By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
October 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service (NWS) issues Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches to alert fire departments and land management agencies about the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and fuel moisture conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. This could be due to low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, or any combination thereof.
October 6, 2012 (San Diego) – The Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council will host its 6th annual “Play to Protect” Charity Golf Tournament on October 20 at The Vineyard Golf Course, 925 San Pasqual Rd., Escondido. The event begins at 1 p.m. and features a fun day of golf and a selection of auction items and raffle prizes.
October 4, 2012 (East County, San Diego) -- Heartland Fire & Rescue will be hosting three Fire Open House events on Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Lemon Grove, El Cajon and La Mesa.
This is an opportunity to receive free safety tools and important lessons for you and your children.
October 4, 2012 (San Diego) – County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg wishes to advise all property owners whose property was damaged or destroyed during the recent Shockey Fire that property tax relief is available. This tax relief program requires the reassessment of the property to reflect its damaged condition. The reduced value will remain in effect until such time as the property is rebuilt or repaired.
October 4, 2012 (Campo) – As CAL FIRE neared containment on the 2,851 acre Shockey Fire burning near the community of Campo in San Diego County, firefighters credited new technology in the success of the incident. For the past year, firefighters have been aided by the development of a new project called Next Generation Incident Command System, or “NICS”. The new technology is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Labs with major participation from CAL FIRE. Especially this year with the increased fire activity, CAL FIRE has been the perfect test bed for the new technology.
Six wildfires earlier this summer in East County were caused by target shooting
By Miriam Raftery
October 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire investigators have pinpointed the origin of the Shockey Fire to an area where illegal target shooting was taking place on state land near Shockey Truck Trail, Mike Mohler of Cal Fire informed ECM today.
Investigators are not yet certain that shooting caused the fire, but if so, the shooter could be held liable for damages including loss of 11 homes and death of an elderly resident, Mohler confirmed in an exclusive interview with ECM. Cal-Fire urges anyone with information on the Shockey Fire to call the Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408.
By Nadin Abbott
October 2, 2012 (Alpine)-- An Alpine firefighter was overcome by heat at a house fire on Via Dieguenos Road. According to Battalion Chief Brad Rushing, Alpine Fire Department, the firefighter was overcome partly due to the triple digit high temperatures that prevail in the area. He was taken care of by field medics and transported in stable condition as a precaution by a Viejas medic unit to the hospital.
September 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal-Fire reports that a 4-acre grass fire off Matthew Court in Ramona has been halted, with no damage to structures. In addition, the Skyline Fire in Jamul has been stopped at a quarter of an acre west of Lyons Valley Road and Mountain Valley Road.
September 27, 2012 (El Cajon) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will offer a fire-wise gardening seminar with Greg Rubin, native plant expert from California’s Own Native Landscape Design. Cost is $20 for members, $28 for nonmembers. The program will be held on Saturday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.thegarden.org/calendar/index.php
September 28, 2012 (San Diego) – You don’t know where you’ll be when the next wildfire or other major emergency hits San Diego County. But this week’s destructive Shockey Fire is our latest reminder that emergencies do happen here.
Starting today, you can download SD Emergency to your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet to get critical emergency information wherever you are. The app is designed to keep residents and their families informed and safe throughout events likely to affect the region, such as wildfires, or potential threats, such as damaging earthquakes or terrorist events.
By Miriam Raftery
September 27, 2012 (El Cajon ) – It was the hottest party in town last night at the El Cajon Brewing Company, where a “Beer Bash Benefit” was held to raise funds for East County Magazine’s wildfire reporting and to encourage the public to sign up for ECM's free Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.
The event raised nearly $3,500, including a generous $2,500 donation from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. Charlie Brown, director of Community Relations for Viejas, and Chief Don Butz of Viejas Fire were on hand to make the presentation.
The following details were provided in a press release from the district, which has been plagued by budget shortfalls, contentious public meetings, and labor-management disputes in recent years.
September 27, 2012 (Spring Valley) -- The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors voted onSeptember 25 to approve a Cooperative Service Agreement with CAL FIRE. The Board voted unanimously to approve the five and a half-year agreement. Board President Chris Winter said, “This Cooperative Agreement allows the District to proceed with a balanced budget, maintain the current level of service for our residents and provide for the long-term viability of the District.
