Wildfire News

GREEN FIRE 75% CONTAINED: WITNESSES RAISE QUESTIONS OVER HOW FIRE STARTED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2017 (Cuyamaca) -- The Green Fire is 75 percent contained at eight acres as of 10:30 a.m., Cal Fire reports.  The grass fire began yesterday afternoon near the Green Valley Falls campground area in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, not far from State Route 79.

A witness, who asked that his name not be published, told East County Magazine that he and his wife were hiking on the Harvey Moore Trail moments before the fire started and saw several people in the meadow.  Arriving at the parking lot and learning of the fire, the witness says the saw the people -- a couple and a third inidividual, get into an SUV and drive away.

WILDFIRE RELIEF CARAVAN TO LEAVE FROM EAST COUNTY ON FRIDAY; DONATED ITEMS NEEDED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2017 (El Cajon) –“The unimaginable destruction of the ongoing northern California wildfires that have taken homes, schools, and lives has proven devastating to thousands upon thousands of families,” says Nancy Padilla, one of three East County women organizing a caravan of relief supplies to help fire survivors. “The daily images from this historic disaster have been both heartbreaking and terrifying, leaving those affected with literally nothing in the way of personal possessions. This week we will be collecting much needed supplies that will be transported by us to the affected area next weekend, and hope that many of our friends and supporters will be able to contribute to our efforts. Every little bit will help, and however much you can spare, in whatever form you give it, is meaningful and will make a difference,” she adds.

31 DEAD, HUNDREDS MISSING IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Courtesy of Cal Fire

October 12, 2017 (San Diego)—The complex of nearly two dozen firestorms raging across northern California have now collectively surpassed in deadliness the 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 16 people in San Diego County. 

At least 31 people are now confirmed dead across northern California and the toll will likely climb higher, with hundreds of people still missing and dozens of official searchers combing the rubble of burned homes and businesses with dog teams, searching for bodies.

CHIEF’S CORNER: DEALING WITH WILDFIRE SMOKE EFFECTS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- Wildfires seem to be burning daily in almost every county. You may not live directly in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) however you will likely be impacted by the large amount of smoke generated by these fires.

Particulate matter generated from the smoke is the main public health threat during short-term exposure to wildfire smoke, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.

WINE COMMUNITY RALLIES TO PROVIDE AID AND RESOURCES TO FIRE VICTIMS



Wine industry organizations throughout California form support network to assist vintners in three counties; leaders call for national support

 

Photo: Twitter user RSLRutledge

 

October 11, 2017 (Santa Rosa) -- Wine industry leaders have formed a support network to provide immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California and are calling on the national wine community for additional help.  Organized by a group of association leaders representing the Golden State’s major winegrowing regions, support efforts include fundraising and creation of an online resource where vintners can find and offer resources, such as generators, trailers, lodging and manpower.

WILDFIRES TO OUR NORTH - ARE YOU READY HERE?

 

BRUSH FIRE NEAR BORDER IN TECATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts Service

Photo: Skott Dehla Crozz on Brush Fire Partyline's Facebook Page

October 9, 2017 (Tecate) – A brush fire is burning just south of the border in Tecate, Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez advised in a phone interview with East County Magazine.  Cal Fire has positioned resources on the U.S. side of the border to prepare in case the blaze crosses over.

“I've seen 4 fire trucks heading out the 94,” Candie Wemple said in an email to East County Magazine. Posts on social media indicate black smoke is visible from Campo, Potrero and Barrett Junction.

GAS LEAK IN CREST

 

Source: San Miguel Fire District

October 9, 2017 (Crest) -- At approximately 8:40 a.m. this morning, a driver lost control of their vehicle on the 2200 block of La Cresta Rd in Crest and crashed into a residential gas meter. The driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Due to difficulty in securing the gas leak, La Cresta Rd could be closed up to 12 hours, into this evening.

1,500 STRUCTURES BURNED AS INFERNOS RAGE ACROSS NORTHERN CA FIRES: GOVERNOR DECLARES EMERGENCIES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

October 9, 2017 (San Diego ) – Governor Jerry Brown has declared states of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba Counties due to wildfires that have burned at least 1,500 homes and commercial buildings and killed at least one person, Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said at a press conference today. There is zero percent containment as of late morning.  At least 16 major fires are burning statewide.

An estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated as fires blacken skies even in Bay Area cities, forced evacuations of hospitals, shut down schools and  threaten thousands more structures in California’s wine region, gold rush towns and even coastal counties.  Many residents fled for their lives during the night as fast-moving flames destroyed wineries, vineyards, major stores and homes, dousing dreams with despair.

