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EVACUATIONS ORDERED IN CHIHUAHUA VALLEY; FIRE NOW 900 ACRES

 

August 9, 2012 (Warner Springs)--Reverse 911/AlertSanDiego contacted residents in Chihuahua Valley at 10 p.m. to tell them sheriff's deputies would be conducting mandatory evacuations due to the Chihuahua Fire. Residents need to be prepared to evacuate when called upon by deputies to do so.

Residents will be able to evacuate to Warner Springs High School at 30951 State Route 79. Large animals will be able to evacuate to Love Acre Ranch at 35490 State Route 79.

All residents are asked to remain aware of their surroundings and to stay tuned to local radio and television stations for updates. If you require emergency assistance with evacuating or have another emergency call 911. For all other information call 211. 

TWO FIRES MERGE IN WARNER SPRINGS AREA, EVACUATION CENTER OPENED

Update 9:05 p.m. - 6 airtankers and 6 helicopters have been ordered for first light in the morning.

Update 8:40 p.m. : The Chihuahua Fire is now 900 acres and 0% contained.  There are 31 engines, 12 fire crews, 4 water tenders, and 3 bulldozers and approximately 230 firefighters.  More resources have been ordered, says Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik.

 August 9, 2012 (Warner Springs) – The Chihuahua Fire near Warner Springs has swelled to 275 acres and may soon merge with another blaze, the West Branch Fire, near Santa Ysabel, ECM has learned. 

BRUSH FIRES IN PALOMAR AND OCEANSIDE; CHIHUAHUA FIRE NOW 100 ACRES

 Update 6 p.m. - The Chihuahua Fire is now in the Warner Springs area, threatening to jump firelines, Cal Fire reports. The blaze is 125 acres.

August 9, 2012 – A major brush fire at  Highway 79 and Chihuahua Valley Road in the Poway area is now more than 100 acres.  The likely cause was a lightning strike, Cal Fire reports.  Traffic control is in effect with access limited to residents only.

A second fire just south of the Chihuahua Fire is now 25 acres in size, spreading rapidly. Additional strike teams and crews have been dispatched to the scene.

In addition,  a brush fire at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside is burning in a heavy stand of trees, with smoke affecting traffic on I-5.

2 LANES REOPENED ON I-8 EAST AFTER CREWS SLOW BRUSH FIRES IN ALPINE

Update:  3:40:  Cal Fire has cancelled resources not yet at the scene; fires have totalled less than half an acre, per latest estimate.  Two lanes of I-8 east have been reopened, CHP reports.

Update 3:25 p.m.: Multiple small fires are burning on both sides of Alpine Blvd., Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik reports.  The fire is spreading slowly and there are no immediate threats to structures. 

ANOTHER WIND TURBINE FIRE –THIS TIME, IN TEHACHAPI

 
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Donna Moran
 
August 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – For the second time this summer, an industrial wind turbine sparked a grass fire in Southern California. On Friday night, July 27, a large wind turbine burst into flame in the Tehachapi are above the Mohave Desert. In June, as ECM previously reported, a wind turbine fire in the Whitewater area of Riverside County spread into a wildland fire that charred 367 acres and forced evacuation of homes.

FIRE FEES JEOPARDIZE MUTUAL AID, FIRE DISTRICTS ASSOCIATION WARNS

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2012 (Sacramento)—The Fire Districts Association of California has sent a letter to its members advising that the State is preparing to notify property owners within State Responsbility Areas (SRA) of the new $150 annual fee for fire prevention services under Assembly Bill 29—even if people are within an existing fire district.

“The local fire districts are placed in the unenviable position of shouldering the day to day expenses of providing services, while onerous fees are imposed on their constituents without any direct benefit to the jurisdictions,” states the FDAC, which opposed the bill and warns that the measure could imperial public safety.

SEE SMOKE? BRUSH FIRE BURNING IN SOUTH RIVERSIDE COUNTY

 

Report provided by Sam Giovanna, East County Magazine’s in-house fire chief

August 1, 2012 (San Diego) – A brush fire burning in Murrieta near the San Diego County border at La Cresta/Camp Pendleton has charred 400 acres.  As of 9 p.m., the blaze in 50% contained. Smoke drift is visible in northern San Diego County.

Cause of the fire was motorized equipment used to clear brush, Cal Fire investigators have found.

