Wildfire News

BRUSH FIRE IN SANTEE CLOSES HIGHWAY EXITS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

June 3, 2020 (Santee) -- A brush fire is burning near State Routes 125, 52, and Mission Gorge Road.  A SIG Alert has been issued. The ramp from eastbound 52 to 125 is closed, Cal Trans and the CHP site report.  ECM reporter Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson reports that the Mission Gorge offramp from 125 is also blocked.  Avoid this area.

*** Update: all ramps have reopened.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

VACANT STRUCTURE BURNS IN RAMONA

By Miriam Raftery
 
May 30, 2020 (Ramona) – Investigators from the Sheriff’s department are working to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant structure today in Ramona.
 
Deputies from the Ramona substation responded to the fire at 1028 A Street at 4:29 p.m. this afternoon. When deputies and fire department personnel arrived, the structure was fully engulfed, also affecting power lines nearby.
 
Fire department personnel were able to extinguish the fire and contain it to the single structure, which was vacant. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

PRESCRIBED BURN IN CUYAMACA AREA DID NOT JUMP CONTAINMENT LINE, CAL FIRE SAYS, BUT EXTRA RESOURCES WERE CALLED

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2020 (Cuyamaca Rancho State Park) – Cailfornia Dept. of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Cal Fire yesterday conducted a prescribed burn in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. A large plume of smoke over Middle Peak late yesterday raised concerns among area residents,after winds kicked up and Cal-Fire called in extra resources.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

THE GOATS ARE BAAA-CK, CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service
 
Courtesy: Heartland Fire & Rescue
 
May 10, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – A herd of voracious goats will soon be clearing heavy brush to reduce fire danger and create defensible space for homes in Lemon Grove along State Route 125. COVID19 standards for social distancing will be observed for live-stock managing staff—though the goats can flock together during their weed abatement duties.
 
The goats, owned by Environmental Land Management (ELC) have been hired by the city of Lemon Grove and Heartland Fire & Rescue to clear brush on 8.5 acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas.The City of Lemon Grove has used ELM goats to clear this parcel of land for the last eight years. 
 
Brush clearing by the goats, along with prudent weed abatement by homeowners reduces the risk of fire and assists in the protection of homes surrounding this vacant property. The homeowners’ are required to maintain 100 foot clear defensible space, around the residents. Property owners working jointly with the goats are reducing the risk of fire, protecting the community, property and lives.

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

RESIDENTS URGED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS DURING HEAT

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - With high temperatures forecast over the next several days, County health officials are encouraging San Diegans to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. People should especially pay close attention to children, the elderly and pets.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CHIEF’S CORNER: EARTHQUAKE/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MONTH

 
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
One to Two Weeks With Nothing or One to Two Weeks With the Basics?
 
 
April 20, 2020 (San Diego) -- To say California has had a rough stretch the last number of years in the catastrophic loss world would be an understatement. But as we continue into 2020 and head into April it’s a reminder that April is California Earthquake Preparedness Month. Organizations and fire departments can take steps to lessen and mitigate the deadly and damaging effect of earthquakes by bringing awareness to communities.
 
Covid-19 is on the forefront of everyone’s mind, however, we cannot forget other potential disasters that threaten our state. Earthquakes, floods and fires are just a few.
 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SDG&E POWER SHUTOFF IN DESCANSO DURING COVID-19 CRISIS LEAVES RESIDENTS STUCK HOME IN THE COLD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jill Sawyer

April 14, 2020 (Descanso) – SDG&E has shut-off power to 22 households in Descanso for 10 hours today in order to replace wood poles with steel for wildfire prevention. The action has sparked anger among residents under county orders to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some left in the cold despite medical conditions, working and teaching children at home There are no shelters or any public space open, with temperatures forecast to dip to a chilly 42 degrees by this evening.

