wildfires

SDG&E HOLDS DRIVE-THROUGH WILDFIRE SAFETY FAIRS

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With fire season around the corner, SDG&E has announced a series of drive-through Wildfire Safety Fairs.  You can get a free emergency preparedness backpack and/or bucket, plus learn how to protect your family and property at upcoming drive-through wildfire safety fairs hosted by SDG&E.  The backpack includes a solar hand-crank radio, solar cell phone charger, 150 watt power inverter for plugging items into your car to charge, flashlight, 2.5 gallon water bag, first aid kit, toilet paper, face mask, insulated lunch box with reusable ice packs, glow stick and more.  

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AHEAD OF PEAK FIRE SEASON, GOVERNOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES MORE FIREFIGHTING SUPPORT AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC

In early season fires, major changes to emergency operations and sheltering have been made to protect firefighters and evacuees

Source: Governor’s Office

July 13, 2020 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom visited McClellan Air Force Base on July 9 to highlight the state’s wildfire mitigation capabilities and discuss new efforts to protect emergency personnel and evacuees from COVID-19 during wildfires. 


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SIRENS, TEXTS, EVEN CHURCH BELLS: CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE ALERTS AND EVACUATIONS STILL AD HOC

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Residents evacuating from the Holy Fire near Lake Elsinore in 2018. Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG

November 21, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - When a fast-moving wildfire marched toward the town of Paradise more than a year ago, few who lived there were aware of it. Even though the community used the CodeRED automated emergency warning system, less than 40% of residents subscribed to the alerts.


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TRUMP THREATENS TO END FEDERAL AID TO CALIFORNIA TO FIGHT WILDFIRES—AFTER OFFERING RUSSIA HELP TO STOP WILDFIRES IN SIBERIA

Critics accuse President of putting partisan politics above saving lives and aiding disaster victims

By Miriam Raftery

Updated 9 p.m. with comments from Alpine Fire Chief Paskle

 

Photo screenshot off NBC video:  Easy Fire started near the Ronald Reagan Valley in Simi Valley and threatened homes in Ventura County

 

November 4, 2019 (San Diego) – Days after California Governor Gavin Newsom praised the federal government for its rapid response to catastrophic wildfires and power outages affecting millions of our state’s residents, President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to cut off all future federal funding to California.  


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REPORTER OFFERS TIPS FOR WHAT TO DO DURING OUTAGES AND WILDFIRES

By Leslie Wolf Branscomb
 
October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - I hate to have to post this again, but here is my advice to all living in areas that might have fires in this next week. Based on personal experience (having been evacuated) and years covering fires for the Union-Tribune. 

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TRIBAL MEMBERS LAUNCH FIRE RELIEF DRIVE TO AID SURVIVORS OF FIRES IN MEXICO

By Miriam Raftery

October 28, 2019 (San Diego) – The Kumeyaay (Kumiai) tribal nation spans both sides of the border.  “Baja California Kumiai communities impacted by fires are in need,” writes Grace Sesma, who along Martha Rodriguez has established a Kumiai fire relief donation drive.  Donors can give money or donate items at several drop-off points on Native American reservations in San Diego’s East County.


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CALIFORNIA'S WORSENING WILDFIRES, EXPLAINED

By Julie Cart and Judy Lin, Calmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo by Naveen Nkadalaveni, Wikimedia Commons

October 27, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - Introduction:  if it seems that wildfires are burning nearly all the time these days, that there’s no longer a definable fire season in California, you’re right. Fourteen of the 20 most destructive fires in state history have occurred since 2007, and California has 78 more annual “fire days” now than it had 50 years ago.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: TROUBLING QUESTIONS OVER FIRES IN LAKESIDE

By Barry A. Treahy, Lakeside resident and retired firefighter 

 

October 27, 2019 (Lakeside) -- My neighbors in El Monte Valley, Blossom Valley, Lakeside and Barona:

 

Emergency medical and fire protection has been in the news in California this year as it also was in the past.  


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SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO START LOCAL FIRE SAFE COUNCILS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF WILDFIRE

East County News Service

October 16, 2019 (San Diego) -- Because fire season is now a year-round threat in San Diego, enlisting the support of community volunteers is critical to ensure the safety of the County. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is encouraging communities to create local fire safe councils to increase their neighborhood’s chances of surviving a wildfire. San Diego County currently has 41 community fire safe councils – the most of any county in the state – and they want to see that number grow.  


