Wildfire News

STATE CERTIFIES CHANGES IN COUNTY FIRE CODE, SIMPLIFIES PERMIT PROCESS IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

 

 

April 3, 2010 (San Diego) San Diego County’s Consolidated Fire Code has been certified by the State of California. According to a County press release issued yesterday, the change will make it simpler for builders and homeowners in San Diego County to comply with fire protection standards on homes and developments.

LAKESIDE CITIZENS PUT SDG&E OFFICIALS IN HOT SEAT OVER POWERLINK IMPACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 “How can you sit there and say it’s safe to be there when that canyon has burned every year—and you’re going to put those towers up, leave us with no power, and we only have one way in and one way out?” -- Myles Thurman, Lakeside

 

February 3, 2010 (Lakeside) – San Diego Gas & Electric officials received a far-from-warm welcome from Lakeside residents at a community forum last night hosted by the utility to discuss impacts of Sunrise Powerlink, the proposed high-voltage power line that SDG&E wants to run through Lakeside's El Monte Valley.

 

SDG&E plans to hold a follow-up meeting within 30 days.


CONTROLLED BURN AT MIRAMAR FRIDAY NIGHT

 

January 29, 2010 (Miramar) – If you see smoke near I-15 this evening, don’t panic. Military emergency services crews at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar will be conducted a controlled burn as part of a night-time training operation. The burn, on the base airfield, is slated to start at 6 p.m. and continue for several hours.

 

LAKESIDE FIRE BOARD TAKES HEAT FROM IRATE CITIZENRY


Citizens oversight group forms, will consider recall of board members

January 27, 2010 (Lakeside) – Residents of Lakeside directed heated criticism at the Lakeside Fire Protection District board. In a meeting last night, citizens charged that the Board failed to provide adequate explanation for the firing of Chief Mark Baker.

“You guys are in serious trouble, and you’re accountable for your actions,” Dennis Richardson, a lifetime Lakeside resident, told the board. “You guys need to be taken to the woodshed, because you did not listen to Lakeside.”

FIRED UP: EAST COUNTY FIREFIGHTING STUDENTS LEARN THE ROPES AT 20th ANNUAL HEARTLAND FIRE ACADEMY

 

 

By Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

originally published at Heartland Zone News

 

January 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- On January19th, the Tom Owen Training Facility, in cooperation with Miramar College, kicked off the 20th Heartland Fire Academy.

LAKESIDE FIRE BOARD VOTES TO OUST FIRE CHIEF

Move ignites anger among many community members; residents convene meeting Friday to discuss recall of Board members

 

January 20, 2010 (Lakeside) – By a 3-2 vote, Lakeside’s Fire Protection District on Saturday voted to oust Fire Chief Mark Baker, despite testimony from 18 members of the public who all spoke in favor of renewing Baker’s contract.

CAUSE AN ACCIDENT? SAN MIGUEL FIRE WANTS YOU TO PAY FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Miguel Fire Protection District voted Thursday to charge drivers who cause accidents for the costs of emergency services. Proposed fees range from $390 to $2,100. The plan has sparked heated debate among community members.

Chief August Ghio says similar measures have been imposed in other communities around the U.S., including North County Fire District locally. Fire districts in Lakeside and Chula Vista are considering similar moves, he added.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: POOMACHA BURN AREA MOST VULNERABLE

 

December 6, 2009 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for recently burned areas of Southern California and lists the 2007 Poomacha burn area among the most vulnerable locations. Heavy rains of one inch per hour are forecast, capable of producing debris flows in and below burn areas from noon Monday until 8 p.m. Monday evening.

Other areas included in the flash flood watch are San Diego County mountains, as well as mountain and valley areas in San Bernadino and Riverside County, as well as Santa Ana Mountains and Foothills. Areas below lands burned in the Sheep, Oak Glen, Pendleton, Cottonwood and Poomacha Fires are listed as most vulnerable to flash flooding and debris flows.

4 SAN DIEGO CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES VOTE TO INVEST IN FIREFIGHTING GRANTS TO BOOST FIRE PROTECTION; ISSA VOTES NO

 

November 18, 2009 (Washington, DC) – The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act passed by a 395-31 vote in the House of Representatives today, providing local firefighters with tools and resources to prevent and fight fires, enhancing community safety. At a time when many cities face budget shortfalls and cuts to basic services, the Act invests in programs that allow local fire departments to provide training, purchase equipment and vehicles, and hire personnel.

