campo

FOUR WILD MICE COLLECTED IN CAMPO AREA TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  a California mouse

July 2, 2020 (Campo) - Four wild mice collected in routine monitoring in open space in the Campo area have tested positive for hantavirus.

County officials are reminding people they should never sweep or vacuum up after rodents if they find them in living spaces like homes, garages, sheds and cabins, but instead use “wet-cleaning” methods.


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KUMEYAAY PROTEST HALTS DYNAMITE BLASTING AT BORDER WALL

 

 

By Helen Horvath

Photo, lefft: Dynamite charges set by the US Corps of Engineers

June 30, 2020 (Campo) – Yesterday, at the end of Tierra del Sol Road in the Campo area, a group Kumeyaay-led people and supporters gathered early in the morning to protest the blasting of Kumeyaay cultural sites.

Many of these protesters were members of the Kumeyaay Original Peoples Alliance, American Indian Movement, and Warriors of Awareness. These groups  participated out of concern for the ancestral history and culture of the Kumeyaay tribes.  Black Lives Matter (BLM) and American Friends Service Committee also participated in the protest in a show of solidarity with local Native Americans. (Photo, right)


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READER’S EDITORIAL TERRA-GEN’S CONTROVERSIAL CAMPO WIND TURBINE PROJECT APPROVED BY DEPT OF INTERIOR OVER STRONG OBJECTIONS OF IMPACTED TRIBAL MEMBERS

Decision bypasses Campo’s tribal regulations and land use planning protections: Legal challenges are in the works

By Donna Tisdale, President of Backcountry Against Dumps

April 9, 2020 (Campo and Boulevard, California)-- Against strong opposition, including many tribal members, the Department of Interior just approved the Record of Decision (ROD) for Terra-Gen’s controversial Campo Wind project with 60-586 ft tall 4.2 megawatt (MW) turbines on Campo Tribal lands in rural San Diego County.

These turbines are taller than the tallest skyscraper in San Diego and twice as powerful as existing Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines that already generate nuisance level adverse impacts for neighbors! To add insult to injury, the ROD was signed by the Assistant Secretary, which means we lose the right to appeal that approval.

Legal challenges are in the works.

Campo Wind is opposed by neighbors as well as by a qualified number of voting Campo Tribal members, but Campo leaders have ignored two valid tribal petitions: 1) to terminate Campo Wind ; 2) to remove their leadership for failing to hold the vote to terminate[1]. Turbines are planned far too close to homes and offices and can restrict the number and placement of new homes for current and future residents.

Campo’s elections are set for April 17th, with strong hope that leaders will be voted in who will act to better protect their people and resources, and to stop Campo Wind dead in its tracks.


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ALL EAST COUNTY CASINOS TO CLOSE MARCH 21-31 DUE TO COVID-19

Barona, Campo, Jamul, Sycuan, and Viejas Jointly Announce Casino Closures in Response to Coronavirus crisis

Source: Kumeyaay Nation

March 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County)  — Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians today jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month.

The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees. Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities.

 

In Campo, the gas station and convenience store will remain open for the convenience of residents.


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CAMPO TRIBAL MEMBERS PLEAD FOR LEGAL HELP, ALLEGE RIGHTS VIOLATED IN WIND PROJECT APPROVAL: PETITION SEEKS REVOTE ON CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT

“Our reservation is in dire financial condition. We have really nothing to give our youth…All we have are false promises.” – Denis Largo, tribal elder who delivered a petition calling for a vote to overturn wind project approval

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Tribal elder Dennis Largo

February 14, 2020 (Campo)—Whistleblowers in the Campo band of Mission Indians claim that their tribal leadership pushed through approval of a massive wind project during an improperly noticed meeting. They have now collected enough signatures to overturn that approval with a revote.  But despite the Feb. 13th deadline to notify tribal members of a meeting to revote on the controversial project, several tribal members say they have not received any such notice.   

