CAL FIRE

RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED, PLUS UPDATES FROM CAL FIRE ON FIRES AROUND THE STATE

 

May 2, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A red flag warning is in effect today and tomorrow through 6 p.m. due to high fire danger from excessive heat, low humidity and high winds.

Cal-Fire has provided an update on fire activitity across the state, including a nearly 3,000-acre fire in RIverside County, as well as increased increased steps that Cal Fire is taking to ensure our region is prepared.


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BID TO SAVE RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2013 (Ramona) – Responding to long lines at airports across the nation, Congress passed legislation on April 26 to restore funding for air traffic controllers at many major airports. But wording that would have saved the air traffic control tower at Ramona Airport was removed, ECM has learned.

“While I welcome the news that Congress moved to prevent harmful cuts in the FAA budget, I’m extremely disappointed that wording aimed at saving the Ramona Airport tower and other towers was stripped from the legislation,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.


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CHILD BITTEN BY RATTLESNAKE IN SPRING VALLEY; COUNTY REPORTS JUMP IN SNAKE SIGHTINGS

 

April 23, 2013 (Spring Valley)—A 5-year-old girl was bitten on the foot by a snake yesterday while playing in a grassy common area of a condo complex at 8700 Spring Canyon Road in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.  CAL FIRE/San Miguel Fire District firefighters responded to the call shortly before noon.  With help from residents, firefighters from Station 16 located and confirmed it to be a rattlesnake.

The child was transported to Sharp Grossmont where she is receiving anti-venom.  "She is doing well, according to the mother," Leonard Villareal with San Miguel Fire told ECM today.

San Diego County Animal Services indicated there was a huge jump in snake calls yesterday. As the weather warms up, the snakes become more active.

Animal Poison Control Center offers several tips to avoid chance encounters with snakes:


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CAL FIRE AND ASSEMBLYMAN JONES TO HOLD TOWN HALL APRIL 25 ON STATE FIRE FEES

 

April 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – Have you paid $150 for the state fire fee?  Have questions?  You’re invited to join Assemblyman Brian Jones and Cal Fire at a town hall meeting on Thursday, April 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will be at the P2K range at 2082 Willow Glen Drive in EL Cajon. 

To reserve a seat, call (619)441-2322.


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FAA POSTPONES CLOSURE OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWERS UNTIL JUNE 15, WANTS COUNTY TO TAKEOVER OPERATIONS

April 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) --The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers from April 7 until June 15, including the Ramona Airport and Brown Field locally. The agency says the extra  time will allow the FAA to try and resolve multiple legal challenges to the closures.

 “The FAA delay is not good enough,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in a press statement issued this morning.  “U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that safety is the FAA’s top priority. If that was the case, the federal government shouldn’t even be talking about pulling air controllers out of Ramona. The tower is on the front line of public safety in our region, and closing it would a disaster, especially as we approach the height of the wildfire season.”


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CAL FIRE TARGETS ONE-THIRD OF STATE FOR CLEARANCE: SEEKS EXEMPTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

Your right to challenge clearance projects may be taken away

UPDATE: COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO APRIL 8

By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 28, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--The California Board of Forestry and CalFire has released a proposal to target about 38 million acres (1/3rd of the entire state) to be burned, chewed-up, or sprayed with herbicides. This increases its habitat clearance program five times over current levels in what the California Chaparral Institute (CCI) calls a “major threat” to wildlife.

Robert S. Taylor Jr., a fire specialist with the National Park Service, has also blasted the proposal as a “very poor use of public funds” that would cause irreversible environmental damage. “I strongly recommend that Cal Fire withdraw the current proposal and produce a new one based on best available science," he wrote.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has also criticized the plan.


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SEQUESTER HITS WORKING FAMILIES HARD; BORDER PATROL AGENTS TAKE 40% PAY CUT

By Nadin Abbott

March 20, 2013 (San Diego)—Federal employees and their families at a rally outside the 32nd Street Naval Station today  came to bring attention to the effects of the federal sequester in their lives. This is a reality for them right now, not just a headline in a paper.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: DID YOU KNOW--CAL FIRE HIDDEN FUNDS AND NO OVERSIGHT FROM THE LEGISLATURE?

