Mountains

FIRE DESTROYS HISTORIC HOME, A FORMER STAGECOACH STOP, IN RAMONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM News partner 10 News

July 21, 2018 (Ramona) – The Cinnamon Fire that scorched 13 acres in the Witch Creek area yesterday destroyed Ramona’s original stagecoach stop built in 1870, also resulting in dramatic rescue efforts to save dogs in a kennel on the property.

“We lived there for 12 years until we built a new house,” the owner of Kritter Camp Boarding Kennel, located on Creek Hollow Drive in Ramona, told East County Magazine regarding the historic structure. At the time of the fire, she added, “My daughter and her boyfriend lived there.”

DRIVER ARRESTED FOR FILING FALSE REPORT OF CARJACKING AFTER RAMONA CRASH

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 19, 2018 (Ramona) – A driver who reported his vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint has been arrested for filing a false report to conceal his involvement in a crash in Ramona.

 

According to Sgt. Jeremy Sheppard with the Sheriff’s department, Luis Solis, 19 and with a juvenile passenger have been charged with filing the false report after the Toyota Forerunner that Solis was driving rolled over at 630 Gem Lane in Ramona.

PINE VALLEY DAYS: PARADE AND FESTIVITIES JULY 27-28

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- Pine Valley Days will take place on July 27th and 28th.  Sponsored by the Mountain Empire Men’s Club in the mountain town of Pine Valley, Pine Valley Days will include a parade on Saturday at 9 a.m., live music by Barb Wire, craft fair, deep pit barbecue, kids zone, horseshoe tournament and other activities throughout the weekend.

For a full schedule of events, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/185443142839/photos/gm.253729028534281/10156350830237840/?type=3&theater.

IN EMERGENCY APPEAL, JULIAN FIREFIGHTERS ASK STATE COURT TO HALT COUNTY TAKEOVER

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, amember of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Suspended Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber of Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Image via Julian Fire Plugs

July 19, 2018 (Julian) - Julian’s volunteer firefighters have filed an emergency appeal with a state appellate court in hopes of making an August 10 deadline to place a measure on the November ballot.

Their aim is to have the 2,246 voters in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District decide whether to repeal a fire board action to dissolve the district.

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.

RAMONA HOMEOWNERS TRACK DOWN BURGLAR

 

East County News Service

 

July 18, 2018 (Ramona) – After a burglar stole jewelry, tools, electric bicycles and other items valued at $95,000 to $125,000 out of their motorhome and a storage shed in Ramona, Michael and Veronica Mahaffey obtained an anonymous tip.  That led them to 929 East Old Julian Highway, where they confronted Christopher Payne, 24, who admitted to the theft.

WEST FIRE BENEFIT AND AUCTION AUG. 18

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2018 (Alpine) - A dinner and auction to benefit survivors of the West Fire in Alpine will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center.

The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Community Center are organizing the fundraiser. All funds raised will be donated to the Alpine Community Foundation to help and support those affected by the West Fire, which destroyed 34 homes and also destroyed many outbuildings, damaging other properties.

For tickets, visit http://www.AlpineChamber.com.

See details below:

ALPINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NOW ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Drone video of West Fire devastation in Alpine: "Aftermath from above" by Joseph A. Acevedo, N6SIX

July 15, 2018 (Alpine) – People who want to help Alpine residents rebuild homes lost after the West Fire, and fill gaps that insurance companies and other agencies aren’t filling, can now make a tax deductible donation to the Alpine Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A community recovery team will help the Foundation verify needs and resources. Money will pay bills directly, and will not be paid directly to individuals. Those in greatest need will receive help first.  The Foundation is run by volunteers in the community, so no fees will be charged and 100% of donations will benefit fire survivors.

HOW TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – Many of our readers have been asking how to help people who lost homes in the West Fire in Alpine earlier this month.  Several organizations are helping out and GoFundMe pages have also been set up for some of the families.

Alpine Christian Fellowship has established a West Fire relief fund that is accepting financial donations.  You can also sign up to volunteer to help with debris clean up, supply distribution, food and water, pet care, child care, spiritual care, or transportation.

A Fire Victim Supply Post has been set up at Boulder Oaks Elementary (2320 Tavern Rd., Alpine) where you can donate and drop off supplies to help fire survivors such as clothing, clean-up supplies, non-perishable food items and household goods.  For more info please call or text Margo at 619-876-8713 or Stephanie at 619-573-5638.