The proposed Campo Wind project would allow 60 turbines built by Terra-Gen on the reservation. Each would be 586 tall, the tallest wind turbines ever built on land, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group, which also opposes the project.


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GIANT WIND PROJECTS DRAW STRONG OPPOSITION FROM RURAL RESIDENTS AND TRIBAL MEMBERS: DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS TODAY

 

By Rebecca Person

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

Photos: An existing wind project on the Campo reservation has previously had multiple fires caused by exploding wind turbines, shown here, raising alarm among area residents over fire dangers and other potential hazards posed by the proposed new and far larger turbines

February 3, 2020 (Campo) -- Residents of Campo, Boulevard and Jacumba voiced their concerns Jan. 23rd at a meeting in Boulevard held by the County Planning Development Services staff addressing the construction of 120 wind turbines in Boulevard and on the Campo Reservation.

The wind turbines will be 596’ tall, taller than towers which dot the high desert that stand between 325' to almost 400 ft tall. 60 turbines are planned for the Campo Indian Reservation, and 30 turbines for McCain Valley near I-8 freeway in Boulevard. According to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group, these may be the largest wind turbines ever erected on land. Turbines on tribal land would also abut her property in rural Boulevard. Setbacks from some homes would be far less than at many other wind projects, even though the turbines are larger.

Over 60 local residents gathered at the meeting and many spoke of the effects existing towers have had on their quality of life. Campo Band of Mission Indians tribal members who live on the Campo Reservation and oppose the project stated that they have presented a petition with 65 signatures asking their tribal council to overturn an earlier disputed vote to erect the giant turbines on the reservation.


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GOLDEN SPIKE CEREMONY CROWNS RAILWAY’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION IN CAMPO

Video of golden spike driven in by actor Jake Schaible portraying John D. Spreckels at centennial  https://youtu.be/n2MQr565uq4 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2019 (Campo) – Four days after Armistice Day in 1919 ended World War I, John D. Spreckels drove in a golden spike to complete the San Diego & Arizona Railway in Carrizo Gorge.  That historic event was recreated on November 16, 2019 at the centennial of the historic occasion celebrated at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum.

Spreckels originally “missed the spike, they reset it, he bent it, and then nailed it,” said Allen Semelsberger, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s archivist in a previously published report. True to historical detail, actor Jake Schaible portrayed Spreckels at the centennial, swinging and missing a replica of the spike before ultimately driving it in before a large crowd, including members of the Spreckels family in the front row. 


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TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION TARGETS BORDER WALL IN CAMPO IN BRAZEN SMUGGLING ATTEMPT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Smugglers cut the old border wall to facilitate an alien smuggling attempt.
 
November 21, 2019 (Campo) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 16 individuals Wednesday afternoon after smugglers cut the old landing mat border wall to facilitate a vehicle drive-thru human smuggling incident.

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ALL ABOARD: RIDE A TRAIN, CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF SAN DIEGO RAILWAY HISTORY NOV. 16 IN CAMPO

East County News Service

November 11, 2019 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its “SD&A Centennial Celebration Gold Spike Day” on Saturday, Nov. 16 at PSRM’s Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.


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GUESTS KICKED UP THEIR HEELS AT CAMPO CREEK VINEYARDS' PICKNG AND STOMPING PARTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 20, 2019 (Campo) – Guests kicked up their heels in more ways than one at the Campo Creek Vineyards first-ever Grape Picking and Stomping Party on September 7th

Wine club members and other visitors first got a taste of what it’s like to pick grapes, getting tips on harvesting ripe Pinot Noir grapes on the vines. 

Located on a cattle ranch that dates back to 1888,  the vineyard now has 10,000 vines and the winery produces hand-crafted wines, many with labels featuring cattle, cowboys and ranching themes.