By Assemblyman Brian Jones

March 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Did you know that Cal Fire bureaucrats have joined the ranks of state agencies hiding taxpayer dollars?  It’s sad, but true – recent Cal Fire headlines are less about the brave duty of firefighters and more about secreting taxpayer dollars away in a non-profit association.

Not only did Cal Fire hide $3.5 million, but they did so while Governor Brown and the Democrat-controlled Legislature slapped a $150 fire tax on rural residents from San Diego to the Northern California border.


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CORTE MADERA RANCH AREA PRESCRIBED BURN WEDNESDAY

 

January 22, 2013 (El Cajon)--CAL FIRE/San Diego will be burning approximately 100 acres in the Corte Madera Ranch area near the community of Pine Valley. The burn will take place tomorrow 1/23/2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as part of a Vegetation Management Program. Smoke will be visible in many parts of East County.


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MAN DIES IN PINE VALLEY MOBILEHOME FIRE

Cal Fire and East County Magazine offer heating safety reminders for cold weather

January 13, 2013 (Pine Valley) – Firefighters battling a blaze at a mobilehome park in the 27500 block of Old Highway 80 in Pine Valley last night discovered a man’s body inside after extinguishing the blaze. Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson detectives have ruled out foul play.

Cal Fire spokesman Mike Mohler told ECM that investigators are looking at several potential causes, including the possibility that the victim may have perished due to an old or improperly used heating device in last night’s sub-freezing temperatures.

Here are important safety tips to stay warm  and safe during cold weather:


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STATE REDUCES FIRE FEE ON RURAL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS



December 13, 2012 (San Diego's East County--The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) , after working with the San Diego County Fire Authority along with several other agencies, today announced that residents within County Service Area (CSA) 135 are eligible for the $35.00 reduction on the State’s Fire Prevention Fee.

“CSA 135 includes all unincorporated areas of East County including the backcountry,” Captain Mike Mohler, public information officer at Cal Fire, told East County Magazine.  The new Fee, which is being assessed on all habitable structures within the State Responsibility Area, is set at $150, but has a $35 reduction when the home is within a local fire protection agency.


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SUPERVISOR JACOB ADVISES TAXPAYERS TO PROTEST FIRE FEE

By Bill Weaver
 
November 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –Supervisor Dianne Jacob has issued a statement urging backcountry residents who oppose the state fire tax fee to take the following steps to protect their rights in the event that litigation ultimately overturns the fees.  While some support the fees as a means to fund firefighting services by Cal Fire during fiscally challenging times for the state, Jacob contends the tax places an unfair burden on rural residents.
 
"County Supervisor Dianne Jacob advises residents in her district to pay a new state fire tax now being levied on tens of thousands of local homeowners, but to do it under protest.


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CAL FIRE TO HOLD CONTROLLED BURN TUESDAY IN RANCHO JAMUL AREA

November 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Authority in cooperation with State Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service resources will conduct a prescribed burn in the area of the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve in East county near the community of Jamul. This burn is scheduled to take place during daylight hours on November 6.


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STATE FIRE TAX NOTICES NOW HITTING LOCAL MAILBOXES

November 3, 2012 (Sacramento) – State officials have started mailing notices to tens of thousands of San Diego County property owners warning that they will soon be billed $150 annually to help shore up Cal Fire’s budget. Budget cuts have dropped the number of firefighters per engine, among other cutbacks in wildfire protection.

Residents of Alpine, Dehesa and other communities in Jacob’s Second District report receiving the notices in recent days. They consider the new fire tax an unfair burden, noting they already pay state property taxes to help fund public safety and often community fees for additional fire protection.


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JOHN REVELS WANTS VOTERS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT TO HAVE A CHOICE ON RESTORING INDEPENDENCE FROM CAL-FIRE

By Janis Mork

October 16, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Civil engineer John Revels is running for the San Miguel Fire Board. In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, he shared his views on his candidacy and the future of the fire district.

