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BANNER FIRE SWELLS TO 2,500 ACRES; NO STRUCTURES LOST

Update May 25, 2012-7:45 a.m. - The fire is now 2,500 acres and 20% contained.  There have been no reported injuries to firefighters and no structures were damaged or destroyed.  

Cal-Fire reports there are currently 36 engines, 17 fire crews, 3 bulldozers, 9 water tenders, 4 helicopters and 6 airtankers (393 firefighters).  Shelter Valley residents have been allowed to return home.

BANNER FIRE BURNING EAST OF JULIAN


May 24, 2012 (Julian) – The “Banner Fire” which started at 2:14 p.m.  has burned four to five acres thus far east of Julian near the Banner Grade. 

“The fire is located in an area known as Cigarette Canyon close to the location of last year’s `Great Fire,’” Battalion Chief Nick Schuler say, adding that the blaze is spreading at a “moderate rate.”

Webcam image from Volcan Mountain:  http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/L/sy-av8185-1_3.jpg

SECOND BORDER FIRE NEAR DULZURA


May 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A border fire in Jewell Valley that has been burning for several days is now 100% contained.  However a new fire erupted this afternoon on Marron Valley Road near Dulzura.  The new fire, known as Border Fire #7, is now 70% contained and its spread has been stopped, according to Cal-Fire.

Border Fire #7 has burned about 25 acres in the U.S. and 15 in Mexico.  The Incident Commander has released three fire crews and all air-tankers assigned.

SPREAD OF FIRE STOPPED ON U.S. SIDE OF BORDER; I FIREFIGHTER HAS MINOR INJURY

 

May 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- The spread of a 600-acre fire that has burned over 15 acres on the U.S. side of the border in the Jewel Valley area has been stopped, CAL-FIRE reports.

 “There is extensive mop up on this portion of the incident, and crews will be committed well into the night,” said Roxanne Provaznik with CAL-FIRE. “The fire is still spreading eastward in Mexico.  We will continue to monitor the fire activity in Mexico to determine any threat.”

There is one minor heat-related injury to a firefighter.

600 ACRE FIRE HAS BURNED INTO U.S. FROM MEXICO

Update 1:20 p.m. - The fire has burned 15-20 acres on the U.S. side of the border, Incident  Page Network and Cal-Fire report.  Additional strike forces teams were ordered however Cal-Fire Roxanne Provaznik now states that good progress is being made on the fire and that two of four air tankers have been released. 

May 17, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--CAL FIRE/San Diego Fire Authority is on the scene of a brush fire along the U.S./Mexico border.  The fire in Mexico is approximately 600 acres and has just crossed into the U.S. 

SPECIAL MEETING ON FIRE PARCEL FEE IN SAN DIEGO WEDNESDAY

 

May 15, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--The California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire) plans to hold a special meeting this Wednesday to receive public input on draft regulations as part of ABX1 29, better known as the $150 annual parcel tax or "triple" fire tax for properties within the state’s area of responsibility. 

 

The meeting will be held this Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors chamber at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway in San Diego. 

WILDLAND FIRE EXERCISES MAY 10-12 AT BARONA RESERVATION, FLINN SPRINGS DURING MONTH OF MAY

 
May 10, 2012  (Barona) -- San Diego County’s Annual Wildland Fire Exercise will be held this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 10, 11, 12) on the Barona Reservation. There will be dozens of fire apparatus traveling on the highways of Lakeside on their way to Barona who is hosting the event this year.
 
 

CHIEF GHIO TO RETIRE; MAY STAY ON AS INTERIM CHIEF AT SAN MIGUEL

Update May 6:  Staff has now recommended that Chief Ghio be kept on at up to 40-hours a week (maximum of 960 hours through Dec. 31), which the District refers to as "part-time."  Under the plan he would be paid his existing hourly contract rate as an annuitant in addition to his pensions.  The Board next meets on Wednesday, May 9 with public session at 6:30 p.m.

By Miriam Raftery

May 5, 2012 (Spring Valley) – In a letter submitted to the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District board, Fire Chief August”Augie” Ghio has announced he will retire May 16th. His letter leaves open the possibility of being rehired as Interim Fire Chief while the District weighs whether or not to outsource its fire services to the state through Cal-Fire.

The prospect has led to some heated commentary.

22ND HEARTLAND FIRE ACADEMY GRADUATED

May 2, 2012 (El Cajon) -- The 22nd Heartland Fire Academy graduation was held April 28th at the Ronald Reagan Community in El Cajon. A total of twenty-four graduates successfully completed 16-weeks of intense firefighter training at the Heartland Training facility in El Cajon in conjunction with San Diego Miramar College. The San Diego Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums Band led the graduates in as the ceremony began.

CAL FIRE DEDICATES WARNER SPRINGS STATION

 

April 28, 2012 After more than 60 years of service, the Warner Springs Fire Station has been replaced by a state of the art facility. The $2.7 million dollar facility was funded by a state bond.