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112 YEARS AGO, CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON `THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD,’ GROUNDBREAKING AND REENACTMENT FESTIVAL SATURDAY, SEPT. 7 IN CAMPO

East County News Service

September 3, 2019 (Campo) - The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 112-year anniversary of the start of construction of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its “SD&A Groundbreaking Festival” on Saturday, Sept. 7 at PSRM’s Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.


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BORDER PATROL AGENTS FIND OVER $270,000 WORTH OF METHAMPHETAMINES IN VEHICLE AT CHECKPOINT

East County News Service

Photo:  Agents pulled 114 packages of meth that was hidden inside a small car.

August 2, 2019 (Campo) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man Thursday night who had 114 packages of methamphetamine hidden inside his vehicle.


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CAMPO GRAPE PICKING AND STOMPING PARTY SEPT. 7

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2019 (Campo) – Campo Creek Vineyards (29556 Highway 94 in Campo) will host a grape picking and stomping party complete with barbecue on September 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event admission ($20 for ages 6 and up) includes barbecue trip tip and chicken provided by Heftyboy BBQ and one beverage.


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MINE TRAIN RIDE COMING SOON TO CAMPO RAILROAD PARK AND MUSEUM

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Dawn Lundquist

July 12, 2019 (Campo) – A train that Roy Athey ran for 20 years in Alpine, offering rides to delight children, will soon be part of a mine train ride at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum  Athey donated his train to the facility. Now, three new cars for the train are being constructed at Greg Heyser’s shop in Alpine. 


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RAILWAY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery

July 11, 2019 (Campo) – The San Diego & Arizona Railway, known as the “Impossible Railway” for the many challenges faced during its construction, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with two major centennial events on September 7 and November 16.

 

On Saturday, September 7, a Groundbreaking Festival will commemorate the 1907 groundbreaking of the railway, which took a dozen years to complete. 

Then on Saturday, November 16, a Centennial Celebration Day will include a reenactment of the 1919 golden spike ceremony, when John D. Spreckels drove in the final spike to complete the rail line in Carriso Gorge.

Both events will be held at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, a nonprofit organization. 

At the events, the public is invited to come and enjoy train rides, view vintage railway cars and unique railroad equipment including a 1902 steam pump engine, an operating scale steam train exhibit, plus food, drinks, souvenirs, commemorative program and fun for the whole family.


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SURVEY ASKS EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS TO SUBMIT CONCERNS REGARDING EFFECTS OF WIND TURBINES

By Rebecca Person

 

Photo:  Poster displayed at meeting by citizens concerned about impacts of wind energy in their rural communities.

 

July 1, 2019 (Campo) -- July 8th is the new deadline for public comments on the pending Campo Wind Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Comments are sought on a pending plan by the Campo tribe to build wind turbines in the Ribbonwood area of Boulevard and Campo to produce clean energy. Each new turbine would be 586 feet tall, nearly triple the height of existing turbine towers, which are less than 200 feet in height.


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ONE DEAD, TWO INJURED IN CAMPO CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2019 (Campo) – A two-vehicle collision at State Route 94 and Sheridan Road has left one person dead and three injured. The survivors were flown by air ambulance to a local hospital, Cal Fire San Diego posted on Twitter.
 
The California Highway Patrol website indicates a dog was also reported injured.

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FARMER'S MARKET SPROUTS UP IN CAMPO: FIRST AND LAST SATURDAY EACH MONTH

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2019 (Campo) – Golden Acorn Casino announces launch of an "Open Aire Market" that will be held the first and last Saturdays of each month from 3:30 to 7 p.m. starting this Saturday, June 29.

The market, held in the grand entry of the casino, will feature fresh produce, eggs from pasture-raised hens, dried and canned goods and other locally grown goods as well as a variety of vendors plus live music.