Revels was motivated to run because, “I got a flyer of what was going on at San Miguel fire board. I have nothing against Cal Fire; they are a great organization. I wanted to keep San Miguel independent as it’s always been [before the merger with Cal Fire]. So a year ago, I started attending meetings and talking to people, and I also went to meetings to speak to the board at Cuyamaca College.”


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RANDY DIBB WANTS TO BRING CHANGE TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 11, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Retiree Randy Dibb wants to run for the San Miguel fire board because he has “concern for the district” and wants to bring “changes.” His values include satisfying the needs of the constituents coupled with the dramatic changes in the way the district does business, and putting together a viable budget within the current concerns of the district.


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DAVE RICKARDS SEEKS REELECTION TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 10, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Fire captain/paramedic Dave Rickards hopes to get re-elected to the San Miguel Fire Board because “I care about the community I want the best fire protection in the community I live in.” The three-term incumbent is a district resident since 1990, spent 29 years in the fire service in El Cajon, and currently sits on the Heartland Communications Commission. He is also the Districts’ representative Finance Committee.” He adds, “We’re all training each other and we all have agreements that help each other out.” 

He is also a U.S. Navy vet, a USS Midway volunteer, and a private pilot. He is currently a Company Engines Officer in the Fletcher Hills Community of El Cajon.


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DAN MCMILLAN WANTS TO REPRESENT TAXPAYERS, PRIORITIZE BUDGET FOR SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- The cash-strapped San Miguel Fire District recently voted to outsource firefighting services to Cal-Fire. This election season, six candidates are running for four seats on the District’s board, which has taken heat from labor and the public over tough decisions made. ECM has contacted all candidates for information on their candidacies.  Below, we profile business/college educator Dan McMillan.  Other candidates are retiree Randy Dibb, retired civil engineer William A. Kiel, civil engineer John Revels, fire captain/paramedic David Rickards, and incumbent board member Karrie Johnston Scully. View a map of the district: http://www.smgfire.org/district-map.


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WILLIAM KIEL WANTS TO GET INTO A SAVINGS MODE FOR SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 4, 2012 (Spring Valley) - San Miguel fire board recently voted to outsource all fire services to Cal Fire. There are six candidates running for four seats on the board. Other candidates include retiree Randy Dibb, incumbent board members Karrie Johnston Scully, fire captain/paramedic David Rickards, civil engineer John Revels, and college educator/businessman Dan McMillan. View a map of the district: http://www.smgfire.org/district-map. Below is a profile on retired civil engineer William Kiel.


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NEW TECHNOLOGY USED AT THE SHOCKEY FIRE

October 4, 2012 (Campo) – As CAL FIRE neared containment on the 2,851 acre Shockey Fire burning near the community of Campo in San Diego County, firefighters credited new technology in the success of the incident. For the past year, firefighters have been aided by the development of a new project called Next Generation Incident Command System, or “NICS”.  The new technology is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Labs with major participation from CAL FIRE. Especially this year with the increased fire activity, CAL FIRE has been the perfect test bed for the new technology.


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HIKER DIES ON TRAIL AFTER FINDING THREE SISTERS FALLS DRY

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A 27-year-old Coronado man collapsed and died yesterday on the return hike from Three Sisters Falls.  According to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office, the man was hiking with three friends on the trail in the Descanso/Julian area when he collapsed.

“It was a hot day and the falls apparently were dried up,” the Medical Examiner’s website reports.  Temperatures were in the 80s, with an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service in effect.


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SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD APPROVES CAL FIRE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT

The following details were provided in a press release from the district, which has been plagued by budget shortfalls, contentious public meetings, and labor-management disputes in recent years.

September 27, 2012 (Spring Valley) -- The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors voted onSeptember 25 to approve a Cooperative Service Agreement with CAL FIRE. The Board voted unanimously to approve  the five and a half-year agreement. Board President Chris Winter said, “This Cooperative Agreement allows the District to proceed with a balanced budget, maintain the current level of service for our residents and provide for the long-term viability of the District.


