wildfires

CPUC WILL HOLD HEARING IN SAN DIEGO APRIL 5 ON SDG&E REQUEST TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE COSTS

February 24, 2012 (San Diego)—San Diego County residents will finally have a chance to tell the California Public Utilities Commission what they think about San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposal to charge ratepayers $463.9 million for the utility’s uninsured losses due to the 2007 wildfires caused by its poorly maintained power lines.

Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon will hold a public participation hearing on April 5 from 4-9 p.m. at the Al Bar Shriner Auditorium , 4330 Kearny Mesa Road in San Diego.

The announcement follows a February 21, 2012 “Turko Files” KUSI TV investigative report which revealed over a dozen private meetings in which SDG&E executives wined and dined CPUC Commissioner Simon,  who is acting as a judge on this matter:  http://www.kusi.com/story/16988213/almost-anything-goes.

STATE FIRE BOARD REDUCES FIRE PARCEL FEE, EXTENDS CREDITS TO HOMEOWNERS ALREADY PAYING LOCAL FIRE FEES

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Rural homeowners will pay a fire parcel fee of $90 at most, and in many cases considerably less. Statewide, the total annual fire parcel fee will average just $30 under emergency regulations approved yesterday by the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

 

UC SAN DIEGO RECEIVES NSF SUPPORT FOR WILDFIRE MODELING AND PREVENTION

 

 

June 22, 2011 (San Diego) -- Wildfires are increasing in both absolute number and severity in the American southwest and this trend is predicted to continue over decades to come. Wildfire prevention has now become a major priority, and scientists at the University of California, San Diego have received federal funding to devise descriptive and predictive simulation tools to help prevent or suppress wildfires. 

With a one-year grant* from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Cyberinfrastructure, effective June 1, the UC San Diego researchers have opened a new phase for their SDFireSight project. They will develop a technical framework and computer models that will simulate the conditions that can spark a wildfire in San Diego’s ‘backcountry’. 

DEFENSIBLE SPACE DAYS: : FIRE OFFICIALS URGE RESIDENTS TO GIVE HOMES FIGHTING CHANCE AGAINST WILDFIRES

 

Following cuts in Cal-Fire staffing, fire agencies will be out in force next weekend to inspect properties and educate public

 

 

June 5, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- State budget cuts have slashed staffing on Cal-Fire engines from four men to three.  The manpower cuts as fire season approaches come at a time when heavy winter rains mean more growth of brush, providing increased fuel for fires.  The County asks residents to join in Defensible Space Days and remove fire hazards within 100 feet of your home before peak fire season. Fire agencies and safety groups will be out in the community June 10-12 to provide information about defensible space, including what is required by law and local code.  

 

Click here for information on protecting your home with defensible space. 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHANGES RED FLAG WARNING CRITERIA

 

April 16, 2010 (San Diego) – Effective immediately, the National Weather Service in San Diego is changing its criteria for issuing red flag warnings for fire danger. The change is expected to result in fewer alerts, also saving taxpayers money on overtime staffing for firefighting forces.

POWER PLAY: SDG&E USES EMINENT DOMAIN , SEEKS TO TAKE UP TO 80 PROPERTIES FOR POWERLINK


Backcountry residents burned up over latest tactic to grab land before court cases on Powerlink are heard

March 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Aiming to begin construction on Sunrise Powerlink this summer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is going to court to seek eminent domain powers to force landowners to turn over as many as 80 properties to the utility for construction of the controversial high-voltage power line. The tactic has sparked outrage among many East County residents.

FILNER INTRODUCES BILL TO SUPPORT WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS

 

 

February 23, 2010 (San Diego) – Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) recently introduced H.R. 4488, the National Wildfire Infrastructure Improvement & Cost Containment Act.

 

“It is about time that we properly recognize our brave federal wildland firefighters and make sure they are on par with other federal firefighters,” Filner said in a newsletter to constituents. “Congress must provide American citizens with the strongest, most cost-effective, and efficient federal wildfire response possible to meet the challenges and complexities of wildfires in the 21st Century.”