After ECM’s editor called SDG&E last night to advise the utility of  concerns raised by many residents online, the utility discovered it had mistakenly called many households who were not slated to have power shut down.  “They were all called shortly before 10 p.m. apologizing for this evening’s call, advising it was made by mistake,” SDG&E media spokesperson Zoraya Griffin informed ECM.

For those without power, however, the outage puts safety of medically vulnerable and elderly residents at risk, also causing major inconveniences for those working or teaching children at home.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR CENTRAL SAN DIEGO COUNTY UNTIL 11:30 AM

 

April 10, 2020 (San Diego) -- The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Central San Diego County until 1130 AM PDT. Flash flooding is already occurring in a few locations. Additional rainfall of 0.2 to 0.5 inch per hour is expected for the next several hours. Below are details:

HAZARD...Flash flooding caused by heavy rain.

SOURCE...Radar indicated.

IMPACT...Flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage and low lying areas.

Some locations that will experience flooding include San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista, Encinitas, La Mesa, Poway, Ramona, Del Mar and Alpine.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CLEARING BRUSH, WEED ABATEMENT AND REMOVING DEAD TREES ARE ESSENTIAL SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Man clearning dry weeds; Creative Commons image by SA-NC

April 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – If you need brush cleared or weed abatement to prevent fires, those are essential services that are allowed to continue despite COVID-19 stay-home orders in the state and county.  Removing or pruning dead or dying trees to prevent them from falling is also an essential service. Gardening for purposes not related to safety or sanitation, however, are not allowed.

East County Magazine received clarification from state and federal agencies to confirm these facts, after a worker hired to clear weeds in the Mt. Helix area told our editor that he was stopped by law enforcement and told to go home, or face a $1,000 fine and arrest. A property owner in a rural area also advised ECM of a weed abatement worker ordered home by a law enforcement officer.

Property owners are required by law to maintain defensible space around their homes.  Brush clearing and weed abatement are especially important now, since Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service have both suspended controlled burns in order to avoid aggravating lung conditions in residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The California Department of Public Health’s office of public affairs sent the following response to our inquiry regarding brush clearing, weed abatement, removal of dead trees and pruning for safety’s sake:


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

TWO HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS INJURED IN EL CAJON HOUSE FIRE

"Thirteen homes around the hill of a one-way cul-de-sac were saved.  God Bless the neighbor who called us, God Bless the fireman and first responders."--Dolores E. Landers
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News
 
 
April 1, 2020 (El Cajon) – Updated April 3:  A burning section of a home collapsed early this morning, trapping two Heartland Fire & Rescue firefighters, ECM news partner 10 News reports.
 
Two fireifghters were taken to a hospital, and have since been releaesed, a neighbor has informed ECM. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CHIEF’S CORNER: IMPACT OF COVID-19 AND BRUSH FIRE SEASON

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
March 31, 2020 (San Diego) – It’s important to remember this years brush fire season will be a very active one with so much rain over the winter months. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is putting many at risk as it’s hampering mitigation efforts with local fire agencies.
 
From brush mitigation management, prescribed burns, to multi-agency training for firefighters, local, state and federal fire agencies are trying to adhere to the country’s new social distancing guidelines to slow the spread.
 
The U.S. Forest Service, announced last week that it was suspending prescribed burns. This is an effective way to reduce hazardous vegetation from hillsides.
 
Fire Chiefs’ concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive. We need the publics help more than ever. We’ll do our part, but the public has to do their part!
 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FIRE DESTROYS SPRING VALLEY HOME AFTER LIKELY LIGHTNING STRIKE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: San Miguel Fire on Instagram
 
March 28, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley couple has been treated for smoke inhalation after escaping their Spring Valley home during a fire around 3:45 a.m. on Friday. The couple reported hearing a loud noise believed to be a lightning strike, followed by smelling smoke. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

COUNTY COVID-19 INFORMATION AND UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Source:  SDCountyEmergency.com