Keller Williams Realty has started a fund to help West Fire survivors and is also accepting donations of immediate relief supplies at three locations in Alpine and El Cajon. Details are at their GoFundMe link.

Below are other  GoFundMe sites set up to help specific individuals and families who lost homes in the West Fire. While some have already raised tens of thousands of dollars, other have nearly no donations. Please help our neighbors in need.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SAN MIGUEL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE FLAMES IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – San Miguel Fire Protection District posted these dramatic images of their firefighters battling to save mobile homes during the West Fire in Alpine on July 6th.   

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR POSSIBLE ALPINE HOMES PROJECT

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

 

July 12, 2018 (Alpine) - A public hearing about the storm water management plan for the proposed Rancho Sierra residential subdivision in Alpine will be held on Friday, July 20, in San Diego.

 

The County of San Diego has set the hearing for its 9 a.m. session in the County Operations Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Ave.

A SIP OF JULIAN JULY 28 FEATURES SPIRITED TASTES

 

 

East County news Service

July 12, 2018 (Julian) -- On Saturday, July 28th, 2018, the Julian Chamber of Commerce is co-hosting the 4th Annual ‘Sip of Julian’. 

Proof that Julian isn’t about apples and apple pies, the sip features growers and producers of wine, craft beer, mead, craft cocktails, and hard cider, offering up a sampling of their delicious hand-crafted specialties. There will also be bites of gourmet foods to savor.

TRUCK DRIVER STRANDED 24 HOURS IN ALPINE RAVINE IS RESCUED BY SHERIFF’S SEARCH TEAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo:  ASTREA helicopter, file photo

 

July 10, 2018 (Alpine) – A truck driver trapped in a ravine for over 24 hours was rescued by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team shortly before 5:30 a.m. The search began after Alpine Sheriff’s station deputies checked on an overdue big rig; the driver’s GPS led them to his truck parked near the I-8 viewpoint parking lot with engine running and headlights on.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY LUM EISENMAN WINE COMPETITION AWARDS RECORD NUMBER OF MEDALS

 

Source: Ramona Valley Vineyards Association

 

July 10, 2018 (Ramona) -- San Diego County winemakers picked up a record number of medals for outstanding wine at the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) Awards Dinner for the ninth San Diego County Lum Eisenman Wine Competition on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 held at the San Vicente Resort.

OUR EAST COUNTY WILDFIRE ALERTS PROVIDED CRITICAL, TIMELY INFORMATION DURING EARLY HOURS OF WEST FIRE IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Scheid, shortly after the West Fire began, helped us provide critical early warning to our readers

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) – In the critical first few hours of the West Fire in Alpine, our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided the earliest news that a fire had begun and was threatening homes in Alpine. In the first 12 hours, we posted 38 updates including Twitter, email, articles and social media.

During the fire’s first day, our first alert was sent at 11:44 a.m (simultaneous to the Forest Service's first Tweet five minutes after the fire was reported at 11:39 a.m., per Cal Fire's incident report). That was nearly an hour and a half before the first Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Tweet at 1:04 p.m.  and a full four hours before the first Cal-Fire e-mail alert went out at 3:43 p.m. announcing “numerous structures destroyed.”

Cal Fire/County Fire Chief Tony Mecham has said homes were burning within eight minutes after the fire started, Patch.com reports.

Alpine Fire Department, battling the inferno amid power outages and grappling with a seriously injured fire captain, didn’t get their first Twitter alert out until the next day.  Cleveland National Forest did send timely alerts via Twitter only, but stopped after the fire burned outside of federal lands and into neighborhoods with homes.

During the first 12 hours of the fire, we sent frequent updates via Twitter and email, as well as posting numerous updates on our webpage plus photos and video link. We even went the extra mile to post some information on our Facebook page and on some community forum Facebook pages in or near the Alpine area, where many were without power but could access those sites on cell phones.

ANIMAL SERVICES HELPS PETS, LIVESTOCK DISPLACED IN WEST FIRE

 

Owners sought for pets found after Alpine fire

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) - The County Department of Animal Services rescued or sheltered approximately 30 animals from the West Fire, and after reuniting all but four, staff members are helping people impacted by the fire with pet food and resources if needed at the Alpine Local Assistance Center.