BETWEEN WILDFIRES: ASK QUESTIONS!

 

Part 1 of an 8-part Series

 

By Anne S. Fege, Ph.D., M.B.A., wildfire ecologist/educator and retired Forest Supervisor, Cleveland National Forest

October 13, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--By any accounts, we will always be “between wildfires” in southern California. That raises three wildfire questions that face San Diego. What will it take to keep houses from igniting? What will happen to nature, with repeated wildfires? What can we do, to live sustainably with wildfires and nature? These questions reflect the paradigm shift that is underway nationally, from wildfire prevention (Smokey, “YOU can prevent fires”) and wildfire suppression, to wildfire property risk reduction (knowing “how houses ignite” and retrofitting structures).

EDITORIAL: WILDFIRES--IS SAN DIEGO NOW BETTER PREPARED?

By Vince Wallgren, Jr.

As the 2009 autumn sun saps the moisture from most inland San Diego County vegetation; and with yet another Santa Ana condition just a high pressure weather system away, it begs the question: Following the ’03 and ’07 wildfires, what steps has government taken to ensure a similar future event does not result in the same devastation of property and loss of life?

CALIFORNIA’S FIREFIGHTING CAPACITY IS STRESSED AND FIREFIGHTERS STRETCHED THIN BY BUDGET CUTS, FIRE CHIEFS WARN LEGISLATIVE PANEL IN SAN DIEGO

 

State Fire Experts Urge Adoption of Emergency Response Initiative (ERI) 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 23, 2009 (San Diego) - With major wildfires burning in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and red flag warnings locally due to high fire danger, State Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) chaired a joint legislative committee hearing on emergency management in San Diego today. Fire chiefs and legislators presented grim warnings that California’s fire and emergency preparedness has been stretched too thin by budget cuts, placing area residents in jeopardy. Here are a few samples of the dire concerns raised:

”It’s October. The winds are kicking up, and we are really challenged…There are blackouts, brownouts, and reduced strike teams.“ – San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarmon

“Our members, they’ve all said that constraints of the budgets at state and county levels are wearing our firefighters out.” – Lou Paulson, President, California Professional Firefighers

“The system is stressed…There is zero margin for error…50 engines have dropped off the grid since the Cedar Fire…San Francisco ran out of engines. There are brownouts and blackouts at fire districts around the state…We handled the Station Fire in Los Angeles because it was the only fire…Heaven forbid if we had had three or four fires in Southern California and they were wind-driven.” – Chief Sheldon Gilbert, Co-Chair, Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force and Fire Chief, Alameda County

Our fire prevention budget is shamefully low..Firefighting costs have increased 100% in the last five years…I want to see more put in at the front end.” – Senator Christine Kehoe

PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY AFTER A FIRE: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION

 

September 7, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Fire destroys hundreds of homes each year in California and often burns thousands of acres of land. If your property was damaged by fire, the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is pleased to offer some recommendations to help your landscape recover and to help protect your property.

 

WILL POWER REPORT: ANOTHER EXPENSIVE FIRE?


Nothing but the Truth!

 

September 4, 2009-- Big surprise! Another fire in LA County will cost millions to extinguish. Firefighters come from Shasta County to get in on the juicy overtime. Private contractors lease out bulldozers and aircraft at ridiculous rates to save the homes of the foolish rich who build in canyons and on ridge-tops.

BURNING ISSUE: ECM EDITOR SPEAKS ON SDG&E SHUT-OFF PROPOSAL IN TV, RADIO SHOWS

 

July 31, 2009 (San Diego) – Hosts of two radio programs and a TV show today interviewed East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery on some of the hottest topics in town-- including a fiery East County issue: SDG&E’s proposal to shut-off power during fire-prone weather. Audio, video and transcripts from KPBS and KCBQ are available below.