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BORDER PATROL AGENTS HOSPITALIZED BRIEFLY WITH SYMPTOMS AFTER STOP FINDS DRUGS IN VEHICLE

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2019 (Campo) – After Border Patrol agents stopped two vehicles in Campo on June 2nd that were traveling in tandem and suspected of smuggling undocumented immigrants, drug paraphernalia was observed during examination of the vehicles.  “Shortly after, one of the agents began coughing and complained of nausea,” says Justin Castrejon, public affairs officer for the Border Patrol in San Diego.  The agent reported an odor from inside one of the suspect vehicles.  The San Diego County Hazardous Incident Response Team responded, ECM news partner 10 News has learned.


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PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT AT TERRA-GEN WIND PROJECT MEETINGS IN BOULEVARD AND CAMPO JUNE 6 AND JUNE 19

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2019 (Campo) – Public participation is needed at two upcoming meetings on Terra-Gen’s proposal to install 60 wind turbines, each 586 feet tall and capable of producing 4.2 megawatts of power.  The turbines are proposed on the Campo tribal reservation, from north of I-8 to near the border in the south. 

“These turbines are about twice the size with twice the harmful energy and noise as existing local Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines. If new turbines are approved, life for many area residents will change for the worst.” Says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group which represents nearby communities. She adds, “People are already sick around existing turbines.”        

Below are details on upcoming meetings June 6 and June 19, where the public can learn more and speak out:    


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

East County News Service

May 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Greg Dunne recently hiked 77 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.  He sent in these two photos. The first is at the trailhead start in Campo near the Mexican border. The second image is about 50 miles north near Garnet Peak, between  Mount Laguna and Julian, overlooking the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


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COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING FEB. 28 IN BOULEVARD ON NEW SUBSTATION AND POWERLINES FOR PROPOSED CAMPO WIND PROJECT





 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (Boulevard) – The County will be holding a scoping meeting February 28 at 6 p.m. at the Boulevard Fire Station regarding Terra Gen’s Boulder Brush Gen-tie power line and new substation facilities proposed on private land to support the Campo Wind project.

The wind turbines would cover most of the Campo reservation with 60 4-megawatt wind turbines, if approved. The new turbines are twice as powerful and about 100 to 200 feet taller than the existing 25 Kumeyaay Wind and 57 Tule Wind turbines in the area, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  The public is encouraged to come voice your views as part of the official public input process at this meeting.

Public comments are due to the County by March 18


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CAMPO SCHOOL BUS ASSAILANT SENTENCED TO DRUG REHAB AND COUNSELING

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 30, 2018 (Campo) – A knife-wielding man who punched a Campo Elementary School bus driver in the face on May 25, 2018 has been sentenced to a year in jail, with part of his sentence slated to be served in a drug rehabilitation facility.
 

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TWISTING IN THE WIND: AS RURAL RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF WIND ENERGY IMPACTS, CAMPO TRIBE PROPOSES TOWERING NEW PROJECT: SCOPING MEETING DEC. 6

County denies request for health impacts of turbines, even as more are proposed

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: New proposed turbines would be much taller and produce more energy than these older Kumeyaay Wind turbines, also broadening the areas that could be impacted by noise, vibrations, and electromagnetic interefence with devices such as cell phones

December 6, 2018 (Campo) –Tonight, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold a scoping meeting on a notice to prepare n environmental impact statement for a proposal to build 60 wind turbines up to 586 feet tall (taller than the highest skyscraper in San Diego) on the Campo Indian reservation. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Campo Tribal Hall, 36190 Church Road (BIA 10) at highway 94 in Campo.  Written comments can also be submitted by December 21st. Find details at www.CampoWind.com.

The new Campo Wind project is proposed for most Campo reservation ridgelines from north of I-8 to the U.S./Mexico border, each 4 megawatts.  Neighbors and the Boulevard Planning Group have raised concerns over the large turbines including noise, sleep disruption, health impacts and lost property values.   View flyer.