September 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The Shockey Fire is now 100% contained, after destroying 11 homes, 14 outbuildings, and 11 vehicles. The blaze also claimed the life of an elderly resident and injured three firefighters.
By Nadin Abbott
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott
September 26, 2012 (Boulevard)—Around five in the afternoon, as the sun was starting to set, the first residents of Boulevard’s Tierra del Sol neighborhood began to come home. There was anxiety in some faces, as well as relief on others, as they learned what state their properties were in –and whether their homes had survived the devastating 2,850 acre Shockey Fire that destroyed 11 homes and claimed the life of an elderly man.
September 29, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Fire Protection District is looking for community volunteers who want to be trained as CERT members. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. CERT members learn how to protect themselves, their family and their community in the event of a major disaster.
September 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The Shockey Fire is now 95% contained. The fire, which claimed the life of an elderly resident in the Tierra del Sol area of Boulevard, a community founded a century ago for railroad workers.
After conducting an assessment in the area, Cal Fire has confirmed 11 homes burned and 14 outbuildings, with two additional structures damaged. That’s an improvement over earlier Cal Fire estimates, which had indicated 20 homes and 15 outbuildings were believed lost. In addition, 11 vehicles have been destroyed and two firefighters were injured.
Survivor Resource Center at Jacumba Library Will Be Open through Saturday
A Local Assistance Center (LAC) for residents who suffered losses in the Shockey Fire will be open starting Wednesday at the Jacumba Library, 44605 Old Highway 80, 91934.
The Assistance Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 26, 27, 28 and 29. It is open to anyone who lost a home, suffered property damage or is otherwise impacted by the Shockey Fire. The site will assist residents with information, basic needs, and referrals to programs and services.
Red Cross will also join partners at County's Local Assistance Center Wednesday
September 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--In response to the Shockey Fire, American Red Cross disaster workers are continuing shelter operations at Mountain Empire High School located at 3305 Buckman Springs Road, Pine Valley, 91962.
The Red Cross will also be joining the County’s Local Assistance Center (LAC) for residents who suffered losses in the fire. The LAC will open beginning Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Jacumba Library located at 44605 Old Highway 80, 91934. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 26, 27, 28 and 29.
September 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The Shockey Fire has scored 2,850 acres and is now 55% contained, Cal Fire reports. There has been one injury to a firefighter as well as the death of an elderly resident reported yesterday. Twenty homes have burned, all in the Tierra del Sol area of Boulevard, as well as 15 outbuidlings. Another 10 structures were damaged by the fast-burning wildfire. About 25 residences remained threatened this morning.
Damage assessment is now being conducted by authorities. The objective today is to continue to build containment lines on the northern and southern flanks. At 6 p.m. today, the evacuation order for Tierra del Sol will be lifted and residents only will be allowed to return, with ID.
Fire has scorched 2,450 acres and is now 40% contained, 25 homes still threatened in Tierra del Sol area. View map of fire
By Miriam Raftery
September 24, 2012 (Boulevard) –A charred body has been found at the burned residence of an 82-year-old disabled man, who did not leave despite reverse 911 calls made in the area advising residents of mandatory evacuation orders. Neighbors told ECM news partner 10 News that deputies and firefighters were searching for Carson Robinson, who was missing after the Shockey Fire roared through his neighborhood on Tierra del Sol Road in Boulevard.
“It’s extremely prudent upon homeowners to definitely heed the warning and exit the premises as quickly as you can,” Cal Fire Captain Richard Cordova told ECM, indicating that this tragedy may have been preventable.
REGIONAL OFFICIALS UNVEIL FIRE FIGHTING INNOVATION: INCREASE SMOKE CAMERAS, ADD TECHNOLOGY TO SEE THROUGH SMOKE
County, Cal Fire, City, SDG&E and UCSD Share Technologies to Enhance Fire Safety
September 24, 2012 (San Diego)_ – Innovative emergency response equipment and technology were showcased on Wednesday, September 18 when San Diego regional leaders gathered at Montgomery Field airport to promote cooperative disaster response efforts among government, university and private sector agencies.
