By Sam Giovanna
East County Magazine’s in-house fire chief
July 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) --Following proven safety guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death from lightning strikes.
Lightning safety tips
The following tips are provided by the American Meteorological Society and the National Lighting Safety Institution.
July 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for San Diego’s inland areas that includes multiple perils. An excessive heat warning continues, with temperatures up to 118 degrees forecast for desert areas.
In addition, thunderstorms are possibly Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, producing lightning, gusty winds, hail and light to moderate rainfall. A flash flood watch has also been issued, as well as a fire weather watch.
Update: This fire has been stopped at two acres.
July 12, 2012 (Dulzura)—Cal Fire and San Diego County Fire authority are on the scene of a two-acre grass fire south of Highway 94 near the Border Patrol checkpoint in Dulzura (TB Map 1313 E2). The fire is spreading moderately upslope in a south easterly direction.
READER’S EDITORIAL: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: SDG&E FAILS TO PROVIDE MITIGATION FUNDS FOR FIRE SEASON—AFTER ENERGIZING POWERLINK AND RAISING FIRE DANGER
By Catherine Gorka, Lakeside
July 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--Many residents of the East County /back county have received a letter from the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Grants Program telling us about the grant program.
The funds for this program should have been given out prior to the line being energized. Instead, funds if approved will not be given out till work is done, and grant money will not even be approved until the end of August -- well into high fire danger season.
Update 7:50 p.m. - A resident at the scene reports the fire is now under control and nearly extinguished.
Update 5:39 p.m. - Incident Page Network reports the fire is now 15 acres, spreading fast and moving toward structures.
July 9, 2012 (Lake Morena) – A three acre fire is burning off Bass Road in Lake Morena, Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler has informed ECM. “It sounds like crews can hold it,” said Mohler, who called while on the road.
Two additional air tankers and one additional helicopter have been ordered to assist in dousing the blaze, he said. “There are structures in the area but as of now, they are not threatened.”
Update 1:46 p.m. - The fire is now 8 acres and is 90% contained, Incident Page Network reports.
July 9, 2012 (1:25 p.m.) -- A fire that began at Metate Lane and Carriage Road in Poway shortly before 1 p.m. today has grown to seven acres, Greg George, Emergency Resource Officer at San Diego Fire Department told ECM. "It is still in fairly light fuel but it is growing," he said.
July 9, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Effective immediately, Cal Fire has issued a no-burn proclamation for all state responsibility lands in San Diego and Imperial Counties. All open burning is banned and campfires are restricted to designated campfire facilities in established public campgrounds.
July 8, 2012 (Rancho San Diego)-- Rancho San Diego- San Miguel firefighters along with Cal Fire held a wildland fire in Rancho San Diego today to half an acre.
The fire started in a gulley west of Campo Road at Jamacha Blvd., an area that contains several homeless camps. Discarded clothing and debris burned along with brush and grass, San Miguel Fire reports. Cal Fire is conducting an investigation into the cause.
The Heat is On! Triple digit temperatures expected beginning Sunday and into next week!
July 8, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- If you work or play outside in the summer or areas that are warm all year you should know about heat stress safety tips. Heat stress is caused by over exposure to hot climates. You might not think it is possible but you can suffer from heat related injuries inside as well as outside. Heat stress occurs when your bodies core temperature rises above normal. Follow these heat stress safety tips to prevent an accident.
July 8, 2012 (Spring Valley)—San Miguel Fire District’s Board of Directors will consider the possible appointment of Gary Croucher to become the District’s new Fire Chief. Croucher, a 26 year district veteran, has been serving as Interim Chief since Chief August Ghio suffered serious injuries in a mid-May motorcycle accident, just four days before Ghio’s announced retirement. Read Croucher's full bio.
The Board will also discuss two retired annuitant temporary employment contracts, one for Ghio as a special projects consultant, the other for Amy Wrightson as an administrative specialist.