ANAHEIM FIRE NOW 7,500 ACRES: EVACUATIONS EXPAND, SMOKE AFFECTS DISNEYLAND

 

 

Update October 10, 2017: This fire is now 7,500 acres and 5% contained.  Evacuations have expanded.  For details visit: http://www.anaheim.net/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=CANYON-FIRE-2-3

Update 2 p.m.:  The Canyon 2 Fire has exploded to over 2,000 acres and has burned homes in the Anaheim Hills, ABC 7 reports.  Ashes are falling at Disneyland.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Service

Photo, left: California Adventures at Disneyland backdropped by orange smoke from the fire (ChristSmith@LilyAChitty on Twitter, via Cal Fire)

October 9, 2017 (Anaheim) – A fast-moving brush fire, #Canyon2Fire  that started  off East Santa Ana Canyon Road and Gypsum Canyon Rd. near the junction of highways 91 and 241 in the Anaheim Hills area of Orange County has jumped across highway 241, also forcing closure of highway 91, Anaheim Fire and Rescue Department reports.

RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED FOR HIGH FIRE DANGER

 

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

 

October 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for all of inland San Diego County as medium to strong Santa Winds bring very dry and windy weather to our region starting tonight through early Tuesday.  Critical fire weather conditions are likely in parts of coastal foothills, valleys and mountain passes.

Northeast winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour are forecast. This could bring power outages, broken tree limbs and debris on roadways as well as hazardous cross-winds for high-profile vehicles, so use caution if traveling.

READER’S EDITORIAL: UNMASKING CAL FIRE -- ILLUMINATING THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY/CAL FIRE PLAN FOR JCFPD

 

By Patricia Landis, former board member, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

October 7, 2017 (Julian) -- I am a retired psychologist and not a journalist or investigative reporter. As a psychologist, my job was to listen. Maybe that is why so many individuals come and tell me “what’s going on.” I have become a repository of information about our fire department and I believe I need to share what I am hearing because it affects the lives of all of us living in the Julian-Cuyamaca fire district.

CPUC HOLDS MEETING IN CHULA VISTA, PUTS OFF DECISION OF SDG&E CHARGING RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 SAN DIEGO COUNTY WILDFIRE LOSSES

 

By Paul Kruze

October 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- A number of San Diego East County residents testified during the open comment period at last Thursday’s California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) meeting in Chula Vista.

Earlier in the day, the CPUC held a hearing on whether or not to approve a recommendation made by two CPUC administrative law judges to reject SDG&E’s application seeking to charge ratepayers for its uninsured losses in three of the 2007 wildfires. That hearing consisted largely of technical arguments. Afterward, a second meeting in Chula Vista was held for all parties involved, and public testimony was also taken. 

SAN MIGUEL FIRE HOSTS OPEN HOUSES OCT. 7 IN SPRING VALLEY AND EL CAJON: LEARN HOW TO PREPARE FOR FIRE AND OTHER EMERGENCIES

 

East County News Service

October 3, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- As the fire season approaches, San Miguel Fire District is kicking off Fire Prevention Week with an Open House on Saturday, October 7 at four of its fire stations in the East County. 

Residents will learn:

* Sidewalk CPR

* How to create Defensible Space around the house

* What to place in an Emergency Kit

* How to develop an Emergency Plan for the family.

Firefighters in each station will be available to answer questions.  Kids will be given Firefighter helmets and fire badge stickers.

Refreshments will be served.

COUNTY AND RURAL FIRE AGENCIES AWARDED $100,000 FOR VITAL FIRE EQUIPMENT IN ALPINE, JULIAN AND BORREGO

 

East County News Service

October 1, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week announced a $100,000 charitable grant to purchase essential equipment and medical apparatus for San Diego County Fire and rural fire agencies to better serve local communities and protect the region from future fires.

ALPINE SUNRISE POWERLINK MITIGATION OPEN HOUSE SHOWCASES GRANT PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS TO RESIDENTS

 

Concerned raised by Jamul residents who say inequities in fire mitigation grants favor Alpine areas at lesser risk

By Paul Kruze

September 24, 2017 (Alpine) -- Nearly 60 East County residents attended the first open house held by the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group (SPFMG) at the Alpine Community Center on Sept. 19. The purpose of the open house was to educate residents about the fire mitigation grants program and the results of the 2017 grant program.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING SEPT. 28 LOCALLY ON PROPOSED DECISION REGARDING WILDFIRE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SDG&E

 

Update:  The CPUC has announced it will hold this agenda item slated for the Thursday morning hearing, meaning no vote will be taken on this agenda item.  Public comment will still be accepted before all five commissioners at the start of the mornng hearing .