Minutes of the Boulevard Planning Group meeting from November 1, 2018 reveal numerous residents’ complaints about problems reportedly associated with similarly large-scale wind turbines recently installed at the Tule Wind project in McCain  Valley as well as turbines at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo. Those complaints range from noise and vibrations to interference with cell phone service, a vital concern in an area prone to wildfires where communication is critical.


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STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

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BOULEVARD PLANNERS OPPOSE TORREY WIND PROPOSAL FOR TURBINES TALLER THAN DOWNTOWN SKYSCRAPERS PROPOSED IN RURAL COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Brush fire sparked by exploding wind turbine in Campo  in 2013.  Proposed new turbines would dwarf these older, smaller models.

July 26, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Community Planning Group has sent a 26-page letter to the County opposing Terra-Gen’s proposed Torrey Wind project.  If approved, the project would erect 30 wind turbines each 586 feet tall—that’s 90 feet higher than the tallest skyscraper in downtown San Diego—on 2,,000 acres of absentee-owned ranchland formerly known as Big Country Ranch property at the north end of Ribbonwood Road.

The proposed major use permit for Torrey Wind (formerly known as San Diego Wind) will be on the Boulevard Planning Group’s agenda at its August 2nd meeting at 7 p.m.  (View agenda)


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ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: SAN DIEGO’S SOUTHEAST REGION, WILDERNESS GATEWAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Carrizo Gorge federal wilderness area

June 29, 2018 (Alpine) – Most visitors to San Diego County head to the beaches or the well-known mountain town of Julian. But the County’s lesser traveled southeast region, known as the Alpine Mountain Empire, includes vast tracts of wilderness, quaint mountain towns, a historic train, museums, Native America reservations, resorts, parks and lakes.


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CABINS , CAMPING AND FISHING ARE LURES AT LAKE MORENA COUNTY PARK, GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry and inland areas

 

Story by Jonathan Ronald Goetz

Photos by Jonathan Ronald Goetz, Ronald Goetz, Miriam Raftery, and County of San Diego, Department of Parks and Recreation

June 18, 2018 (Campo) – People have been hiking, fishing and camping in the area today known as Lake Morena as well as the surrounding creeks and mountains for over 12,000 years, starting with the Kumeyaay, Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Native American tribes.

Today, much of this area in southeast San Diego County is preserved for the public to enjoy.  At an elevation of 3,000 feet, the park has mountain, desert and coastal habitats including over 3,250 acres of dense chaparral, ancient oaks and open grasslands surrounding the lake, the most remote reservoir in San Diego County, according to ranger Jessica Geiszler..

Lake Morena County Park remains one of the most affordable and inclusive places around, with boating from $12-$50, nightly tent-site for $22, RV for $31 or cabins starting at $50.


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BRUSH FIRE IN CAMPO

 

Update June 12, 2018 9:45 a.m. -- Church Road is reopened. The fire is 70% contained with forward spread stopped.

Update 7 p.m.:  Cal Fire reports the Church Fire is actually 2 fires, one that burned 9 acres and the other a spot fire at one acre. Forward spread has been stopped and the combined blaze is 30% contained.  Church Road remains closed from Highway 94 to Old Highway 80. One structure has been threatened and the resident self-evacuated. Crews remain on scene mopping up the fires.

June 11, 2018 (Campo) 3:25 p.m. -- Cal Fire reports a 4 acre brush fire, #ChurchIC, in Campo.

CHP has ordered a closure of Church Road at Old Highway 80, where the fire was reported a short time ago near the Golden Acorn Casino. The incident commander reports a structural threat and says the fire is burning at a moderate rate of spread.


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SECRETS OF THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL REVEALED: JUNE 16 AT LIBRARY IN EL CAJON

 

Source: County Library branch in El Cajon

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Pacific Crest Trail in Campo

May 29, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Local hiking enthusiast Dana Law will share his adventures and tips for hiking the legendary Pacific Crest Trail at a special presentation on June 16th at 2:00 p.m. at the El Cajon Branch Library located at 201 E Douglas Avenue.


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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.

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