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.
Photo courtesy San Bernadino County Fire Department
July 10, 2017 (San Diego) – It’s shaping up to be an extreme fire season. Over 6,100 firefighters are battling at least 14 large wildfires burning across California, CAL FIRE public information officer Issac Sanchez reports on behalf of CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham. The U.S. Forest Service is also battling numerous fires on federal forest and national park lands, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Updated July 10 with SDG&E response filed with CPUC
By Miriam Raftery
July 9, 2017 (San Diego) – Cox Communications and Cox California Telcom have filed a motion seeking limited party status in order to file a motion to strike what Cox calls “false and defamatory statements” that San Diego Gas & Electric Company made in its application to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) seeking authorization to recover $379 million in costs of the 2007 wildfires from ratepayers.
SDG&E fired back by filing a response calling Cox's argument "wholly disengenuous."
July 10, 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.
Photo: A CAL FIRE air tanker drops retardant on a fire in San Diego County. Image credit: Jeff Pack
July 10, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Hobbyist drones are a growing safety concern among local first responders fighting fires in the air and on the ground.
As we approach peak fire season, San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE San Diego Unit officials are reminding hobby drone operators to steer clear of wildfires. Drones put first responders’ safety at risk, and they stop or slow firefighting operations.
July 7, 2017 (Jamul-Dulzura) – The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group meets on Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Oak Grove Middle School Library, 14344 Olive Vista Drive in Jamul. Hot agenda items include a County presentation on road improvements and use of federal Bureau of Land Management property by shooters after the Gate Fire.
The agenda also includes a cell tower permit proposed at Mother Grundy and a Jamul Indian Village update, as well as officer announcements and reports.
July 5, 2017 (Lakeside) — An inmate firefighter has suffered a life-threatening injury after he lost control of a chainsaw that cut his leg, Fox 5 reports.
The firefighter was working at the scene of a brush fire that began around 1:30 p.m. near Olde Highway 80 and Los Coches Road in Lakeside. Mobile homes were briefly threatened before firefighters got the blaze under control.
July 2, 2017 (Lakeside) – A mother and sons are homeless after a fire that began with a vehicle striking a commercial building next door spread into their residence yesterday. A GoFundMe page has been started to assist the victims, For: LaVonne Kraus, Tory Rodriguez, Richard Rodriguez, Jesse Rodriguez. The Solis Hair Salon has also been heavily damaged.
July 1, 2017 (Escondido) – CAL FIRE law enforcement officers on Thursday arrested Jose Duran Aguirre, 31, a transient in Escondido, on arson charges. He is accused of recklessly setting fire to a forest land and for discharging an emergency signaling device in a manner other than the permitted use.
All fireworks are illegal in San Diego County; use can result in $50,000 fine or jail time
Source: Cal Fire
July 1, 2017 (San Diego) - With the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaching, CAL FIRE is reminding everyone to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks. Two out of five fires on the 4th of July are caused by fireworks, more than any other cause of fires. The majority of these incidents are related to either the use of illegal fireworks or state-approved fireworks that are used incorrectly. All Fireworks are illegal in San Diego County including state-approved fireworks.
Update 12:05 p.m. - The fire is now 30% contained, per Cal Fire.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Gloria Chadwick
June 27, 2017 (Dehesa) -- Cal Fire's incident commander reports that forward spread has been stopped on a 20-acre brush fire in Dehesa. The Sloane Fire started at Sloane Canyon east of Dehesa Road in East County mid-morning.
Update: Cal Fire has corrected the size of this fire to 46 acres based on more accurate mapping. Evacuated residents have been allowed to return home.
East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service
June 25, 2017 2:15 p.m. (Mesa Grande) – A brush fire burning in Cleveland National Forest has scorched 75 acres and is now threatening two homes, Cal Fire reports. The blaze began on Black Canyon Road near the Mesa Grande Reservation, about a mile north of Lake Sutherland in Ramona.
The fire is burning at a moderate rate of spread and is zero percent contained. Cal Fire is battling the blaze along with U.S. Forest Service firefighters. #BlackFire.
Photo: Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Paul Rios by Anselmo Ruiz-Nevarez
June 25, 2017 (Lakeside) -- “You talk to Martians?” That’s a question Lakeside Amateur Radio Club chairman KC6QLS said they have been asked. He and the club members were setting up, from antennas to canopies, for Field Day on June 23. Field day is ham radio’s open house, so to speak, and runs from June 24-25. KC6QLS followed up with the answer “They’re not answering.” Part and parcel for what they get asked.
June 23, 2017 (Julian-Shelter Valley) – A planned power outage is scheduled starting at 9 p.m. on Monday night, June 26 through 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 27 in the Shelter Valley area and the outskirts of Julian; a majority of the customers are in the eastern Julian area surrounding Banner Grade, SDG&E has announced. Julian’s downtown historic district will not be affected.