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County residents can sign up to receive updated information about the novel coronavirus via text with the County COVID-19 public information text message alert system.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CAL FIRE/SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY RESTRICTS ACCESS TO FIRE STATIONS, HALTS ISSUING NEW BURN PERMITS

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – To help contain spread of the COVID-19 virus and assure uninterrupted emergency response services, effective immediately, nonemergency access by the public is halted at all Cal Fire/County Fire Authority fire stations in the unincorporated region of San Diego County.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CHIEF’S CORNER: ARE YOU READY FOR AN EARLY WILDFIRE SEASON?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- We’ve had the driest January and February for quite some time. Usually its our wettest months of the year. We’ve had some rain, but not much. We did experience more than normal wind events and more are expected through this week with warm temperatures promoting fuel growth and drying out vegetation faster than normal!

The National Interagency Fire Center Issued this alert for Southern California: Significant large fire potential is expected across the region during the outlook into late March, April and May. 


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DANGEROUS HIGH WINDS, WEATHER SERVICE WARNS

February 26, 2020 -- A high wind warning is in effect until 4 p.m. for San Diego's mountains and inland valleys. A wind gust of 106 miles per hour was measured early this morning at Sill Hill in East County--possibly the highest ever recorded in our county, the Natioal Weather Service reports.  Gusts up to 75 mph with sustained winds of 30-40 mph are forecast for today. 

The National Weather Service issued this specific warning: "Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Power outages are possible. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles." 

SDG&E's outage map at https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map  reports numerous outages have already occurred across our mountain and rural areas this morning. You can view estimated restoration times on the map.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

BILL WOULD REQUIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO WRITE POLICIES FOR HOMES IN AREAS THAT MEET NEW FIRE-HARDENING STANDARDS

By Miriam Raftery
File photo, 2007 firestorm, courtesy La Mesa Fire Dept.
 
February 19, 2020 (San Diego) – A new bill called “Renew California” (AB 2367) aims to help homeowners who have faced nonrenewal of insurance policies in the wake of devastating wildfires. The Renew California Act (AB 2367) was introduced yesterday by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, and United Policyholders. 
 
The bill would require insurance companies to write or renew policies for existing homes in communities that meet a new statewide standard for fire-hardening. The bill also would authorize the Insurance Commissioner to require insurance companies to offer financial incentives for homeowners to do the work to make their homes more fire-safe. 
 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FANITA RANCH GENERATES WORRIES ABOUT WILDFIRES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo: Theresa McCarthy, speaking against Fanita Ranch
 
February 15, 2020 (Santee) -- In a third public workshop Feb. 12 about Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project proposed in northwestern Santee, developer HomeFed Corp. presented an extensive fire prevention plan--including construction of a new fire station and three roadway extensions from the site to main city thoroughfares in case of an emergency evacuation.
 
While the plans looked nice to some, others remained skeptical that the addition of all those houses will make the city safer during a wildfire.
 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

COUNTY LAUNCHES EVACUATION PLAN FOCUSED ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE

If you needed to evacuate for an emergency, could you just get in your car and go? For some, the answer may be no because they lack transportation, need additional help with medical equipment or gathering items in their home.

Studies have shown that during a disaster, older adults or people with disabilities, or access and functional needs have added challenges when faced with evacuation. This information inspired the County Office of Emergency Services to come up with the Neighborhood Evacuation Team program in partnership with the Community Emergency Response Teams throughout the region. The teams are made up of disaster-trained volunteers who can help in their neighborhoods.

People who reach out for assistance will be teamed up with a CERT member who can guide them through the process of making a plan that suits their needs, including working out transportation needs with a caregiver, neighbor or family member.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

Victims were firefighters from Wyoming, Arizona and Florida

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's office:  C-130 that crashed in Australia today is same one shown in photo at McClellan Air Base during an event last August attended by Newsom.

