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