 

Among San Diego’s Congressional delegation, Republicans Duncan Hunter and Brian Bilbray voted yes, along with Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis, while Republican Darrell Issa voted no.

CONTROLLED BURN AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK WEDNESDAY; SMOKE MAY BE VISIBLE FOR SEVERAL DAYS

 

November 16, 2009 (Cuyamaca) -- Personnel from Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, in cooperation with CAL FIRE, will conduct a controlled burn on Middle Peak north of Cuyamaca Peak on Wednesday. Smoke and flames will be visible from many areas in the county due to high altitude location. Residents in Ramona will have an especially clear view, although the burn is many miles away.  The burn will begin about 9 a.m. and should conclude by 4 p.m., with patrol operations continuing for several days. Due to many dead trees in the burn area, smoke may continue to be visible for several days after the burn is completed.

OVER $27 MILLION FOR WITCH CREEK FIRE SURVIVORS RECOVERED BY CA DEPT. OF INSURANCE

November 10, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner yesterday announced that the Department of Insurance (CDI) has recovered more than $27 million from insurance companies for consumers. The recoveries were made through the department’s complaint process in the aftermath of the devastating Witch Creek fire in San Diego County that killed two people, destroyed 1,650 structures and burned more than 197,000 acres in Oct. 2007.

LAKESIDE FIRE CHARS 5 ACRES

 

November 4, 2009 (Lakeside) – A fire that started near San Vicente Reservoir shortly after noon charred five acres north of Lakeside. CAL FIRE dispatched five engines, two fire crews, one bulldozer, three air tankers, three helicopters and a chief officer to quell the blaze, assisted by Heartland Fire Agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

SDG&E, COX TO PAY $17 MILLION TO STATE OVER FIRE CLAIMS; DEAL DOES NOT AFFECT LAWSUITS BY FIRE VICTIMS

By Miriam Raftery


November 1, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has agreed to pay $14.3 million to the state to settle claims that its poor maintenance caused the 2007 Witch Creek, Rice, and Guejito fires, plus an extra $400,000 in reimbursement to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). SDG&E did not admit causing the fires, but did issue an apology for obstructing investigators seeking causes of the fires.

Cox Cable agreed to pay the state $2 million. “We believe that our line was properly maintained and intact prior to the Santa Ana winds in 2007, and did not cause the Guejito fire,” a Cox statement read. The PUC will decide after a public hearing in San Diego whether to approve the proposed settlement, which would be paid from company profits, not ratepayers.

Some community leaders expressed dissatisfaction at the news.  “It seems to be business as usual for SDG&E,” observed Donna Tisdale, Boulevard Planning Group chair. “Get caught lying, cheating, or failing to comply, refuse to admit guilt, give a half-assed apology, and write a big fat check that never reaches the impacted/damaged communities.”

BITTERSWEET REMEMBRANCE: A CEDAR FIRE SURVIVOR'S ANNIVERSARY ESSAY

An essay by Vickie Bradeen

 

October 26, 2003 (San Diego's East County)--Today is a day of bittersweet remembrance of October 26, 2003, when I watched the home I grew up in, my parents home of 34 yrs at the time, burn completely to the ground as the powerful, almost angry Cedar Fire consumed every inch of it right before my eyes.

THREE EAST COUNTY CITIES SIGN JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT FOR SHARED FIRE PROTECTION

 

Photos by Monica Zech

October 15, 2009 ) -- In La Mesa today, city leaders, fire department chiefs and staff from El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove, gathered for the official signing of a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement (JPA). This agreement will create a shared management team to coordinate fire and emergency medical services, firefighter training, fire prevention, emergency planning, and community preparedness.

FIRE EXPOS DRAW HEATED INTEREST AMONG AREA RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Leon Thompson and Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Fire safety expos were among the hottest attractions in East County recently, drawing thousands of visitors—all as part of National Fire Prevention Month.  In our region, which was devastasted by two of our state's worst wildfires in 2003 and 2007, it's clear that people take fire protection seriously--while also enjoying some free family fun at these extensive events.
 

“How fast can it go?” one child asked Barry Links, rescue medic with San Diego Fire Rescue, while clambering into a rescue helicopter at the Viejas Commumity Center. (Answer: 140 knotts, or 165 mph.) Links also demonstrated a hoist used in canyon rescues and showed how the vehicle can also suck up water from lakes “like a straw” to help dowse fires.

