September 14, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Lightning strikes have ignited two small brush fires in Shelter Valley, between Julian and Borrego Springs, Cal Fire confirms.
By Billie Jo Jannen
For East County Magazine
September 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--As the state legislative session came to a close with the usual last minute hustle to get bills passed before midnight Friday, rural residents narrowly escaped a rewritten state fire fee that would have increased many property owners’ bills by hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars per year.
The bill, dubbed SB1X7 in the senate and ABX 1 24 in the assembly is far from dead, however, and could be reintroduced in the new session, which starts Jan. 4, 2012. Meanwhile the Dept. of Finance plans to begin sending bills to property tax owners this fall under the plan originally approved.
September 9, 2011 (Spring Valley) 5:25 p.m. – A half-acre fire is burning in Spring Valley. According to Heartland dispatch, the fire began in the 8700 block of Central Way. Forward spread has been stopped.
Another fire torched a quarter-acre along I-15 at Adams Avenue but was swiftly put out by San Diego Fire and Rescue a short time ago.
September 8, 2011 (In-ko-pah) – I-8 westbound has been ordered to shut down due to a five-acre brush fire burning in light, flashy fuels half a mile from In-ko-pah along I-8. In-ko-pah is located east of Jacumba near the San Diego County-Imperial County line.
September 8, 2011 (Spring Valley) – 2:50 p.m. – A residential structure fire that started in a split level home at Grand and Eucalyptus has spread into adjacent brush, Heartland Fire Dispatch has just confirmed. Wildland fire air support is en route. Mutual aide firefighting units from Santee and La Mesa have also been called to the scene.
September 8, 2011 (Rancho Bernardo) – A brush fire that started at West Bernardo Drive on the west side of I-15 scorched approximately three acres this afternoon, briefly slowing traffic. The fire is now out; cause is under investigation.
September 6, 2011 (Spring Valley)—Two fires briefly threatened homes this evening in Spring Valley. A careless cigarette has been blamed for one blaze, while the other appears to be natural in cause, according to Leonard Villareal, spokesman for the San Miguel Fire District.
September 1, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--Effective today, fire restrictions on the Cleveland National Forest have been moved to the “Elevated” level. The increase in fire restrictions is due to dryer fuel conditions, higher temperatures, and the likelihood of small fires becoming larger fires.
August 31, 2011 (Pala) -- The Pala Fire is now 100% contained, Cal-Fire spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik confirms.
Total cost to fight the fire exceeded $1.8 million. Total acreage burned is estimated at approximately 233 acres. The acreage has been down-sized from earlier estimates due to more accurate mapping, according to Cal Fire.
Update 5 p.m. - All fires are out and traffic is flowing as firefighters douse remaining hot spots.
August 30, 2011 (Alpine) 3:30 p.m. -- A Sig Alert has been issued for I-8 through Alpine, where several small brush fires along the freeway have been burning. According to Cal-Fire, three of the four blazes are now out and Cal Fire is making "good progress" on a fourth, Roxanne Provaznik at Cal Fire reports. A total of 10 acres has been burned.
August 30, 2011 (Pala) - The Pala fire is 60% contained, with full containment expected today and complete control by tomorrow at 6 p.m. Thus far costs to fight the 300+ acre fire have exceeded $404,000, according to Cal-Fire spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik.
Update 9 p.m. - The forward spread of the fire was stopped at 75 acres (downgraded from earlier estimates on acreage). A total of ten engines, 4 fire crews, 2 airtankers, 3 helicopters, 1 bulldozer, 2 water tenders, 3 Chief Officers and 100 firefighters have worked to battle the blaze, Cal-Fire reports.
Update 11 p.m. – The Pala Fire is now 40% contained. A Red Cross Evacuation Center is set up at 12194 Pala Mission Road at the Jim Banks Sports Complex. Evacuation advisories have gone out to an additional 79 homes this evening within the following Thomas Bro. map pages/grids: page 999, grids G2 through G5, H2 through H5, J2 through J5 Page 409, D5 and E5 Total 79 numbers.
Update August 29, 2011 - According to the Cleveland National Forest Inciweb http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2541/ the fire is 40 percent contained and has burned 120 acres. The Deerhorn Valley Antler confirms planes are continuing to scoop water to combat the blaze today. Cost to fight this fire was $200,000 and lightning was the cause.
Update 8:30 p.m. (Barrett Junction)--Fire is now 100 acres with forward spread stopped for "several hours" according to Cal-Fire. Firefighters will be doing mop up through the night. Deerhorn Valley Antler reports approximately half of acreage is BLM land other half Cleveland Forest. 250 firefighters, 7 engines, 11 crews, 6 air tankers, 6 helicopters, 1 dozer, 4 water tenders. Air support returning to stations.
August 24, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – A brush fire that started south of Highway 94 along the Bell Valley Truck Trail near Potrero this morning charred approximately 20 acres, Cal Fire reports.
A quick response that included 7 engines, 5 fire crews, 3 helicopters, 4 air tankers and 125 firefighters swiftly contained the blaze.
