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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 10, 2019 (San Diego) - 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
October 10, 2017 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to restrict drones from flying near or over fires and locations that have public safety temporary area restrictions to ensure public safety.
October 2, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Forest Service, in a series of messages sent on its Twitter account, warns that the growing cost of wildfires is taking money from other programs –including those that reduce fire threats.
By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts
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.
September 3, 2017 (San Diego) -- Have you ever wondered how firefighters determine which homes to defend and which ones we don’t during a wildfire?
As firefighters, we lay out our plans for the tactical operations before a brush fire by pre-planning our districts. During a brush fire, it’s imperative that we make quick but well-thought-out decisions that reflect life safety issues for both responders and citizens first, followed by property conservation.
August 22, 2017 (California) – Growth in commercial-scale marijuana farming has created a new set of wildfire-related issues. Several recent wildfires in California were caused by pot growing operations, Cal Fire reveals. But in other western states, pot farmers are facing uninsured losses when wildfires threaten their crops.
Photo courtesy San Bernadino County Fire Department
July 10, 2017 (San Diego) – It’s shaping up to be an extreme fire season. Over 6,100 firefighters are battling at least 14 large wildfires burning across California, CAL FIRE public information officer Issac Sanchez reports on behalf of CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham. The U.S. Forest Service is also battling numerous fires on federal forest and national park lands, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Photo: A CAL FIRE air tanker drops retardant on a fire in San Diego County. Image credit: Jeff Pack
July 10, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Hobbyist drones are a growing safety concern among local first responders fighting fires in the air and on the ground.
As we approach peak fire season, San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE San Diego Unit officials are reminding hobby drone operators to steer clear of wildfires. Drones put first responders’ safety at risk, and they stop or slow firefighting operations.
By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: The San Diego region is more prepared for wildfires this year than it has ever been and residents need to do their part to lessen their risk and be ready to evacuate if it is recommended.
May 23, 2017 (San Diego) - This past weekend’s Gate Fire should have ended any lingering thoughts that the year’s ample rains dampened San Diego’s wildfire threat and the need to maintain defensible space around your home.