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SHOCKEY FIRE 55% CONTAINED; RESIDENTS TO BE ALLOWED INTO BURNED AREA THIS EVENING

September 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The Shockey Fire has scored 2,850 acres and is now 55% contained, Cal Fire reports.  There has been one injury to a firefighter as well as the death of an elderly resident reported yesterday.  Twenty homes have burned, all in the Tierra del Sol area of Boulevard, as well as 15 outbuidlings. Another 10 structures were damaged by the fast-burning wildfire.  About 25 residences remained threatened this morning. 

Damage assessment is now being conducted by authorities. The objective today is to continue to build containment lines on the northern and southern flanks. At 6 p.m. today, the evacuation order for Tierra del Sol will be lifted and residents only will be allowed to return, with ID.


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CAMPO FIRE NOW 100 ACRES, SPREADING EAST

FOR UPDATES ON THIS FAST-GROWING FIRE, SEE OUR NEW STORY POSTED HERE:

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/11145

ALSO CHECK OUR HOMEPAGE FOR POTENTIAL NEW STORIES LATER AT www.EASTCountyMagazine.org.

 

Update 1:40 p.m.:  The Shockey Fire is now over 100 acres and spreading rapidly to the east, being driven by a southwest wind, Cal Fire’s Roxanne Provaznik reports.  The Incident Commander has requested 5 additional engines, 4 additional airtankers, 2 additional water tenders, and 1 additional bulldozer.  There are structures out ahead of the fire but they are not immediately threatened, per  Cal Fire.


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GOVERNOR SIGNS SENATOR KEHOE'S WILDFIRE PREVENTION PLANNING BILL

September 13, 2012 (Sacramento) – Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced today that her legislation to protect development from wildfire has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

“SB 1241 will save lives and property.  It will also ease the financial burden for fire suppression on both state and local governments through early, consistent, and meaningful fire hazard planning statewide,” stated Senator Kehoe. “We have fires in California every year.  As more people move into State Responsibility Areas and high fire hazard severity zones, it’s become critical that local governments plan for fire hazards in these high risk areas as early in their land use planning process as possible,” Kehoe said.


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ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BOARD OPPOSES NEW FEE IMPOSED ON CONSTITUENTS

State levies additional cost without providing additional services.

August 24, 2012 (Alpine)– The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) Board of Directors at its August 21st board meeting adopted a resolution opposing the newly implemented State Responsibility Area (SRA) fees, which will impose additional financial burden on its constituents without providing additional fire services.

 


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CAL FIRE ORDERS STATEWIDE BURN BAN

 

By Chief Ken Mimlott, Director of CAL FIRE

August 16, 2012 (Sacramento)0Due to the menace of wildfires and their potential to destroy life, property, and natural resources, as well as predicted fire weather and other factors, and utilizing the authority vested in me by Section 4423.1 of the Public Resources Code, I hereby proclaim:


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CREWS BATTLE TO PROTECT 60 HOMES IN CHIHUAHUA VALLEY



By Tom and Nadin Abbott

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

August 10, 2012 (Chihuahua Valley) 3:30 a.m. – Hundreds of firefighters from across California have been called in to defend 60 homes in Chihuahua Valley, a box canyon northeast of Warner Springs. View a map.

The area contains stands of old-growth oak trees estimated at 400 years old, according to residents.

Residents, shut out of the area, fear for livestock trapped inside without access to water--and some people may be trapped, a property owner at the scene told ECM.


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SIX BRUSH FIRES CAUSED BY SHOOTING FIREARMS IN EAST COUNTY; CAL FIRE ASKS BLM TO BAN SHOOTING DURING FIRE SEASON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Revelations that six wildfires in the past six weeks have been caused by recreational shooting in East County has caused a firestorm of controversy.  

Cal-Fire, joined by residents of  Dulzura, Potrero and other areas bordering the Otay Wilderness area have asked the federal Bureau of Land Management to ban shooting on its properties within San Diego County for the duration of this year’s expected severe fire season.  


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FIRE BURNING IN JAMUL NEAR MT. MIGUEL

Update 5:20 p.m.: The fire's forward spread has been stopped at 20 acres, Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik reports. No structures were burned. Proctor Valley Road remains  closed between Chula Vista and Jamul. Echo Way is also closed but should be opened soon. 


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