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100,000 EVACUATED AS SADDLERIDGE FIRE IN L.A. COUNTY BURNS DOZENS OF HOMES

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo: L.A. County Fire Ops
 
October 11, 2019 (Los Angeles) – The #SaddleridgeFirein Los Angeles has scorched 7,500 acres and forced an estimated 100,000 residents to flee 23,000 homes in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Sylmar areas in Los Angeles County.  The fire has burned at least 25 homes and is 13% contained.  One resident died of a heart attack in the fire and a firefighter suffered an eye injury, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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CAL FIRE INCREASES STAFFING FOR EXTREME FIRE DANGER CONDITIONS

Source:  CAL FIRE

October 8, 2019 (Sacramento) - CAL FIRE firefighters are staffing up and preparing for the forecasted extreme fire weather across California. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and fire weather watches for areas of northern, central and southern California. This will likely be the strongest offshore wind event so far this season.


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VEHICLE FIRE SPARKS BRUSH BLAZE NEAR GREEN VALLEY FALLS CAMPGROUND

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Rancho Cuyamaca State Park) – A motorcycle crash off State Route 79 near Green Valley Campground charred approximately six acres of brush today.  Around 70 firefighters from multiple agencies battled the #GreenFire by land and air, extinguishing it several hours after it began.

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SDG&E FORMS WILDFIRE SAFETY COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL TO STRENGTHEN WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS IN THE REGION

Source: SDG&E

 

Photo: SDG&E air crane and helicopters help fight fires

 

October 1, 2019 (San Diego) – As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen wildfire preparedness and prevention in the region, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) has formed the SDG&E Wildfire Safety Community Advisory Council, a group of diverse local leaders from public safety, tribal government, business, nonprofit, and academic organizations who will provide feedback and recommendations on how SDG&E can continue to protect the region from wildfires.


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CAL FIRE ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF FUNDING FOR PROJECTS THAT PROACTIVELY ADDRESS FIRE PREVENTION AND FOREST HEALTH

Souce:  CAL FIRE

September 26, 2019 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) announced the availability of over $80 million for Forest Health and Fire Prevention projects. CAL FIRE is soliciting applications for projects that work to proactively prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forests to healthy, functioning ecosystems while also sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


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WHAT WILDFIRES DID TO ONE CALIFORNIA TOWN'S SCHOOLS IN FOUR YEARS

By Ricardo Cano | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

September 18, 2019 (Middletown, Calif.) - Catherine Stone pulled into a packed parking lot at Middletown High School on the hot and excessively windy Saturday of September 12, 2015. A small but fast-growing fire had erupted hours earlier, a dozen miles away on Cobb Mountain. First responders needed an evacuation center and wanted to use Middletown High.


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JACOB ASKS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO STOP INSURERS FROM DENYING COVERAGE TO LOCAL HOMEOWNERS DUE TO WILDFIRE RISKS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: West Fire in Alpine, 2018

July 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Across California, some insurance companies have stopped writing policies for homes in areas at high risk for wildfires, even dropping policies for some long-standing customers, Voice of San Diego reported in mid-June. 

Now, Supervisor Dianne Jacob has written a letter on June 27 to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara urging him to take immediate action to “address the heavy-handed, blanket approach that insurance companies are currently utilizing to deny insurance though those who live in areas where wildfires may occur.” She also called on Lara to hold a public hearing in San Diego County on the issue, to allow residents to speak out and share concerns.


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TIME TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

 

CAL FIRE and the County Fire Authority say don’t let the rainy weather fool you … fire season will be here before you know it. You should have a plan and be prepared now to protect yourself, your home and your community.

Learn more at readysandiego.org.


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WILDFIRE INSURANCE LOSSES FROM NOVEMBER 2018 CALIFORNIA BLAZES TOP $12 BILLION

 
 
Department of Insurance urges residents to check their coverage during Wildfire Preparedness Week
 
Source: California Insurance Commissioner’s office
 
Photo: Butte Fire, creative comments by S.A.

May 8, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Insured losses from the most destructive wildfire month in California’s history climbed $614 million in the first three months of the year, pushing total claims over $12 billion as of April. The increase in claims came as homeowners and businesses continue to assess damages from the Camp Fire in Paradise and Butte County and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.