CAL FIRE: WIND TURBINE GENERATOR CAUSED WILDLAND FIRE THAT CHARRED 367 ACRES

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – With County Supervisors poised to consider approval of Tule Wind and a wind ordinance that could open much of fire-prone East County to wind energy development, a wildland fire that started at a wind turbine facility in Riverside County last month provides fuel for opponents concerned about fire risks posed by industrial-scale wind projects.

“The fire started with the windmill itself,” Captain Greg Ewing with Cal Fire/Riverside Fire Department informed ECM today.

Despite extensive area cleared around the base of each  turbine, Ewing said, the blaze still spread into a wildland fire that swiftly engulfed 367 acres. If not for prompt reporting by a witness, it could have been far worse.

FROM THE CHIEF’S CORNER: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST

 
East County Magazine In House Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
July 30, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Though right now we are concerned of the high fire danger it’s important to remember disasters both natural and manmade can strike at any given time according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna of East County Magazine.
This checklist (whether at home or work) should help you prepare for most any emergency says DiGiovanna. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

HEARTLAND FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 
July 27, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- The Fire Chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue in El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove, Mike Scott has announced his retirement. His final day will be July 29, 2012. He had been the Fire Chief for the City of El Cajon since June of 2005, and became the Heartland Fire Chief, overseeing the three cities, in October of 2009.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SURVIVING A POWER OUTAGE

 
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
July 26, 2012  (San Diego's East County) -- Though a power outage can occur from a simple malfunction in the system, human error or a traffic accident involving a power pole. Keep in mind, this is the time of year when it is important to prepare for power outages. Excessive heat warning may cause utility companies to issue “rolling brown outs.”  The summer monsoon season can bring electrical storms causing power disruptions.  Most importantly as we approach Fall, the Santa Ana Winds bring a multitude of threats such as wildfires, but also power outages from downed powerlines. A power outage can be extremely annoying and inconvenient, but it won't be a horrible experience if you're prepared for the worst.

SIX BRUSH FIRES CAUSED BY SHOOTING FIREARMS IN EAST COUNTY; CAL FIRE ASKS BLM TO BAN SHOOTING DURING FIRE SEASON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Revelations that six wildfires in the past six weeks have been caused by recreational shooting in East County has caused a firestorm of controversy.  

Cal-Fire, joined by residents of  Dulzura, Potrero and other areas bordering the Otay Wilderness area have asked the federal Bureau of Land Management to ban shooting on its properties within San Diego County for the duration of this year’s expected severe fire season.  

JAMUL FIRE KNOCKED OFF BY A MULTI AGENCY FIRE RESPONSE

 

Story and photos by Nadin Abbott

July 25, 2012 (Jamul)-- A brush fire that began at or near 128480 Proctor Valley Road in Jamul shortly after 4 p.m. was knocked down by a  massive, multiple agency response that included over 100 firefighters from at least a half dozen fire departments.

 The road at Proctor Valley Road and Echo Valley Road was hard- blocked, preventing access to the scene this evening. It is a narrow road, and heavy fire equipment needed the room to maneuver. Authorities indicated it was also shut down on the Chula Vista side.

FIRE BURNING IN JAMUL NEAR MT. MIGUEL

Update 5:20 p.m.: The fire's forward spread has been stopped at 20 acres, Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik reports. No structures were burned. Proctor Valley Road remains  closed between Chula Vista and Jamul. Echo Way is also closed but should be opened soon. 

LARGE FIRE NEAR CA MEXICO BORDER IN THE BOULEVARD AREA

Update, 6:20 p.m.: Smoke south of I-8 is from fire on the Mexican side of the border, per CalFire. A Border Patrol agent told ECM the fire was about two miles south of the international border. 

July 24, 2012 (San Diego Border) -- ECM editor, Miriam Raftery reports seeing a large fire in the area of Boulevard at the California/Mexico Border. The fire is centered south of Jewel Valley Road in Mexico. Smoke and flames can be seen for miles. Please stay advised for further information.

DEHESA WILDFIRE

 

July 22, 2012 --  According to CalFire, the forward spread of the Dehesa brush fire at 4700 Dehesa Boulevard has been stopped. The fire is holding at 15 acres. Smoke may still be seen from Crest, and surrounding areas.

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: WATER SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna,  East County Magazine “In-House” Fire Chief
July 21, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--The hot weather is among us and many of us will (or already have) head for the water… Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water also can be dangerous for kids if you don't take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. And most drownings occur in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. 