The outage is needed to replace older power lines and equipment to make the system more weather- and fire-resilient.
Below is the notice from SDG&E with full details for customers in the affected areas:
June 21, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Run up three flights of stairs in heavy firefighter boots--in the heat wave. To walk in someone else’s shoes, or firefighter’s boots, can be eye opening and “deepen” your respect for what these men and women firefighters are required to do. The opportunity to learn what Heartland Fire & Rescue does on a routine basis was extended via their first-ever Fire Ops 101 class held Saturday, June 17th, at their Thomas H. Owen Sr. training facility in El Cajon.
June 21, 2017 (Julian) -- Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is at risk. Choices appear to be (1) Do nothing and persevere until finances force it to dissolve; (2) Voluntarily dissolve and allow the Fire Authority to take over; (3) Increase the Benefit Fee to cover the rising costs and remain viable as an independent/volunteer fire department.
June 19, 2017 (San Diego) – Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez has asked media to remind the public about several new laws passed by California’s Legislature last summer to address problems raised by drones that interfered with firefighting, including causing delays by firefighting aircraft. Under the new laws, anyone whose drone interferes with emergency personnel can be charged with a misdemeanor and if their drone is damaged or destroyed in the process, they will not have legal recourse to hold emergency responders liable.
Photo, left: Michael Johnson volunteered to lead cleanup efforts to keep shooting range open on public land.
June 16, 2017 (Jamul) -- A fire alarm going off at the Oak Grove Middle School, where the Jamul Dulzura Community Planning Group held its June 13th meeting, provided a jarring start to the session at which fire danger was top of mind for many present.
June 10, 2017 (Jamul-Dulzura) -- The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group's meeting on Tuesday night will include a discussion of concerns raised by the Gate Fire, including shooting on Bureau of Land Management property. Also on the agenda are a Jamul Indian Village update and the County's strategic plan to reduce waste in unincorporated areas.
June 4, 2017 (Ramona) -- State Route 78 will be closed for 10 days between Weekend Villa Road to Indian Oak Road between Escondido and Ramona, starting on Friday, June 9th at 6 a.m. through Monday, June19th.
Photo of Gate Fire, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
May 28, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Aiming to prevent more wildfires, the federal Bureau of Land Management yesterday announced a ban on target shooting, campfires and other high-fire risk activities by issuing State III fire restrictions for all BLM-managed public lands in San Diego County and other Southern California areas.
After a wet winter, warming temperatures are quickly drying out the abundant annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by the high volume of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of San Diego County This suspension takes effect May 26, 2017 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.
May 24, 2017 (Dulzura) – Back on in early April, Supervisor Dianne Jacob wrote to three officials at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management urging them to close down public shooting in and around Donohoe mountain in Dulzura. Her requests were ignored, and last weekend, the Gate Fire that starting by a shooting range in the area charred over 2,000 acres, caused evacuations of residents and an exhaustive response by fire officials and first responders to keep the public safe.
By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: The San Diego region is more prepared for wildfires this year than it has ever been and residents need to do their part to lessen their risk and be ready to evacuate if it is recommended.
May 23, 2017 (San Diego) - This past weekend’s Gate Fire should have ended any lingering thoughts that the year’s ample rains dampened San Diego’s wildfire threat and the need to maintain defensible space around your home.
Photo by Bryan Snow, taken from State Route 52 in Santee
May 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – A brush fire yesterday afternoon scorched approximately 13 acres in Mission Trails Regional Park. The blaze began at Big Rock and was burning toward Cowles Mountain, Jay Wilson with Mission Trails Regional Park’s Foundation told ECM.
As a result of the wildland fire, three trail heads are temporarily closed: The trail heads at Big Rock Park, Big Rock Road and Shantaung Drive are temporarily closed. The trail heads from Mesa Road, Lake Murray Blvd. and Barker Way are open.
Photos by Cynthia Wharton, taken yesterday from Otay Lakes Road just before it was shut down.
May 21, 2017 – A criminal arson investigation has been launched into the cause of the Gate Fire, which has charred 2,056 acres and is now 70% contained.
Captain Isaac Sanchez with Cal Fire told ECM news partner 10 News that a video shot by a target shooter and posted on social media shows a group of people starting the fire. The video may be this one posted by a user named Vandalsworld on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BUVtlvSBN0r/?hl=en. The poster claims the people started the fire, but it is unclear whether the fire was started by shooting or some other way. After the fire started, the people could be seen walking away from the scene.
Earlier, some neighbors had blamed the fire on shooters at a target range near where the fire began, in an area where shooting is believed to have started several prior brush fires. But now a shooter may have captured evidence to catch possible arsonists or careless individuals whose actions ignited the Gate Fire.
Firefighters continue to make progress towards full containment, Cal Fire reports. State Route 94 has been reopened, as well as Otay Lakes Road. Please drive with caution, however, in this area.