DONATE GOODS TO HELP ALPINE FIRE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2018 (Alpine)--A donation center has been set up  by Living Life Alpine for the pubic to drop off goods to help survivors of the West Fire in Alpine, which destroyed at least 35 homes as well as many outbuildings, also damaging other properties.  Donations can be dropped from from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium at 2320 Tavern Road, Alpine.

This location has changed from an earlier site opened last night, which has already provided relief supplies to several families. 

“Any donations are welcome,” the organization’s Facebook page states.  “Here are some ideas:”

WITH FIRE 92% CONTAINED, ALPINE RESIDENTS RETURN HOME – WITH DOZENS FINDING ONLY ASHES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ready San Diego

July 8, 2018 (Alpine)—The grim toll wrought by the 505-acre West Fire in Alpine has risen. With the wildfire now 92 percent contained and all evacuations lifted, reentry brought relief for some who found homes still standing, but heartache for others facing total devastation.

The fire destroyed at least 56 structures, including 34 homes, a business, and 21 other buildings including barns and sheds.  Another 15 homes were damaged, along with 5 outbuildings.

Merlyn Cochran, assistant manager at Baron’s Market, was at work  when the fire started. Neighbors Al and Sharon Haven told Cochran and her husband to “go get my mother-in-law, who is 96 years old and lives at our ranch, because the winds were shifting and blowing towards our ranch,” Cochran recalls.

ALPINE FIRE CAPTAIN AND SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD MEMBER MIKE VACIO INJURED IN WEST FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Facebook

July 8, 2018 (Alpine) — An Alpine Fire Department crew, the first to arrive at the West Fire in Alpine on Friday, swiftly found themselves surrounded by flames and narrowly managed to escape.  The scorching flames were so hot that they melted tires on the fire engine, 10 news reports.

HEARTBREAK AND HEROISM IN ALPINE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, courtesy San Diego Sheriff Office, Alpine

 

July 6, 2018 (Alpine) – At the Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine, owner Missy Bender posted this  panicked message on Facebook today as the #WestFire approached: “Fire is here desperately need help…”   With 41 horses in need of evacuation, she pleaded for  help “even on foot” adding that the Sheriff wasn’t letting trailers in. “We have to lead horses out on foot,” she said, adding, “We are fighting the fire off our back fence…”

CAL FIRE LIFTS EVACUATION WARNING FOR SOME WEST FIRE AREAS

 

Update July 8, 2018 --  A Local Assistance Center (LAC) will open Monday, July 9th at the Alpine Library. County representatives & other organizations will be there to help impacted residents begin the rebuilding & recovery process. The LAC will operate 9am-6 pm, until further notice.

Source: County Emergency Services

Photo by Miriam Raftery

Update 8:30 p.m. -- Due to more accurate mapping Cal Fire reports the West Fire is now 504 acres. Firefighters continue to make excellent progress, as the fire is now 81% contained. Evacuation orders and road closures remain in effect throughout the night.

 

July 7, 2018 (Alpine) 6 p.m. --CAL FIRE San Diego announced that the following areas previously under evacuation order or warning for the West fire are now open to residents only:

  • Palo Verde Ranch community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • Rancho Palo Verde community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • West of South Grade Road area
  • West of the fire perimeter
  • South of Alpine Boulevard between Peutz Valley Road and South Grade Road
  • West of South Grade Road between Alpine Boulevard and Via Viejas Oeste
  • West of Via Vejas Oeste between South Grade Road and Via Asoleado
  • West of Via Asoleado between Via Viejas Oeste and Japatul Road 

The following areas remain under an evacuation order throughout the night and until further notice:

RECOVERY RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR WEST FIRE SURVIVORS; 18 HOMES LOST IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 7, 2018 (Alpine) – Firefighters made progress on the #WestFire overnight, holding the wildfire to 400 acres with containment now 30%.  At least 18 homes are reported destroyed and 8 more damaged.  Evacuation orders remain in place.  A shelter at Los Coches Middle School remains open and pets are welcome at the shelter.

If you need help after the #West Fire in Alpine, you can call 211 or click here for a list of resources:  https://www.sdcountyrecovery.com/events/july-2018-fire-recovery-resources/.