Update 10:30 p.m. The fire is now 20 acres and additional resources have been ordered to the scene.
July 7, 2012 (Otay) – Cal Fire is at the scene of a vegetation fire reported at 8:20 p.m. just east of Otay Mesa in Tin Can Canyon, a remote area. The fire is currently 3-5 acres; no structures are in the vicinity.
Cause is under investigation, said Battalion Chief Nick Schuler.
July 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal-Fire has stopped the forward spread of a two-acre brush fire that started in the 14000 block of Otay Lakes Road near the Thousand Trails Campground at Pio Pico.
By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery
June 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Multiple fires in Mexico are threatening homes and a penitentiary tonight, ECM has learned. Late this afternoon, Cal Fire informed ECM that the agency is monitoring the fire in Mexico, which at that time was eight miles from the border.
Alfredo Escobedo, state director of Civil Defense, told ECM that the fires are burning on three fronts. The first is in Loma Toba, near the state jail, about 20 km (12 miles) east of Tecate, a border town. The blaze, which has consumed 100 hectares, has burned to within 10 yards of the jail wall.
June 27, 2012 (San Diego's East County) --A brush fire in Mexico is sending up large billows of smoke visible across much of East County. According to Cal Fire spokesman Mike Mohler, the fire is burning eight miles south of the border.
"We dispatched two units to the scene and there is no threat to the U.S. at this time," Mohler told ECM at 3:35 p.m.
June 27, 2012 (Rancho San Diego) – Two teenagers have been arrested for suspicion of iintentionally setting a vegetation fire yesterday. The blaze briefly threatened several units at the Woodbridge Apartments, as well as six vehicles parked along the canyon rim. The wildland fire was reported at 5:30 p.m. yesterday in the 10800 block of Calle Verde.
Update 11 a.m. -- The fire is now 80% contained. Base officials say live fire operations started the blaze, which has charred 250 acres.
June 27, 2012 (Oceanside) – A brush fire that started yesterday has scorched over 200 acres. According to the North County Times, the blaze started north of the base and was 15% contained late yesterday. No structures were threatened.
“The fire is still active. As of 5:30 a.m. the Camp Pendleton Fire Dept. did not have a percentage of containment," ECM’s in-house Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna , author of the From the Chief’s Corner column, advised. "Today will be warm and the possibility of “flare-ups” may occur and/or intentional “burning out” targeted areas which ‘may’ or may not cause smoke drift."
Update 10:32 a.m. - The fire is holding at 3 acres and aircraft have been dismissed, according to Cal Fire.
June 24, 2012 (Dulzura) – Cal Fire reports at 9:51 a.m. that a 2 to 3 acre brush fire is burning in Dulzura. The fire started near Marron Valley Road in terrain difficult for ground crews to access. Additional air power has been ordered to the scene.
June 22, 2012 (Deer Springs) – Cal Fire and San Diego Fire have stopped a two-acre brush fire that started midmorning near Circle R Drive in the Deer Springs area. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. No structures were threatened or lost.
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
East County Magazine “In - House Fire Chief”
June 21, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Don't assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.
Here are additional tips to take to protect your home and your family:
Story and photos by Nadin Abbott
June 20, 2012 (Jamul)-- The fire that started this afternoon around the Thousand Trails Campground damaged no structures, and burned about 30 acres. According to Mike Mohler, Public Information Officer for Cal Fire, it was "wind driven, with light fuel."
Early reports mistakenly informed media that the fire started in a structure, based on a caller who reported the fire and believed it to be in a structure.
By Miriam Raftery
June 17, 2012 (Lemon Grove)—It was a sweet victory for Lemon Grove Firefighters Saturday night, when driver Joe Lavigne climbed out of his smashed-up vehicle to claim his department’s trophy. Lemon Grove entered two cars in the Firefighters’ Demolition Derby at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar—and both made it into the final round.
View our video of the final round by clicking above.