 

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD VOTES TO MOVE FORWARD ON PROPOSAL TO OUTSOURCE FIRE SERVICES TO CAL-FIRE

"What they did tonight is unconscionable."  --Board member Criss Brainard

"We have to fix this now." --Board President Chris Winters

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Despite unanimous testimony by the public and firefighters in opposition, the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District board voted 4-3 tonight to enter into negotiations with Cal-Fire and with labor to turn firefighting services over to the state agency.

DONATED AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT TO AID WITH COMMUNICATION IN A DISASTER IN EAST COUNTY

 
Story by Paul Rios
Photos by Billy Ortiz and Dennis Richardson
 
View a video by Billy Ortiz of this presentation
 
April 13, 2012 (Lakeside)--A once in a lifetime opportunity between the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club and The Lakeside Fire Department arose when the newly built Fire Station #2 was nearing completion.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT HOSTS COMMUNITY MEETING APRIL 17 TO DISCUSS OUTSOURCING SERVICES TO CAL-FIRE

April 9, 2012 (La Mesa) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District will host a community meeting from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on April 17 at Foothills United Methodist Church, 4031 Avocado Blvd., La Mesa.  The meeting will provide residents a State of the District presentation and discuss the Request for Proposal submission from CAL FIRE for the outsourcing of the district’s fire protection. 

AGUIRRE: SDG&E PLAN TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE COSTS IS "DONE DEAL"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outraged? Scroll down to learn how to take action.

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2012 (San Diego) Updated April 10, 2012-- At the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) public meeting this week in San Diego, Administrative Law Judge Maribeth Bushey and CPUC Comissioner Timothy Simon heard from hundreds of area residents, including tearful testimony by numerous victims of the 2007 firestorms.  Some held twisted burned remnants of their lost homes. Others recalled friends who perished in the flames. 

But the most explosive testimony came from former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who declared, “This decision is already made.”  He then leveled accusations that the two CPUC represenstatives present, Commissioner Timothy Simon and Administrative Law Judge Maribeth Bushey, are beholden to SDG&E and subverted the legal interests of fire victims and ratepayers.  

“CPUC MUST REJECT PROPOSAL TO STICK RATEPAYERS WITH TAB FOR 2007 FIRES,” JACOB SET TO ARGUE

 

Supervisor warns of ‘purchased’ testimony from groups receiving SDG&E funding

SAN DIEGO— San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is set to ask state regulators to reject a proposal by SDG&E that would force ratepayers to shoulder the costs of the 2007 wildfires and future wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission is holding public hearings on the matter tomorrow at the Al Bahr Shriners Memorial Auditorium, 5440 Kearny Mesa Road, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT PURCHASES NEW EQUIPMENT WITH GRANT FUNDS


March 31, 2012 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District is pleased to announce the purchase of new carbon monoxide detectors and a new roof ventilation prop. 
The funds to purchase these new advanced items were made possible through grant awards received from two local grant sources, San Diego County Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Fund and the San Diego Regional Fire and Emergency grant.

CAL FIRE SUBMITS PROPOSAL TO TAKEOVER FIRE SERVICES FOR SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT

 
March 26, 2012 (Spring Valley) –Cal Fire has submitted a request for proposal (RFP)to San Miguel Fire Protection District, the only agency to do so by yesterday’s deadline.
 
A committee appointed by the District will begin reviewing the proposal March 26 to assure that it meets minimum standards, or metrics, previously determined. The review committee will present its findings to the San Miguel Fire District Board at a March 28 meeting.

 

BRUSH FIRE IN OTAY

March 25, 2012 (Otay) A brush fire that began in a canyon at 5353 Airway Road in the Otay area is being fed by heavy winds, Incident Page Network reports.  A helicopter has been requested to aid with water drops at 4:56 p.m.

CPUC TO HOLD 2 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION HEARINGS ON SDG&E REQUEST TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE COSTS

 

March 16, 2012 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold Public Participation Hearings regarding the request of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company to establish a Wildfire Expense Balancing Account for recovery of wildfire-related costs. Two hearings will be held on April 5 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the  Al Bahr Shriners Center, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd., San Diego.

 

CAL FIRE EXPLAINS EXIT DRILLS IN THE HOME (E.D.I.T.H.)

 

March 14, 2012 (San Diego County) -- E.D.I.T.H. stands for EXIT DRILLS IN THE HOME and CAL FIRE wants to know if you have a home fire escape plan. If not, draw one up today. Discuss with your family the following strategies: Always sleep with the bedroom door closed, and know two ways out of every room. If the smoke detector goes off (or if you see or smell smoke) feel the door for heat before opening it. If the door is hot, use your alternate escape route. Crawl low in smoke, and meet in a predesignated location. Call 911 from a neighbor's house.  Remember once you’re out, stay out.  Be fire safe, not sorry!