 

SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL PASSES SDG&E POWER SHUT-OFF PLAN

 

By Ryan Lescure

July 27, 2009 (San Diego)--The San Diego City council voted 6-2 today to pass a resolution in support of SDG&E’s Emergency Power Shut-Off Plan. While supporters argued that the plan is needed to prevent power line-caused fires, opponents contended that blacking out power during fire-prone conditions could actually endanger lives.

EMERALD ASKS SAN DIEGO COUNCIL TO HEAR EVIDENCE ON SDG&E SHUT-OFF PROPOSAL ON MONDAY; SDG&E PLANS TO PROCEED WITH SHUT-OFF WITHOUT WAITING FOR CPUC APPROVAL

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 24, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego City Council will consider Monday whether to take a stand for or against SDG&E's controverisal proposed plan to shut off power to rural residents during high fire-risk conditions.  The plan is supported by at least two Councilmembers. 

 

HOW PREPARED IS EAST COUNTY FOR THE NEXT WILDFIRE? BUDGET CUTS BURN SOME LOCAL AGENCIES

 

”It’s outrageous and it’s irresponsible. That’s cold, that’s hard, that’s the truth. There are many other areas where life is not at stake.” –Leonard Villareal, San Miguel Fire District spokesman, on state budget cuts' impact on fire protection.

 

An East County Magazine special report

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

CAL FIRE RESPONDS TO SEVERAL SMALL FIRES, ALL DOUSED QUICKLY

June 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)4 p.m. – Lightning started several small fires this afternoon in San Diego's eastern region, including multiple blazes in the Deer Springs area, all extinguished at less than an acre apiece. “A couple of them actually hit power lines,” said Captain Nick Schuler of CAL-FIRE. Another lightning-sparked fire also burned approximately one acre in the 2000 block of Willow Glen Road in Fallbrook. In addition, the cause of a small fire in Ramona this afternoon remains under investigation.

EDITORIAL: WHY SDG&E PLAN TO SHUT OFF POWER MAY NOT PREVENT FIRES - AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE INSTEAD

By Ed Clark

February 25, 2009--I was reading the article on your site this morning, where SDG&E plans to turn off power to remote residences during high wind, low humidity days.

This is nothing more than part of their cover-up to prevent a system ground fault on a high windy days from arcing at down guy anchors and starting fires. What they don't get is that depending on where a ground fault occurs, it could still catch the grass on fire, if not corrected.

Additionally, SDG&E has several alternatives other than turning power off to customers who are in need.

MARCH 17 HEARING SET IN SAN DIEGO ON SDG&E PLAN TO SHUT OFF POWER ON DRY, WINDY DAYS

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2009 (San Diego) -- An administrative law judge has issued orders requiring the California Public Utilities commission to hold three public hearings on SDG&E's proposed shut-off of power to back country communities during high-wind events with low humidity.

HIGHWAYS OPEN, FIRES 100% CONTAINED IN CAMPO AND RANCHO BERNARDO; FIREFIGHTERS STILL BATTLE JULIET BLAZE

October 14, 2008, 11:00 p.m. -- All major highways in San Diego County are open tonight.
The Juliet Fire, which burned 3,980 acres in the Oceanside area after spreading from Camp Pendleton, is now 60% contained and evacuation orders in Fallbrook have been lifted. The Shockey Fire in Campo is 100% contained after burning 200 acres. A small fire in Rancho Bernardo has also been extinguished. A red flag alert for high fire danger remains in effect through 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

NEW FIRES BREAK OUT IN RANCHO BERNARDO AND OCEANSIDE, I-5 CLOSED

October 14 (12:30 p.m.) - Santa Ana winds are fueling new fires in several
portions of San Diego County, forcing closure of several major highways and
evacuations in the Rancho Bernardo, Oceanside, Fallbrook and Campo areas last
night and today.

Police have ordered evacuation of homes on the west side of a fire on a hillside
at Camino del Norte and Camino San Bernardo in the 4S Ranch area near Rancho
Bernardo. Two helicopters are dropping water on the flames; fire engines and
ground crews are also dousing hot spots. Details and video: www.cbs8.com/stories/story.143243.html.

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