Wildfire News

FIREFIGHTERS GEAR UP FOR FIRE SEASON AT WILDLAND FIRE EXCERISES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jeff Holz at Equestrian Center in Santee

April 21, 2017 (Santee) — San Diego County Fire Chiefs, along with fire agencies across the region, held their annual wildland fire preparedness exercises April 19-21 in Santee and Tierrasanta to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

CAL FIRE AND CERT TEAMS TO HOLD DRILL SATURDAY AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

 

East County News Service

April 21, 2017 (El Cajon) -- As natural disasters continue to grow and become more destructive, emergency responders, such as CAL FIRE San Diego, are becoming increasingly dependent on community volunteer organizations. One such organization that has been called on to assist is San Diego County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). When activated through their sponsoring agency, CERT members can find themselves working in close cooperation with local first responders; augmenting their numbers and aiding their neighbors that have been affected by a disaster. Skills that CERT members have been trained in can include basic first-aid, volunteer organization and search and rescue. CERT members were activated as recently as last year during the Border Fire in Potrero and quickly became an integral part of the community response by helping families and property owners that were impacted by the fire which ultimately grew to nearly 7700 acres over two weeks.

COMMUNITY WILDFIRE ACTION PLAN WORKSHOP MAY 6 IN DESCANSO

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2017 (Descanso) – Do you have a plan for reducing your wildfire risks and protecting your family and pets? The Descanso Emergency Planning/FireSafe Group is holding a workshop on Saturday May 6 from 1-3 p.m. at the Descanso Library (9545 River Drive in Descanso) to help families prepare for wildfires.

CERT DISASTER TRAINING CLASSES IN JAMUL, PINE VALLEY AND BOULEVARD IN MAY

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learn during training.  These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until professional help arrives.

BE PREPARED FOR DISASTER – REGISTER FOR THE CERT ACADEMY

 

Source: Heartland Fire & Rescue

April 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Are you prepared for a disaster? An earthquake or firestorm? Consider attending a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) academy. Free disaster training will be taught by members of Heartland Fire & Rescue and Santee Fire Department in classes that begin May 6th

SAN MIGUEL FIRE TAKES STEPS TOWARDS COMPLETING INDEPENDENCE

 

By Mike Allen

Photo:  San Miguel Fire & Rescue

April 13, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- The San Miguel Fire District continues to take the necessary steps to go back to being a stand-alone agency and cut the cord from Cal Fire, which currently provides its fire protection services.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RECALL UP IN SMOKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

End of recall effort means district will proceed with cancelling Cal Fire contract in July and return to free-standing status

April 3, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A petition to recall three members of the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District board  has been axed by Registrar of Voters Michael Vu for failing to comply with formatting requirements. The proponent, Robert Cederdahl, a former member of the board in the 1990s, did not submit amended forms by deadline, so the recall effort is up in smoke before any petitions were circulated for signatures.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE HANDS COUNTY KEYS TO TWO NEW FIRE TRUCKS

 

By Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

Photo, left:  Kenneth Meza, Vice Chairman of the Jamul Indian Village Tribal Council, addresses attendees.

March 24, 2017 (Jamul) -- Fighting fires in the East County just got a little easier thanks to the Jamul Indian Village Tribe, which handed over the keys to two fire trucks to the San Diego Fire Authority at a ceremony that was held March 22 on the premises of the Hollywood Casino in Jamul.

DEADLINE FOR REQUESTS FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE IS APRIL 15

 

East County News Service

March 23, 2017 (Sacramento) - State agencies, local and tribal governments, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations, which sustained damage during severe winter storms from Jan. 18 to Jan. 23, have until April 15, 2017, to submit Requests for Public Assistance (RPA).

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE TO DELIVER NEW FIRE TRUCKS TO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY, IMPROVE REGIONAL FIRE SAFETY

 

East County News Service

March 18, 2017 (Jamul) -- Leading up to what could be a busy fire season in San Diego County, the Jamul Indian Village will officially hand over the keys and deliver a new $1 million ladder truck and $500,000 pumper truck to the San Diego County Fire Authority on Tuesday.

TRUMP APPROVES DISASTER DECLARATION FOR 15 CALIFORNIA COUNTIES

 

By Miriam RafteryPhoto

Photo by Alex Tardy, National Weather Service:  San Diego River crested at 14.15 feet, third highest level ever recorded

March 16, 2017 (San Diego) — President Donald Trump has  granted a federal disaster declaration requested by California Governor Jerry Brown in 15 California counties, including San Diego, due to severe storms that caused flooding, mudslides, and other damage from January 18-23.

ANDY PARR NAMED ADMINISTRATOR OF COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2017 (San Diego) — Andy Parr has been appointed to serve as the County’s new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Administrator.  Parr is best known in East County as the former Fire Chief of the Lakeside Fire Protection District, where he served for 37 years including during the Cedar and Witch Creek wildfires. Most recently he served as EMS/Fire Liaison for the County Health and Human Services Agency.