Public comment will also be taken during an all parties meeting later in the day, but not all commisioners will be present at the later meeting. See more details at the end of this story.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2017 (San Diego) –The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Chula Vista City Council Chambers  (276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista) on the CPUC’s proposed decision to deny SDG&E’s application to charge ratepayers $379 million for recovery of its uninsured losses related to the 2007 Witch, Rice and Guejito wildfires.  A similar request for $594 million was previously denied in 2012.

SDG&E sought to recover those losses through a Wildfire Expense  Memorandum Account (WEMA).  The proposed decision against SDG&E has drawn praise from some, including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, but concerns from others including a fire survivor and intervener in the case.  Some ratepayer advocates also warn that the CPUC could  change its mind on the proposed denial of SDG&E’s WEMA application or postpone action following ex-parte lobbying efforts by the utility company.

CHIEF'S CORNER: ARE YOU READY? SANTA ANA WINDS!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 25, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Santa Ana winds are in the forecast, are you ready to be prepared in the event of a brush fire?   Warm temperatures, low humidity and off shore winds are elevating an existing high fire danger.

BILL INTRODUCED TO FIGHT WILDFIRES LIKE OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS

 

This year's wildfire season is the most expensive on record. Last year, the Pioneer Fire burned nearly 190,000 acres of the Boise National Forest.

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo: U.S. Forest Service

September 25, 2017 (Boise, ID) -- A rare moment of bipartisanship is catching on among Western states' members of Congress with a bill to treat wildfires more like other natural disasters.

FIRE AT SPRING VALLEY HOMELESS CAMP THREATENED CONDOS; HAZMAT CONSULTED AND FIRE CREWS DECONTAMINATED DUE TO HUMAN WASTE

 

East County News Service

 

September 24, 2017 (Spring Valley) – This morning around 1:30 a.m., San Miguel Fire District Engine 16 and Brush 14, along with San Diego and Bonita Fire, responded to a vegetation/trash fire at a homeless encampment near Spring Canyon Drive in Spring Valley.

BACKCOUNTRY STRONG: SPAGHETTI DINNER TO SUPPORT JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE DISTRICT SEPT. 30

 

By Valerie Watts

September 24, 2017 (Julian) -- "Backcountry Strong!"  That's what the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is, and wants you to know it!  The Julian Volunteer Fire Company Association and the Julian Fire Plugs will be holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Saturday, September 30 at 5 p.m. at Station 56, located at 3407 Hwy 79 in Julian.  They will be accepting donations and offering spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and drinks.  They even have vegetarian options available.  There will be speakers and entertainment.

SAN MIGUEL FIREFIGHTERS FLIPPING PANCAKES SATURDAY FOR A WORTHY CAUSE

 

Source: San Miguel Fire Department

September 19, 2017 (El Cajon) -- This Saturday September 23, San Miguel Fire District Firefighters will be flipping pancakes and serving breakfast in support of the San Miguel Firefighters Charitable Foundation.  The breakfast will be held at Fire Station 19 located at 1273 Clarendon Street in El Cajon from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

SUNRISE POWERLINK MITIGATION OPEN HOUSE SEPT. 19 IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 14, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - The Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group (SPFMG) invites you to a public open house where you can learn more about the fire mitigation grants program and the results of the Year 2017 Grants Program.  The open house will be held Tuesday, September 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

BRUSH FIRE BURNING IN POTRERO

 

Update 5:02 p.m. - Forward spread has been stopped. Fire is still zero percent contained at 20 acres. Firefighting aircraft are on scene.

September 7, 2017 (Potrero)  4:52 p.m. -- A brush fire burning in Potrero, one mile west of the Tecate Port of Entry, is now 20 acres and zero percent contained, however forward spread has been stopped.

Cal Fire has named the blaze, which began within the hour,the #BorderFire9.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE PRESENTS $2.6 MILLION TO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

September 7, 2017 (Jamul) - Members of the Jamul Indian Village tribal government presented $2,677,500 to the San Diego County Fire Authority Tuesday at the fire station across the street from Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. This is on top of a recent $1.1 million contribution toward road and traffic improvements.

MAJOR CALIFORNIA FIRES SCORCH FEDERAL FORESTS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, AND MAJOR CITIES: L.A. COUNTY A DISASTER AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo left:  Los Angeles Air Ops via L.A. Fire Department; Jason Moore on Twitter

September 3, 2017 (San Diego) – The Border Fire near Dulzura is 100% contained. But across California, many far more major brush fires are blazing. Several local firefighting agencies have dispatched crews to aid in conflagrations across the state.

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