wildfires

ON WILDFIRES’ ANNIVERSARY, CONCERN THAT RESIDENTS ARE LESS PREPARED

 

Photo by Miriam Raftery: 2007 Harris Fire in Rancho San Diego

Video by José Eli Villanuevahttps://youtu.be/kgnVYh3lQrM

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications

October 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- As firefighters struggle to get deadly wildfires under control in Northern California, San Diego County and City officials marked the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Wildfires and called upon residents to do their part to prepare for another emergency.

CHIEF’S CORNER: DEALING WITH WILDFIRE SMOKE EFFECTS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 12, 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.

Particulate matter generated from the smoke is the main public health threat during short-term exposure to wildfire smoke, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.

WINE COMMUNITY RALLIES TO PROVIDE AID AND RESOURCES TO FIRE VICTIMS



Wine industry organizations throughout California form support network to assist vintners in three counties; leaders call for national support

 

Photo: Twitter user RSLRutledge

 

October 11, 2017 (Santa Rosa) -- Wine industry leaders have formed a support network to provide immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California and are calling on the national wine community for additional help.  Organized by a group of association leaders representing the Golden State’s major winegrowing regions, support efforts include fundraising and creation of an online resource where vintners can find and offer resources, such as generators, trailers, lodging and manpower.

MAJOR CALIFORNIA FIRES SCORCH FEDERAL FORESTS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, AND MAJOR CITIES: L.A. COUNTY A DISASTER AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo left:  Los Angeles Air Ops via L.A. Fire Department; Jason Moore on Twitter

September 3, 2017 (San Diego) – The Border Fire near Dulzura is 100% contained. But across California, many far more major brush fires are blazing. Several local firefighting agencies have dispatched crews to aid in conflagrations across the state.

CHIEF’S CORNER: STRUCTURE TRIAGE DURNG A WILDFIRE

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 3, 2017 (San Diego) -- Have you ever wondered how firefighters determine which homes to defend and which ones we don’t during a wildfire?

As firefighters, we lay out our plans for the tactical operations before a brush fire by pre-planning our districts. During a brush fire, it’s imperative that we make quick but well-thought-out decisions that reflect life safety issues for both responders and citizens first, followed by property conservation.

POT GROWING OPERATIONS CAUSED SEVERAL MAJOR CA FIRES, BUT WILDFIRES ALSO POSE RISKS TO MARIJUANA FARMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2017 (California) – Growth in commercial-scale marijuana farming has created a new set of wildfire-related issues.  Several recent wildfires in California were caused by pot growing operations, Cal Fire reveals.  But in other western states, pot farmers are facing uninsured losses when wildfires threaten their crops.

SAN DIEGO CREWS SENT TO BATTLE MAJOR FIRES ACROSS CALIFORNIA: ACRES SCORCHED IN 2017 ALREADY DOUBLE LAST YEAR’S TOTAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

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.  

DRONE OPERATORS REMINDED NOT TO FLY NEAR FIRES

 

Drone impeded firefighting near Camp Pendleton fire for a full hour, officials say.

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.

GATE FIRE A REMINDER TO MAINTAIN DEFENSIBLE SPACE

 

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.

COMMUNITY WILDFIRE ACTION PLAN WORKSHOP MAY 6 IN DESCANSO

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2017 (Descanso) – Do you have a plan for reducing your wildfire risks and protecting your family and pets? The Descanso Emergency Planning/FireSafe Group is holding a workshop on Saturday May 6 from 1-3 p.m. at the Descanso Library (9545 River Drive in Descanso) to help families prepare for wildfires.

EIGHT BIG FIRES BURNING ACROSS CALIFORNIA

 

Photo: Clayton Fire in Lake County, courtesy of Cal Fire

East County News Service

August 15, 2016 (San Diego) – Cal Fire reports that over 8,800 firefighters are battling eight large wildfires in California.  None are in San Diego County, though hot dry conditions pose a significant risk. Below is an update provided by Cal Fire on the fires burning statewide:

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.

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.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: EIGHT THINGS TO DO BEFORE A WILDFIRE - IT'S NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION WEEK

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 4, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Don’t let recent rains fool you. This year's wildfire season isn't necessarily a new one, but rather a continuation of last year's, thanks to the drought. The National Weather Service is forecasting our first significant Santa Ana wind event of the season this week. Prepare now before conditions get worse!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: DON'T DROUGHT YOURSELF, IT'S TRUE

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Our state’s drought really is a state of emergency, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. The state is now around 40 million, and growing.  What happens when America’s most populous state runs low on its most precious resource for the fourth year in a row?

FEDERAL AGENCY POSITIONS FIREFIGHTING HELICOPTERS AT VIEJAS AS SANTA ANA WINDS, DROUGHT INCREASE FIRE RISK

 

 

View video:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c8rQTaZqUCa3pHNUZJaUdNQkk/view

Source: Viejas

October 5, 2014 (Alpine)--The Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A) has moved two of its firefighting helicopters from northern California to the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego County to position them for quick response as the wildfire threat increases across Southern California.

The continued drought conditions, extreme heat and Santa Ana winds forecast over the weekend have made San Diego County, and Southern California, ripe for wildfires and have prompted multiple agencies to be on high alert.