State and county emergency declarations have been issued. 

STRUCTURES BURNING IN DULZURA AND ALPINE BRUSH FIRES

 

Update 5 p.m. The County has declared an emergency due to the fires: County proclaims a local emergency due to the fires:  http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/updates/county-proclaims-local-emergenc...   The Governor has also declared a state emergency in San DIego County moments ago: @JerryBrownGov declares state of emergency in San Diego County due to #WestFire https://bit.ly/2MPRlNi

Update 3:10 p.m.:  10 News, ECM's news partner, has provided a map of the #WestFire in Alpine.

Update 2:30 p.m. Fire is now 350 acres in Alpine and 0% contained.

Update 2:10 p.m. Lakeside Rodeo Grounds is open for large animal evacuations.

Update 1:50 p.m.  CHP has shut down I-8 east at Tavern Rd. The Tavern and Willows Rd. exits are also closed. Over 1,400 homes are without power in the Alpine area due to lines damaged by the fire; estimated restoration time is 4 p.m. per SDG&E.

Update 1:30 p.m.:  The #WestFire in Alpine is now 150 acres. Mandatory evacuations are underway. Homes are burning on Honey Hill Road.

 

Photos:  #WestFire in Alpine, by Robert Scheid

View video:https://www.facebook.com/robert.scheid.35/videos/1024052857719513/

July 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two brush fires have burned at least one structure each in Dulzura and Apine.  The #StructureFire at State Route 94 and Community Rd. in Dulzura has charred over 10 acres per Cal Fire and prompted 144 evacuation notices to be issued per County Emergency Services.  NBC 7 has film of a structure in flames.

In Alpine, the #WestFire started south of I-8, west of Willows, and is burning toawrd mobile homes, an eyewitness at the scene advises ECM. It is now estimated at 10-15 acres per Cleveland National Forest which confirms structures are threatened. A Fox TV video shows at least one structure already burning.  A DC 10 has been requested.

Robert Scheid, an eyewitness at the scene, says the fire in Alpine is burning toward mobile homes and that some flames are as tall as power poles.

FAMILY FUN RAMONA GRAPE STOMP RETURNS FOR SECOND YEAR SEPTEMBER 8

 

East County News Service

July 5, 2018 (Ramona) - Mark your calendars. Following a highly reviewed first-time-ever event in 2017, the annual Ramona Grape Stomp returns for its second year on Saturday, September 8, 2018 from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center–Pavilion, 421 Aqua Lane, Ramona, CA 92065.

ALPINE FOURTH OF JULY PARADE DRAWS A CROWD

 

Source: Alpine Chamber of Commerce

 

July 5, 2018 (Alpine) -- Alpine’s hometown 4th of July Parade & Festival was a joyful celebration of the nation’s 242nd birthday. Whether they walked, danced or waved from vehicles and floats coming down Alpine Boulevard, parade participants with more than 65 entries smiled and called out to family, friends and visitors.

EMERGENCY CLOSURE ORDER IN EFFECT FOR POPULAR RAMONA TRAILS

 

Source:  U.S. Forest Service

July 3, 2018 (Ramona) - An emergency closure order has been implemented for Three Sisters and Cedar Creek Falls, effective Thursday, July 5 through Monday, July 9, due to the anticipated heat wave and considerable public health and safety concerns involved..

BRUSH FIRE IN WITCH CREEK CHARS FIVE ACRES

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 July 2, 2018 (Ramona) – The Creek Fire that started this afternoon in the Witch Creek area near 25379 Creek Hollow Road, east of Ramona, has burned five acres and is currently 5% contained, according to Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

 Forward spread of the vegetation fire has been stopped and no structures are threatened. There are no road closures. 

HEATWAVE FORECAST LATE NEXT WEEK

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 1, 2018 (San Diego) — The National Weather Service predicts temperatures are likely to reach excessive levels by Friday and Saturday. There will also be a chance of thunderstorms in the mountains of San Diego County and other Southern California locations. Temperatures could reach 118 degrees in Borrego Springs, 101 in Ramona, 100 degrees in Alpine, and 97 degrees in Julian.

 

Be sure to stay well hydrated with plenty of water and avoid strenuous outdoor activities if possible.  If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors.

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