost everything at his chicken farm in Ramona during the 2003 Cedar fire.   He suffered more losses in the 2007 firestorms, when his Potrero ranch operations were disrupted.  Now during the Border Fire, he’s suffered devastating losses at the Cebe Farms facility in Potrero.  T his time, thousands of chickens died not from fire, but from bureaucratic decisions by fire officials  that left  100,000 chickens largely deprived of water and food for days  amid triple-digit heat.

“We’re running on a wing and a prayer,” Sebe told East County Magazine in an exclusive interview this morning.  He estimates at least 20% of the flock has been lost thus far. Power remains out, his water tanks are empty, and  Cal Fire initially denied a request to power up an emergency generator, he says, adding that he is currently still awaiting permission to bring in trucks with feed and more water for the surviving birds.

NEED HELP WITH LARGE ANIMALS OR PETS DURING THE FIRE? HERE ARE UPDATED RESOURCES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re evacuating from the Border Fire, be aware that the Circle T Ranch is filled to capacity. The County  advises that large animal shelters are available at the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection station on 2463 Ribbonwood Rd. in Boulevard and has provided contact numbers for help to evacuate pets and livestock.

In addition, several private ranch owners have notified East County Magazine that they have facilities to take in large animals.

The San Diego Humane Society has worked with the Red Cross to set up a pet-friendly shelter in conjunction with the family evacuation shelter at Los Coches Middle School on 9669 Dunbar Lane in El Cajon.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE CANCELS REST OF SCHOOL YEAR, MOVES GRADUATIONS

East County News Service

June 22, 2016 (San Diego's East County -- Due to the Border Fire,the Mountain Empre school district has posted the following information on rescheduling graduations to El Capitan High School for high school and middle school students, as well as cancellation of classes:

1,000 STRUCTURES THREATENED

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Richard Edwords

Update June 22, 2016 7:45 a.m.:  The size of the fire is 6,500 acres as of 7 a.m. today and it is now 15% contained.

June 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- 9 p.m.--Tonight Cal Fire indicates the Border Fire has been mapped at a reduced acreage estimate of 6,020 acres.  The fire is now 10% contained. Approximately 1,000 structures remain threatened but no homes have burned, though 4 outbuildings were lost.



Our media outlet has learned from multiple sources of a desperate need for water and food for people, pets and livestock in Potrero, where many animals have already perished. People who evacuated and were unable to bring animals with them, or who were away when the fire started, were not allowed entry by authorities into the evacuation area due to concerns over shifting winds and the potential for fire to return. One chicken ranch has had many thousands of birds die, multiple sources told ECM. Dogs, pigs, horses and other animals remain at risk, some with no food and no water. In response to our inquiry, Michele Clock with the County called and said the County will try to get help tomorrow.

LARGE ANIMAL SHELTERS OPEN IN DESCANSO AND BOULEVARD

Source: County of San Diego

June 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --The County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services announced this afternoon that large animal shelters are  available at the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection station located at 2463 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard, and Circle T Ranch at 24215 Viejas Grade Rd., Descanso.

If you need emergency assistance evacuating, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information, visit sdcountyemergency.com or call 2-1-1.

For assistance evacuating animals, call County Animal Services dispatch at 619-236-2341.

HUMANE SOCIETY RESCUES ANIMALS IN DISTRESS,PROVIDES RESOURCES AND HELP TO PET OWNERS IN BORDER FIRE

 

Source: San Diego Humane Society

June 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --As the #BorderFire continues to grow in East County, many people have been forced to evacuate, uncertain of options for their pets. San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Officers and Animal Rescue Reserve volunteer team have important information for pet owners in need of assistance.

MAN FIRES SHOTS AS ANIMAL SERVICES ATTEMPTS RESCUE

 

By Gig Connaughton,

June 21, 2016 (Campo) - Things got hotter than they ever should have at the Border fire in the Campo area Monday when a man got a shotgun and fired shots to keep County employees from rescuing a burned emu.

MANDATORY EVACUATION ISSUED FOR LAKE MORENA

 

Update 3:10 p.m.  The San Diego County Sheriff’s Office has issued an additional evacuation order for the following area. The area of the evacuation order is within the following boundaries; Pacific Crest Trail to the south, Buckman Springs Road to the east from Lake Morena Dr. to Morena Valley Road, Moreno Stokes Valley Road (Corral Canyon) at Sky Ranch (Sky Valley Road) to the west and Moreno Stokes Valley Road (Corral Canyon) at Buckman Springs Road  to the east.

New road closure is located at Buckman Springs Road at Old Buckman Springs.

 

Additional public information regarding the Border Fire can be obtained by calling 2-1-1. Continue to follow updates of the incident on the twitter account  @calfiresandiego.

East County News Service

June 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - An update about the Border Fire has been issued.  Lake Morena residents on the Campo/Lake Morena Neighborhood Watch Facebook page have posted that they have received calls and text alerts that a mandatory evacuation has been issued for Lake Morena.

ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS, NEIGHBORS COME TO RESCUE OF PETS AND LIVESTOCK IN BORDER FIRE

 

Photos: Animal Control officers comfort rescue rabbits; dogs rescued from Border Fire

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - County animal control officers have carried out dozens of rescues of animals threatened by the Border Fire including everything from dogs and cats to sheep, horses and chickens. View video of rescue efforts: https://youtu.be/6lE-IwzbO04?t=16 . If you have animals left behind in the evacuation area that need food and water, call the county’s 24-hour emergency dispatch unit at 619-236-2341. 

EVACUATION WARNINGS ISSUED FOR LAKE MORENA, CAMPO: 800 STRUCTURES STILL THREATENED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Border Fire, Day 1, by Leon Thompson

June 21,2016 (Lake Morena/Campo) 1:30 p.m. – An evacuation warning has been issued for Lake Morena and Campo, Cal Fire has announced.  Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for Potrero,Forrest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch,Dog Patch and Canyon City.

800 structures remain threatened and 4 outbuildings have been destroyed. Highway 94 is closed west of Buckman Springs to state route 188. The Pacific Coast Trail is also closed to hikers. 

“The fire continues to move to the north and northeast,threatening portions of the Pacific Crest National Scenic trail as well as surrounding communities,” a Border 3 Fire Update issued by Cal Fire states.

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. 

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