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GOV. NEWSOM DECLARES EMERGENCY FOR WILDFIRE PREVENTION: CREST, GUATAY IN EAST COUNTY AMONG “VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES” TARGETED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office

March 26, 2019 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday proclaimed a state of emergency over wildfire dangers to “protect the state’s most vulnerable communities,” according to a press release issued by his office.  


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BILL ON GOVERNOR’S DESK COULD MAKE RATEPAYERS PAY FOR WILDFIRES CAUSED BY UTILITIES’ EQUIPMENT IN 2017 AND BEYOND

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 2, 2018 (Sacramento)—California ratepayers could be forced to pay for costs of the 2017 wildfires and some future firestorms caused by utilities’ equipment, if Senate Bill 901 currently on the Governor’s desk is signed into law. Consumers who wish to weigh in can call Governor Jerry Brown’s office at (916) 558-2840 or fax (916) 558-3160.

The language is in an omnibus bill that addresses many wildfire-related issues including wildfire prevention, response and recovery as well as funding for mutual aid, fuel reduction and forestry policies, wildfire mitigation plans by utilities and cost recovery by electricity utility corporations for wildfire-related damages.

All of East County’s legislators voted for the bill including Republicans Randy Voepel and Joel Anderson as well as Democrats Ben Hueso and Shirley Weber.


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VEHICLES REMAIN A TOP CAUSE OF LOCAL WILDFIRES

 

August 12, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - Fire investigators recently announced that the cause of the deadly Carr fire in Redding was a flat tire on a trailer. When the rim scraped the concrete roadway, it sparked a fire.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHILE ROME (AND MOST EVERYWHERE ELSE) BURNS

 

The Trump administration is taking action, but in precisely the wrong direction.

By

The sky above Soda Bay, Calif. is seen on July 30, 2018 as the River Fire burns. (Photo:  Bob Schoenherr/flickr/cc)

August 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- By now we’re accustomed to learning that every year brings record high temperatures around the world. Extreme weather, says Prof. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, “is the face of climate change. We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change. The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that. We are seeing our predictions come true. As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.”


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STATE SENATE’S DEMOCRATS PASS BILL TO HELP CALIF. WILDFIRE SURVIVORS REBUILD

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – By a 24-11 vote, the California State Senate today passed Senate Bill 894, a bill to help wildfire survivors who were underinsured rebuild their lives after devastating disasters.  Republicans opposed the bill, while all Democrats (except one) voted in support.


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BEARS BURNED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES HEALED WITH FISH SKINS, RELEASED TO WILD

 

Unique treatment could translate to companion Animals, humans

By Amy Quinton, UC Davis

January 25, 2018 (Davis) - Two adult female black bears that were burned during the Thomas Fire in Southern California have recuperated and are now back in the wild thanks to the help of University of California, Davis, veterinarians and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


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TRUMP APPROVES DISATER AID FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved a request by California Governor Jerry Brown for a federal disaster declaration due to wildfires in southern California that began December 4th, including the Lilac Fire in San Diego as well as devastating fires in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.


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ACLU TO MONITOR WILDFIRE VICTIMS' RIGHTS

 

Social service agencies are required by law to provide disaster-related assistance without asking for information or documents

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As wildfires rage in Southern California this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties is on alert to protect the rights of fire victims in this region.


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CA LEGISLATORS TO INTRODUCE BILL TO BLOCK ELECTRIC UTILITIES FOUND AT FAULT FOR WILDFIRES FROM MAKING CUSTOMERS PAY

 

Senator also sends CPUC letter voicing concern over delays in voting on a staff proposal to deny SDG&E’s request to charge ratepayers for 2007 fire losses

East County News Service

November 23, 2017 (Sacramento) – State Senator Jerry Hill, joined by Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener and Assemblymembers Marc Levine and Jim Wood, have announced that they will introduce legislation in January to prevent electric utilities found culpable in wildfires from passing the costs for claims not covered by insurance as well as fines or penalties onto customers.


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ON WILDFIRES’ ANNIVERSARY, CONCERN THAT RESIDENTS ARE LESS PREPARED

 

Photo by Miriam Raftery: 2007 Harris Fire in Rancho San Diego

Video by José Eli Villanuevahttps://youtu.be/kgnVYh3lQrM

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications

October 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- As firefighters struggle to get deadly wildfires under control in Northern California, San Diego County and City officials marked the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Wildfires and called upon residents to do their part to prepare for another emergency.


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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.


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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.


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