STATE FIRE BOARD REDUCES FIRE PARCEL FEE, EXTENDS CREDITS TO HOMEOWNERS ALREADY PAYING LOCAL FIRE FEES
By Miriam Raftery
August 23, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Rural homeowners will pay a fire parcel fee of $90 at most, and in many cases considerably less. Statewide, the total annual fire parcel fee will average just $30 under emergency regulations approved yesterday by the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
That’s substantially less than the $150 per parcel allowed under the state budget signed into law that was estimated to raise $50 million in fire parcel fees, raising new questions of how to stem the budget gap.
August 23, 2011 (Otay) 1:20 p.m. -- A wildfire is burning on Otay Mountain, Incident Page Network reports. Currently the blaze is approximately one acre and burning at a slow rate of speed.
August 20, 2011 (San Diego) –State Supervisors are firing back after the state slashed spending for firefighting services and enacted a fire parcel fee on rural residents.
“Public safety in the San Diego region will be jeopardized as a result of these significant funding reductions,” Supervisors stated in an August 17 letter sent to Governor Jerry Brown and San Diego’s state legislators. “Cutting CAL FIRE funding is not a prudent solution to resolving the State’s budget crisis and will pale in comparison to the costs incurred by the State to respond to the next major wildfire.”
Update 12:36 p.m.: Spread of the Bullpen Fire has been stopped at four acres. The Incident Commander has released the airtankers, 1 helicopter, and the bulldozer. Firefighters will remain on scene mopping up hot spots. One minor injury to a firefighter, a bee sting, was reported.
August 20, 2011 (Lakeside)CAL FIRE is on scene of a two-acre brush fire near 1154 Bullpen Street, near the community of Barona (TB Map 1193 A4). Currently there are 5 engines, 2 fire crews, 2 helicopters, 2 airtankers, 1 bulldozer, 1 chief officer (75 firefighters).
The fire was reported at 11:49 and the cause is under investigation.
August 15, 2011 (El Cajon)—Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire Authority has experienced a major increase of fires caused by recreational shooting across the County. To date, CAL FIRE/San Diego has had 10 fires caused by target shooting this year, up from only two the prior year.
“There are two types of rounds that we have recovered at the some of these locations,” Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohlere reports, “the first being a Russian made bullet with the caliber of 7.62 x 54R and the other being a 5.56 X 45 caliber used in a M4 rifle." Both are either steel tipped or steel cored bullets which can cause fires when they strike rocks or come apart, he added.
August 9, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--To ensure that your telephone call gets through to family, friends and loved-ones during an emergency or disaster, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers these helpful tips.
It is important for consumers to keep in mind that during an emergency, many more people are trying to use their wireless and wireline telephones at the same time when compared to normal calling activity. When more people try to call at the same time, the increased calling volume may create network congestion.
Suspects are Los Coyotes tribal members--and one was a former ERTC employee
August 5, 2011 (Warner Springs)-- Eagle Rock Training Center (ERTC) has issued a statement to media following the arrest of two suspects charged with arson related to the Eagle Fire, which scorched over 14,500 acres and ran up over $15 million in firefighting costs. Below is Eagle Rock's statement in full:
Heartland Fire & Rescue, serving the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove Fire Departments, now has a new website: www.heartlandfire.org. The website incorporates information on emergency preparedness, fire prevention, photos, and current fire department news.
August 4, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- Two men have been arrested for arson in the Eagle Fire investigation, Cal-Fire announced this afternoon. A joint law enforcement investigation between Cal Fire law enforcement, Los Coyotes tribal police, San Diego County Sheriff and the District Attorney's office led to the arrests today of Jeremy Joseph Ortiz and Jesse James Durbin. Both men are 23 years old.
August 4, 2011 (San Diego's East County) ---Two fires are burning in Mexico, with smoke visible across portions of East County. According to Cal-Fire Captain Mike Mohler, the blaze is approximately seven miles south of the border but poses no threat to the U.S. at this time. One is south of Potrero/Tecate, the other south of the Otay area.
August 1, 2011 (Santee)--A brush fire that began at 8756 Mast Boulevard near West Hills High School spread into nerby vegetation, Incident Page Network reported at 4:09 p.m.
At 4:35 p.m., Heartland Fire & Rescue dispatch confirmed that the fire, which began between the high school and the ball field, is now out.
Update: View a video of the goat-run.
July 29, 2011 (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 one-half acres of land near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas. Goats will be used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush and creating defensible space for homes in this area.
ELM will begin work Saturday morning, creating a staging area and paddock at the end of Lawton Drive. The public is welcome to come by between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. There will be a small nursery of baby goats for children to see, and ELM Operations Manager Johnny Gonzales will prepare his goats for the traditional “running of the goats” starting at 9:00 a.m.
Photos by Daren Sefcik
July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Full containment is expected tomorrow on the Eagle Fire, which has now charred 14,100 acres. Cal Fire has determined that arson caused the fire, but has not disclosed details pending completion of an investigation.
The Borrego Palm Canyon Campground in Anza Borrego Des ert State Park and the Lost Valley Boy Scout Camp re-open today.
Supervisors to vote on legal challenge of $150 assessment on rural properties
By Billie Jo Jannen
For East County Magazine
July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--As County supervisors mull a possible lawsuit over a state plan to bill rural property owners $150 per dwelling, CalFire officials say the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection will take public input through Aug. 22 on how and which rural residents will be charged the new fee.