1,500 ACRE FIRE IN MEXICO


July 20, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A 1,500 fire burning in Mexico is putting up a lot of smoke visible across East County, but poses no current threat to the U.S., Cal-Fire spokesman Mike Mohler told ECM.  

The fire is currently burning southwest of Otay Mountain.  It did cross briefly into the U.S. late today, burning approximately one acre in a creek bed.  “We have one engine out there keeping an eye on it,” Mohler added. 

FIRE IN MEXICO SOUTH OF DULZURA NOW 500 ACRES

Update 8:45 p.m. -- This border fire is burning in the Tecate creek in Mexico. Cal Fire crews on the U.S. side estimate it at 500 acres.

July 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A 30-acre fire is burning in Mexico, just south of Marron Valley Road and Otay Truck Trail.  A Cal-Fire official informed ECM that the agency has crews monitoring the situation.

An ECM reader advises that air tankers have arrived to battle the blaze.

BRUSH FIRE DOUSED IN LA MESA

A brush fire that began near High Street at Buena Vista Avenue in La Mesa tonight briefly threatened homes and sent smoke billowing up that was visible on SR-94.  The fire was quickly doused by Heartland Fire, however High Street is closed for mop-up. 

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: FLASH FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

 

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine “In-House” Fire Chief
July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--We are in our summer “monsoon season” which can quickly and unexpectedly bring flash floods.More people lose their LIVES in floods than in any other weather-related event. 80% of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake - trying to navigate through flood waters.

FIRE ON CAMP PENDLETON TOPS 130 ACRES

 

Update:  As of late last night, the fire was 300 acres and 60% contained.  Training exercises are believed to have caused the blaze, ECM has learned. No structures are threatened.

July 16, 2012 (Camp Pendleton) – A brush fire on Camp Pendleton is generating smoke visible from across North County.  As of 8 p.m., the fire has grown to over 130 acres, Gunnery Sgt. Paul McQuigg told the North County Times. 

BRUSH FIRE NEAR PIO PICO CAMPGROUND

 

 Update: This fire was stopped at two acres; cause remains under investigation per Cal-Fire, the Deerhorn Valley Antler reports.

July 16, 2012 (Jamul) – A brush fire is burning behind Pio Pico Campground in the Jamul area, Incident Page Network reports.  According to IPN, the fire began at 14615 Otay Lakes Road. Cal Fire reports there is no threat to structures. Air support is at the scene.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT PICKS ITS NEW CHIEF

By Paul Kruze

July 13, 2012 (Spring Valley)--By a unanimous vote by the board of the San Miguel Fire District (SMFD) and a badge pinned on his chest, then sealed with a kiss by his wife, former Division Chief Gary D. Croucher was installed as the District’s newest fire chief on Wednesday evening at the board meeting.

View a video clip of the appointment:  http://vimeo.com/45691689

WILDFIRE DOUSED NEAR HOMES IN LAKESIDE

 

Photos and Video by Billy Ortiz

July 12, 2012 (Lakeside) – A brush fire briefly threatened homes at I-8 and Los Coches Road near in Lakeside early this afternoon.  Thanks to a full wildland fire response, the blaze was extinguished in about 20 minutes. 

"As I traveled up Los Coches Road, I spotted flames and smoke near a housing track. I called 911 and they dispatched fire crews.  Within 5 minutes  fire engine crews were on the scene," said ECM photographer Billy Ortiz, who shot this dramatic video as firefighters battled the blaze and concerned residents looked on.

CHIEF’S CORNER: LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

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.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER WATCH: THUNDERSTORMS, FLASH FLOODS, HEAT & FIRE DANGER

 

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.

BRUSH FIRE IN DULZURA

 

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.  

POWAY BRUSH FIRE KNOCKED DOWN BY FIRE CREWS

 
By Nadin Abbott
Photos Nadin Abbott
 
July 10, 2012 (Poway)-- A fire that started along Metate Lane and Carriage Road in Poway was knocked off fairly fast by fire crews from multiple agencies.
 
According to John Canavan, Division Chief of the City of Poway Fire Department, the fire started at 11:45 a.m. yesterday. It was a grass fire near homes, that burned eastwards towards Community along the road, pushed by a ten to fifteen mile wind.
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