LAKESIDE CERT TEAM EXPANDS READINESS FOR DISASTERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CERT team member Christina Whipple

February 28, 2017 (Lakeside) – The room was packed for a recent training program offered by the Lakeside Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for volunteers eager to help their community if a wildfire, earthquake or other disaster overwhelms local authorities.

EXTREME FLOODING SOAKS REGION

 

 

Report rock slides, boulders or other dangerous road conditions to the County Operations Emegency Call Center (858)565-5262. Help save lives!

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Christina Dahners-Johnson:  Seasonal creek behind Lyons Valley Trading Post in Jamul had been dry for at least seven years before this storm.

February 27, 2017 (San Diego) – Flooding is wreaking havoc on rural roads and highways countywide.  In Mission Valley, the San Diego River has water cresting among the top 10 levels on record, with the ballfield at Petco Park and some parking garages currently submerged.

George Barnett, a member of the Alpine Community Planning Group, posted in the Ranter’s Roost forum, “ It’s raining like hell in Alpine…Viejas Creek is way outside   its normal channel and Via Viejas into the old ranch area is closed with the dam well over-flowing.  To my eye, on a dark and cloudy day, more water is coming down the creek than I recall seeing in maybe 10 years.”

FLASH FLOOD WATCH ISSUED

 

February 27, 2017 (San Diego)--The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the coast, valleys and mountains of San Diego County below 5000 feet for late this morning into this evening.

A low pressure system from the northwest will tap a plume of subtropical moisture directed into northern Baja to bring periods of locally heavy rainfall from late this morning into early this evening. The most significant rainfall is expected from central and southern San Diego County into northern Baja.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE INCREASES STAFFING FOR EXPECTED RAINS

 

Source: CAL FIRE

February 16, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - With the arrival of another powerful winter storm on Friday February 17TH San Diego County Fire (SDCF) is once again taking steps to ensure an aggressive response to weather related incidents.  Although rain is the focus of this week’s storm, high winds are also expected and could potentially bring the threat of downed trees.  

APPEALS COURT RULES 2007 FIRE SURVIVOR CAN RECOVER DAMAGES FROM SDG&E FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2017 (Poway) –Judge O'Rourke on the Fourth District Court of Appeal has issued a decision finding that Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss erred in not allowing 2007 wildfire survivor William Michael Hensley to present evidence of emotional distress damages.

According to the court decision, William Hensley was out of town when the wildfire forced his wife, Linda, and their daughter to evacuate.  Worried about their safety, he came home early and drove with Linda to a nearby location where they watched the fire burn houses close to theirs, fearing  that everything  had been lost.  Their house was damaged and a large grove of avocado trees burned down.

COUNTY PROCLAIMS LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO RECENT STORMS

 

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

Residents asked to report all storm damage: County has not reached level yet to get help for individuals or businesses

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) --The County of San Diego proclaimed a local emergency Friday, due to damage caused by the severe winter storms that hit the region late last month.

SAN DIEGO MAYOR DECLARES EMERGENCY

 

East County News Service

February 4, 2017 (San Diego) — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has declared a state of emergency in the City of San Diego due to damage from January’s storms.  The declaration could help the city recover nearly $5 million in estimated costs of disaster response from the state under the  California Disaster Assistance Act.

RECALL PAPERS SERVED TO THREE SAN MIGUEL FIRE DIRECTORS

 

By Mike Allen

January 29, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- An already combustible situation at the San Miguel Fire Protection District was made more divisive on January 25th, when three members of the board were served notice that a recall campaign is being mounted to oust them.

GOVERNOR DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

East County News Service

Photo:  City of Poway tweeted this image of a boulder that shut down Poway Road

January 24, 2017 (Sacramento) — Governor Jerry Brown today issued an emergency declaration for San Diego County and 56 other California counties hard-hit by the recent winter storms. 

CALIF. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER’S RIGHT TO ISSUE RULES PROTECTING FIRE SURVIVORS AND CONSUMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 25, 2017 (Sacramento) -- In a sweeping victory for consumers, the California Supreme Court, in a 7-0 decision, upheld Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ authority to require that insurers’ replacement cost estimates must actually reflect the complete cost of rebuilding a policyholder’s home after a fire.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO CONSIDER CHANGING DISPATCH SERVICES TO HEARTLAND; CRITICS SAY COST WILL BE HIGHER

 

East County News Service

January 24, 2017 (Spring Valley) – San Miguel Fire District’s board meets Wednesday, January 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the District’s board room (2850 Via Orange way in Spring Valley).  The hot agenda item is a proposal to shift dispatch services from CAL FIRE to Heartland Communications, by joining Heartland’s Joint Powers Agremeent along with the cities of El Cajon, Lemon Grove,  La Mesa and Santee as well as fire districts in Alpine and Lakeside.

DANGEROUS NEW STORM SYSTEM HITS AREA, DOWNING TREES AND POWER LINES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: SDG&E

January 22, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Another round of heavy rain soaking our region will continue into Monday. This strong storm system is forecast to potentially bring more flash flooding, river flooding, and debris flows.  A winter storm warning is in effect for mountain areas with snow likely to dip down to 3,500 feet by Monday night.

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