 

PARADISE PLUNDERED: BOOK REVEALS POLITICAL MISMANGEMENT HAS LEFT SAN DIEGO REGION STILL VULNERABLE TO CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE

 
By Walter G. Meyer
 
What residents of East County are likely to find most frightening in this book is how the head-in-the-sand attitude left—and still leaves—the entire region vulnerable to the next firestorm. Erie and his co-authors make clear that almost nothing has been done to make the inevitable fire any less cataclysmic. – Walter G. Meyer
 
March 7, 2012 (San Diego)--Paradise Plundered is not a fun read. Far from it. The book will likely leave the reader angry at past mismanagement by San Diego elected officials and frustrated at mistakes that local government seems about to make--with little likelihood that they will avoid the same pitfalls that have dotted San Diego’s landscape like potholes left unfilled due to budget cuts. 

SAN MIGUEL FIRE EXTENDS RFP DUE DATE

 
 
March 2, 2012 (Spring Valley)--The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District has received a request from an interested agency for an extension of the due date for a Request for Proposal (RFP) submission for outsourcing of fire services.  That request has been approved, district spokesman Leonard Villareal confirms. The Addendum documents that the new due date is March 23, 2012 at 4 p.m.  

CAL FIRE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: GREASE FIRES

 
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
 
March 1, 2012 (San Diego) -- Never put water on a grease fire, slide a lid sideways away from you, using the lid as a shield, over the pan - or use baking soda. CAL FIRE warns that you or your home could catch fire if you do not remember this simple technique. Never move a pan with burning contents from the stove - that can spread the fire.  Be fire safe, not sorry!

CPUC WILL HOLD HEARING IN SAN DIEGO APRIL 5 ON SDG&E REQUEST TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE COSTS

February 24, 2012 (San Diego)—San Diego County residents will finally have a chance to tell the California Public Utilities Commission what they think about San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposal to charge ratepayers $463.9 million for the utility’s uninsured losses due to the 2007 wildfires caused by its poorly maintained power lines.

Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon will hold a public participation hearing on April 5 from 4-9 p.m. at the Al Bar Shriner Auditorium , 4330 Kearny Mesa Road in San Diego.

The announcement follows a February 21, 2012 “Turko Files” KUSI TV investigative report which revealed over a dozen private meetings in which SDG&E executives wined and dined CPUC Commissioner Simon,  who is acting as a judge on this matter:  http://www.kusi.com/story/16988213/almost-anything-goes.

BURNING ISSUE: SAN MIGUEL MAY OUTSOURCE FIRE SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Facing a $1.3 million budget deficit, San Miguel Fire District has announced it will accept request for proposals (RFPs) to potentially outsource services including firefighting and fire prevention—core operations for the beleaguered district.

The news ires some district residents, who contend that taxpayers are getting burned.

LEGAL ACTION BY FIRE VICTIMS SEEKS TO BLOCK SDG&E EFFORT TO FORCE RATEPAYERS TO PAY WILDFIRE COSTS INCURRED BY UTILITY

 2 other utilities have withdrawn requests to make ratepayers pay for wildfire damages

By Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—A motion has been filed on behalf of 2007 wildfire victims whose properties were destroyed or damaged in the 2007 Witch Creek, Guejito and Rice Canyon Fires caused by San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s power lines. 

The motion claims SDG&E did not provide proper notice to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) about a proposed “wildfire expense balancing account” – a rate hike that would force the public including fire victims to pay SDG&E’s uninsured liability costs for massive wildfires that it caused.

BRUSH FIRE AT CAMP PENDLETON

February 9, 2012 (Oceanside) – A major brush fire, now 25 acres, is burning on Camp Pendleton at Las Flores Road and Range 21, Incident Page Network reported at 10:21 p.m. Fire officials have requested strike teams immediately with mutual aid from Escondido and Vista Fire Departments.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A DISASTER? REGISTER TO HELP YOUR COMMUNITY AS A CERT VOLUNTEER

 
February 1, 2012 (El Cajon)--The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is all about being prepared for a disaster, such as an earthquake, firestorm or house fire. This FREE preparedness education program offers residents the knowledge and tools they'll need in the event of a disaster.  The first academy is now full, but there are two more academies being offered for 2012.  Pick the one that best fits your schedule, and call (619) 441-1737 to register.  Please leave your name and best contact phone number.  Hurry, classes will fill quickly.  

 

RAMONA MAN ARRESTED FOR ARSON, ACCUSED OF SETTING WILDFIRE IN HUNTING PRESERVE

February 1, 2012 (Ramona) – The California Department of Fish and Game announced today that its wardens have arrested Jacob Thogmartin, 26, of Ramona on suspicion of setting a fire in a wildlife area filled with hunters early Saturday morning. The blaze, which extended into the night, charred 650 acres.

RED FLAG WARNING: HIGH FIRE DANGER SATURDAY FOR EAST COUNTY

January 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Saturday due to high winds and warm, dry weather that will create “explosive fire growth potential.”

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