January 23, 2020 (Ramona) – A plane used to fight California wildfires last year and to train Cal-Fire pilots has crashed while fighting brush fires in Australia, killing three U.S. firefighters. A C-130 was in Ramona last August to train future pilots.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft built by Lockheed Martin and repurposed to fight fires was operated by Coulson Aviation of Canada, which has grounded its fleet to re-assess safety conditions and honor the victims.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the crew from Tanker 134 that wre lost during a tragic crash while battling the devastating Australia fires.  Cal Fire stands with you during this difficult time,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced condolences to families of the crew and Cal Fire for the loss of “three heroic American firefighters”  He adds, “This tragic accident reminds us all of the too-high cost of the scourge of wildfires, as well as the sacrifice of first responders from around the world. California and Australia, already united by the deadly threat of wildfires, now grieve this tragic loss together.”


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MEASURE A WILL REDUCE FIRE RISK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nona T. Barker and Richard W. Halsey

Photo: 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, courtesy of La Mesa Fire Dept.

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As we watch Australia burn, many Californians remember the fear they felt as fires raged near their homes in recent years. Fires are a fact of life in much of California, but there are steps we can take to reduce the damage to people, property and our regional economy. One important commonsense step is to avoid building new houses in areas at the highest risk of burning.

Unfortunately, the urge to maximize profits seems to outweigh common sense for many big developers. Time and again, developers have requested amendments to the county’s General Plan to build massive sprawl housing projects in fire-prone areas of San Diego County. Our General Plan is a guide to sustainable growth in San Diego County. Despite the 13 years, millions of dollars, and widespread public input and support that went into developing the plan, our Board of Supervisors has shown time and again that it is inclined to support sprawl developments in our backcountry.

Measure A would put a stop to this short-sighted behavior. Under Measure A, voters get a direct voice in deciding whether large proposed housing developments that would increase zoned residential density in fire-prone rural and semi-rural areas can be built.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

GET "FIRED UP" THE SAFE WAY!

CHIEF'S CORNER : FIREPLACE SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

January 20, 2020 (San Diego) -- It’s been pretty chilly lately and nothing beats a nice fire in the fireplace during winter months. Though fires may keep us warm, there are hazards that need to be addressed.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning says DiGiovanna. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility as fire prevention starts with you!

Here are some fireplace safety tips to help keep you safe:


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE NEW HOMES IN FIRE-PRONE AREAS MORE RESISTANT TO WILDFIRES

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today gave preliminary approval to change the county’s building code in order to require fire-resistant construction of all new homes in areas with moderate to high wildfire risk in unincorporated areas. The standards are tougher than those mandated by the state.  A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for January 29.

 

The changes were proposed by East County’s two Supervisors, Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond. Jacob said she hopes the new requirements will serve as a “model for fire protection” statewide, also saving lives during wildfires.

 

San Diego County has been devastated by numerous major wildfires, including the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms which killed 17 people and destroyed thousands of homes, causing billions of dollars in property damage.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

ILLEGAL FIRE LANTERNS FOUND IN ALPINE AND SAN CARLOS SPARK FEARS

By Miriam Raftery

 Photo:  burnt remnants of sky lantern found in Alpine, courtesy 10 News

January 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – An East County Magazine investigation back in 2012 led to the State Fire Marshal to issue a bulletin advising that sky lanterns are illegal—and dangerous. Our story led to removal of sky lanterns from local Walmart shelves.

But not everyone is aware of the ban, so use of sky lanterns, which are popular for celebrations in some cultures, continues. The devices include one or more candles sent aloft beneath an open cloth, much like a hot air balloon, posing severe fire hazards. 

ECM news partner 10 News reports that on Saturday, an Alpine family on Japatul Valley Road awoke to find their horses terrified and one horse injured.  In dry brush nearby, they found remnants of a sky lantern with birthday candles attached to popsicle sticks. 

“Thank God it didn't start a fire, but it could have," Lucy Olivier told 10 News. 


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CHIEF’S CORNER: GAS LEAKS IN THE HOME

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

January 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Got Gas?  As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. Additionally firefighters respond to more reports of gas inside a structure call. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.