By Miriam Raftery
September 24, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire reports this morning that an estimated 20 homes have been destroyed and another 10 damaged, along with approximately 15 outbuildings. The fire is now 2,000 acres and 10% contained.
Homes lost are all in the Tierra del Sol area, Mike Mohler of Cal Fire told ECM. “We’re going to go out right now to compile a list of the addresses,” he said when asked for details on locations of residences that burned.
“Tierra del Sol and Jewel Valley remain evacuated and are still threatened,” Roxanne Provaznik of Cal Fire said in a release issued at 6:50 am. Highway 94 is closed between the Shockey Truck Trail east to Jewel Valley.
By Nadin Abbott
September 23, 2012 (Campo)-- On arrival at the Golden Acorn Casino, a plume of smoke rose in the distance.The wildfire, named Shockey Fire by CAL-Fire, was making swift progress east towards Jacumba. Some residents forced to evacuate were looking on, concern etched on their faces, as the thick billows rose into the sky.
Update 12:10 a.m. September 24 -- Due to the wildfires, all schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District will be closed on Monday Sept. 24.
Update 11:45 p.m. – The Shockey Fire has swelled to 2,000 acres and is 10% contained, Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Mike Mohler advises. Evacuation advisory for Jacumba; structure threat and evacuations continue for Boulevard and Tierra del Sol communities. Numerous structures are damaged or destroyed; Southwest power grid is also threatened.
September 23, 2012 (San Diego's East County)Update 5:10 p.m. - The Shockey Fire has topped 1,000 acres, IPN reports. Numerous outbuildings have burned, Cal Fire confirms. Scanner traffic now indicates that at least four homes have burned in the Tierra del Sol area.
SDG&E reports that the Shockey Fire has left 183 customers without power in Live Oak Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba. Powerlines have burned and some lines are down.
Jewel Valley is under mandatory evacuation orders following earlier evacuations of 77 homes in Tierra del Sol.
The Evacuation Center has been changed to Mountain Empire High School, 3305 Buckman Springs Road. If you need help evacuating large animals, call 619-767-2675 or 619-236-2341.
By Miriam Raftery
September 23, 2012 (Boulevard) – Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale has provided ECM with a dramatic eyewitness account of the Shockey Fire, which started on the Campo Reservation just west of her home in Boulevard. Power and phone lines have burned down, she reports, adding that the area has no cell phone reception.
“A Deputy showed up to warn us and recommended evacuation.We stayed and the fire raged through parts of our Morning Star Ranch and our son's property next door. Together we have over 300 acres--much now looks other worldly, stark and smoldering,” wrote Tisdale, who sent photos taken from her property.
FOR UPDATES ON THIS FAST-GROWING FIRE, SEE OUR NEW STORY POSTED HERE:
ALSO CHECK OUR HOMEPAGE FOR POTENTIAL NEW STORIES LATER AT www.EASTCountyMagazine.org.
Update 1:40 p.m.: The Shockey Fire is now over 100 acres and spreading rapidly to the east, being driven by a southwest wind, Cal Fire’s Roxanne Provaznik reports. The Incident Commander has requested 5 additional engines, 4 additional airtankers, 2 additional water tenders, and 1 additional bulldozer. There are structures out ahead of the fire but they are not immediately threatened, per Cal Fire.
By Nadin Abbott
September 21, 2012 (Julian) -- Firefighters from across the region converged on Farmer’s Road, a narrow country lane on the north side of Julian to fight a brush fire that has been contained at 20 acres.
Camp Stevens, as well as the residents of Farmer Road were evacuated as a precaution, however no structures burned.
September 21, 2012 (Julian) -- Cal-Fire is at the scene of a 15-acre brush fire in Julian at Wynola Road and Farmers, caused by a motorcycle-down accident. An ECM reporter is en route to the fire.
Evacuation of 25 homes will be done as a precaution, though no structures have burned, Mike Mohler with Cal Fire told ECM.
By Fire Chief Dan DiGiovanna
It’s not just the health concerns and power outages associated with hot days…we are stepping right into our first high pressure system of the season and if you ask any fire service authority, all will agree this will be an extremely dangerous fire season according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.