WILDFIRES WORSENING DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE: NEW WHITE HOUSE VIDEO

ANIMAL SERVICES RESCUES DOZENS OF ANIMALS FROM WILDFIRES

 

May 22, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Nearly all the animals rescued by the County Department of Animal Services during the recent wildfires are back home with their owners.  Animal Services rescued more than 50 animals when fires broke out across our region last week. In all six cats, four goats, 18 dogs, 21 horses, an emu and a bird were taken in to the department’s care. Only three cats remain. Animal Control officers also helped a couple dozen owners evacuate their horses to locations other than the shelters. Officers evacuated between 40 and 50 head of cattle from just one ranch alone.

CHAMBER WARNS OF FIRE INSPECTION, REPAIR SCAMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The East County Chamber of Commerce is warning members to beware of con artists preying on businesses.

“The Chamber is very concerned about the impacts of our recent disaster and we want to remind you that our staff and business community are available to assistance and support your business through hardships like these," said Eric Lund. He also warned business owners about a rash off “mandatory fire inspector con artists” going around to businesses who are not  with any fire department.

WILDFIRES SUPPRESS IMMUNE SYSTEMS IN BABY MONKEYS, STUDY FINDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Are babies and children at risk of suppressed immune systems from wildfire smoke?

A new study at the University of Califiornia, Davis, suggests this could be the case.

The study was conducted by the  University and by the California Air Resources Board. It looked at 25 young Rhesus Macaque monkeys born at the university’s Primate Research Center during summer of 2008, when smoke from over 2,000 fires that burned over a million acres drifted into the area. The monkeys born during the wildfires, and  who were living outdoors, were found to have suppressed immune systems.  Their blood samples were placed in tissue culture dishes, then exposed to disease pathogens—and showed reduced ability to  generate immune responses to diseases than blood from 25 other monkeys born a year later.

READER'S EDITORIAL: DRONE TESTING AREA CREATES HUGE LIABILITY, AND MANY QUESTIONS

 

By Dave Patterson

November 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – On September 24, the County Board of Supervisors threw their support behind a Southern California drone testing zone.  This rash decision puts San Diego County at risk for $2.7 billion in liability for the property alone if a Drone goes down and starts a fire in the back country.  The County Board of Supervisors need to rethink this position quickly, before the FAA opens our skies to drones for testing purposes, and put us all at risk.

ELEVATED FIRE RESTRICTIONS IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

June 26, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--Effective June 28, 2013 at 6:00 a.m., fire restrictions on the Cleveland National Forest will be 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. 

The purpose of fire restrictions is to reduce the risk of human-caused fires during high fire danger.  Fire restrictions impose limitations on forest users and are implemented only as deemed necessary to help prevent wildfires.

COURT SETS TRIAL DATE FOR WITCH CREEK/GUEJITO WILDFIRE VICTIMS

 

 

Cases have significance for ratepayers if jurors find SDG&E liable for punitive damages

By Nadin Abbott; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

June 21, 2013 (San Diego)—Six years after the Witch Creek/Guejito fires, which the California Public Utilities Commission found were caused by SDG&E’s lines, over 2,000 victims have reached settlements with SDG&E. But 16 victims have not settled or received any compensation from the utility for their losses.  Now a judge has ruled that some cases may proceed to trial.

At a court hearing on June 19, Judge Richard E. L. Strauss ruled that victims will finally have their day in court—in some cases, with a tort liability, all-issues trial. That could force SDG&E to pay punitive damages if a jury finds the utility was negligent and knew of fire hazards that it failed to correct.    

Judge Strauss has set a date for the all-issues trial to finally settle the remaining cases of the Witch Creek/ Rice and Guejito Fires of 2007. These were among the most destructive fires in San Diego history.

DON'T DELAY PAST MAY: IT'S TIME TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES

 

Residents Urged to Clear Defensible Space, Plan for Family Readiness

May 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – California has already seen 1,569 wildfires this year, about 500 more fires compared to the same period last year and 85 percent more fires than in an average year. With the long, hot and dangerous summer a real possibility, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and public safety officials today urged residents to protect their homes against wildfires by creating a 100-foot buffer zone.

“Now is the time to prepare for what is shaping up as a tougher-than-usual fire season,” said Supervisor Jacob. “The firestorms of 2003 and 2007 taught us that homes with defensible space are far more likely to survive than homes without it.”

FIRE OFFICIALS WARN OF A BUSY FIRE YEAR, ASK CITIZENS TO PREPARE

By Nadin Abbott

May 12, 2013 (El Cajon)—California Governor Edmund G. Brown declared the past week “Wildfire Awareness Week.”  On Thursday,  the top brass fromr Cal-Fire and San Diego Sheriff’s Department addressed the media. ECM also spoke with Lakeside Division Chief R. Laff.

All officials are urging San Diego residents who live in the urban-rural interface, as well as rural areas to be ready for a severe fire season that’s started early. So far Cal Fire has responded to more than 1,100 wildfires already, which is 500 more than normal for this time of year. According to Cal Fire Chief Cal Fire Chief Dale Hutchinson, Southern Region Chief 40,000 acres burned last week.

Officials are urging residents to get ready and maintain 100-feet of defensible space. This is not optional; it is the law, as Chief Hutchinson told us, for those in the urban-wildland interface. Also clean your gutters, and other places where dry vegetation might accumulate. If you do any remodeling, look into the latest fire resistant materials. In addition, remove all tree branches that are within six feet of your home.

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