If you smell gas in your home or your carbon monoxide detector goes off, immediately evacuate the house and call 911.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LESSONS FROM PUERTO RICO TO CALIFORNIA: OFF-GRID LIVING OPTIONS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 Dec. 31, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Emergency energy and electrical storage expert Eric Lobdell with Humless, a Utah-based company that provides universal energy management, has worked in disaster areas affected by wildfires and hurricanes, where he has helped some residents go off-grid. 

 

In the past couple of years, Lobdell has worked in the U.S. including territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, setting up systems to provide power. Humless recently landed a contract for installations to take communities 100% off-grid in Oregon, including 600 homes over a span of three years.

 

"After Hurricane Maria, I was part of a team that donated and installed off-grid systems in Puerto Rico," said Lobdell in a phone interview. “Our systems were able to provide lights and refrigeration to two different communities, both heavily affected by the hurricane. Being able to provide electricity for these communities reminded me of the reason I work so hard at what I do. I love being able to provide essential energy and storage systems to families, communities, and regions where grid power is not available or stable."


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

BOGGELN NAMED ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT'S NEW FIRE CHIEF

East County News Service

December 19, 2019 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District Board of Directors today announced selection of Brian Boggeln as the District’s next Fire Chief.  He will be filling the position vacated by Fire Chief Bill Paskle, who will be retiring on December 30.  Chief Boggeln’s first official day as Fire Chief will be December 31.

Board President Jim Easterling stated, “It is with great pleasure that the Board announces that Brian Boggeln will assume the role of Fire Chief. The choice was easy due to Mr. Boggeln’s education and background with over 22 years in the fire service. The Board looks forward to working with him on all the District’s future endeavors.”


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

NO-BURN ORDER LIFTED FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY



East County News Service

December 12, 2019 (San Diego) -- The burn permit suspension in San Diego County has been lifted, effective Dec. 6. Cal Fire San Diego Unit Chief Tony Mecham formally canceled the burn permit suspension and advised that those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can now resume burning on permissible burn days.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

WILDFIRE INSURANCE CRISIS LEADS COMMISSIONER TO CALL FOR FIRST-EVER STATEWIDE NON-RENEWAL MORATORIUM

Action to head off growing insurance availability crisis follows passage of new law and Governor’s emergency declarations 
 
Source: California Insurance Commissioner’s office
 
December 7, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders--helping at least 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas in Northern and Southern California. The commissioner’s action is the result of Senate Bill 824—authored last year by Lara while serving as state senator—in order to give temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living near a declared wildfire disaster. This is the first time the department has invoked the new law, which took effect in January. 
 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

MERCY AMBULANCE SKIDS OFF ROAD, LEAVING JULIAN WITHOUT MEDICAL RESPONSE FOR HOURS AS TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS EXPERIENCE “SNOWMAGEDDON”



Accident occurs soon after County Fire Authority/Cal Fire hauled away four-wheel-drive ambulances and fire engines formerly run by Julian’s volunteer fire department

County, Cal Fire and Mercy Medical Transportation fail to answer questions or provide solutions to prevent future fiascos

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

December 6, 2019 (Julian) -- As San Diegans rushed up to the mountain community of Julian last Saturday to play in the snow, a Mercy Medical Transportation, Inc. two-wheel drive ambulance under contract to the San Diego County Fire Authority and Cal Fire missed a curve on State Highway 78, landed off the side of the road and got stuck in snow for hours.

The incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. near Jess Martin Park. According to sources familiar with the situation, the two-man crew had been dispatched all the way from Valley Center, since Julian no longer has a locally stationed ambulance. The crew was reportedly unhurt and had been on the way to Julian Fire Station No. 56. It wasn’t until around 1 p.m. that a tow truck arrived to extricate the ambulance. It is unclear why neither Mercy or Cal Fire could provide a winch to free the vehicle sooner.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

Pages