BETWEEN WILDFIRES: ASK QUESTIONS!

 

Part 1 of an 8-part Series

 

By Anne S. Fege, Ph.D., M.B.A., wildfire ecologist/educator and retired Forest Supervisor, Cleveland National Forest

October 13, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--By any accounts, we will always be “between wildfires” in southern California. That raises three wildfire questions that face San Diego. What will it take to keep houses from igniting? What will happen to nature, with repeated wildfires? What can we do, to live sustainably with wildfires and nature? These questions reflect the paradigm shift that is underway nationally, from wildfire prevention (Smokey, “YOU can prevent fires”) and wildfire suppression, to wildfire property risk reduction (knowing “how houses ignite” and retrofitting structures).

GOVERNOR VETOES BILL TO INCREASE FIRE PROTECTION

AB 666 WOULD HAVE REQUIRED COUNTIES TO ENSURE THAT FIREFIGHTING SERVICES EXIST BEFORE APPROVING NEW BUILDING SUBDIVISIONS

October 13, 2009 (Sacramento)--Governor Arnold Scharzenegger has vetoed legislation by Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) to require counties to ensure that adequate fire protection exists before approving new subdivisions in high fire hazard areas.

“I am very disappointed that the Governor chose to ignore the safety of firefighters and residents in very high risk areas,” said Jones, a candidate for state Insurance Commissioner. “My bill simply required counties to make sure there is adequate local fire protection before approving new subdivisions in high fire risk areas. This legislation would have avoided putting the lives of firefighters and the lives and property of homeowners at risk.”

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CAL-FIRE: MAKE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS VISIBLE

 

October 8, 2009 (San Diego's East County) -- October is fire safety month.  CAL FIRE reminds everyone who lives in the backcountry that State law requires that every building must have an address number posted. This number needs to be a minimum of four inches in height, contrasting in color to the background, and clearly visible from the street.

VIEJAS HOSTS FIRE PREVENTION DAY THURS. OCT. 8

 

October 5, 2009 (Alpine) – On Thursday, over 250 school children will join firefighters, tribal representatives, Smokey the Bear and Sparky the firedog from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for hands-on learning about the importance of fire safety. The event, held at Viejas Recreation Center in Alpine, is being held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week.

LIGHTNING FIRE HALTED IN PAUMA VALLEY

October 2, 2009 (Pauma Valley) -- CALFIRE reported a half-acre brush fire in the community of Pauma Valley off Rincon Ranch Road and South Mesa Drive. The fire was started by a lightning strike mid slope and burned uphill towards a grove.

 

The fire was reported at 3:22 p.m., however the spread of fire was halted at 3:37 p.m. Structures in the area were not touched.

 

WILL YOU BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE NEXT WILDFIRE STRIKES? SIGN UP FOR E-MAIL & CELL PHONE NOTIFICATIONS

 

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  ECM no longer recommends AlertSanDiego.  While the service does provide timely notification of emergencies targeted by zip codes, we have received complaints of SPAM, political mail and excessing mailings sent to subscribers of that service.

 

RED FLAG WARNING THURSDAY: CAL-FIRE BOOSTS STAFFING & EQUIPMENT DUE TO FIRE DANGER

 

September 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service in San Diego has upgraded its fire weather watch to a red flag warning. The red flag warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 1st throughout most of the County, includingi nland valleys and mountains.

 

Weak to moderate Santa Ana winds are predicted, with gusts of 25-35 and up to 50 mph in wind-prone areas. Relative humidity is projected to drop below 10% Thursday at most locations in the County, including coastal plains. Increased humidity is expected Friday as winds shift to the southwest.

SMALL BRUSH FIRE IN SPRING VALLEY

 

September 29, 2009 12:20 p.m. (Spring Valley)-- A small brush fire has been reported at 1502 Ramona Avenue in Spring Valley, Incident Protection Network reported at 11:26 a.m. The fire was reportedly heading uphill toward a home.

A dispatcher at Heartland Fire informed East County Magazine that the fire is not considered a threat and that all but one engine has been dismissed.

Had this fire posed a regional threat, our Viejas wildfire alert service would have been activated. If you are not yet signed up for these free alerts, you can subscribe using the button on the top right of our website.

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