Wildfire News

SURGE OF CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTERS HIRED TO PREVENT WILDFIRES

 

Residents urged to prepare for wildfires now

East County News Service

April 20, 2016 (Sacramento) -- With spring now taking hold in California, CAL FIRE is already staffing up for fire season, while focusing the efforts of its crews on preventing large and damaging wildfires. Recent rains have been a welcome sight to drought parched California, but CAL FIRE firefighters are not letting their guard down, instead they are training for another potential busy fire season and working hard to prevent wildfires. Across the State, CAL FIRE has already hired a surge of over 400 additional seasonal firefighters, whose focus includes fire prevention, fuel reduction and defensible space programs.

THE GOATS ARE BACK—CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

 

April 20, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, will be taking steps to clear brush from eight and a-half acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas in Lemon Grove. Goats will be used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area.

ELM began delivering 150 adult and 50 juvenile goats (kids) on Monday, April 18, 2016. The brush clearing event will last approximately 2 weeks. The goats may be visible to those traveling along the 125 freeway in the area of Lemon Grove during this weed abatement process.

COST DOUBLES FOR NEW SAN MIGUEL FIRE STATION

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2016 (El Cajon) – A new fire station on Pepper Drive in El Cajon will cost up to $1.8 million to build, including the land acquisition cost. The San Miguel Fire District approved the expenditure last week of $1.4 million for construction costs – more than double the original cost projection.

ARMED SUSPECT NEAR ALVARADO HOSPITAL IN SDSU AREA

 

Update 11:05 a.m.:  The suspect is now in custody and the lockdown has been lifted.

March 1, 2016 (San Diego) 10:50 a.m. -- San Diego State Police have issued a shelter-in-place alert due to suspect believed armed with a handgun near Alvarado Hospital.  10 News reports police attempted to stop a vehicle on I-8 near College Avenue and the suspect fled toward Alvarado.

If you are in this area, police ask that you stay inside and do not call police unless you have an emergency.

4 DISASTER PREPAREDNESS TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS

 

By Jennifer McGregor

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one, a spouse, or a friend, worries probably plague your mind every day. Preoccupied with the day-to-day concerns of caregiving, many caregivers don’t think about what steps and precautions they should have in place in case of a disaster. This guide will help you prepare for the worst with precautions and plans to keep your loved one safe in any situation.

FEMA: MORE THAN 50,500 CALIFORNIANS PROTECT HOMES, PROPERTIES FROM INCREASED EL NINO FLOOD RISK

 

During historic 1998 El Niño season that created $550 million in damages, it was not until February that California experienced flooding damage that warranted a federal presidential declaration 

February 16, 2016 (Oakland Calif.,) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today released new data on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, showing an increase of more than 27,000 new NFIP policies written in California during the month of December 2015. There is a 30 – 90 day waiting period for new policies to be reported to FEMA and the latest available data, released today, shows an increase of more than 55,500 new flood insurance policies purchased in California from August 31 – December 31, 2015.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR DISASTERS

 

 

Source: Jennifer McGregor, http://publichealthlibrary.org

 

February 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s important to be prepared before disaster strikes.  Public Health Library has provided the following helpful resources on what you should know about surviving wildfires, hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, and extreme cold.  There are also special resource links for pet disaster preparedness, helping those with disabilities, and Southern California-specific disaster safety guidance.

SDG&E GRANTS $1,500 FOR EAST COUNTY EMERGENCY ALERTS DURING EL NIÑO

 

February 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine is pleased to announce that San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has awarded a $1,500 grant to fund our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts during the winter/El Niño season.

“We are deeply appreciative of this generous donation,” said ECM editor Miriam Raftery.  “Our alert service is normally busiest during the summer and fall wildfire seasons, but with the severe El Niño storms, it’s crucial to have this extra funding, which enables us to hire the help we need to keep our readers safe and informed during severe weather conditions such as flooding and blizzards.”

HIGH WINDS TOPPLE TREES, POWER LINES ACROSS COUNTY

 

East County News Service

Photo by Vanessa Nadeau at Bon Vue Drive, El Cajon.

Update: A Santee mother has been injured after a tree fell on her van, but her baby, also in the vehicle, is unharmed, KNSJ reports.

 

January 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Powerful winds and rains have resulted in numerous power outages, downed lines and fallen trees on roas and highway across our region in San Diego and East County. 

Check SDG&E’s outage map for  updates on outages in your area and expected restoration times: http://www.sdge.com/safety/outages/outage-map .

Here are the latest road hazards and weather condition reports compiled by our staff:

COUNTY FIRE, CAL FIRE SWIFTWATER RESCUE TEAMS READY TO RESPOND

East County News Service

January 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- With an unusually intense winter weather season predicted, San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE have doubled the ranks of swiftwater rescue-trained firefighters this year. CAL FIRE team members and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department fire-rescue helicopter unit are also working together in case they have to pluck someone out of the water from above.

GENERATORS AND RADIOS TO AID RURAL AREAS IN EMERGENCIES, THANKS TO FUNDS FROM SDG&E AND SD REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION

East County News Service

January 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Soon, three portable trailer-mounted generators will provide power to local communities during local emergencies such as wildfires or earthquakes. The generators could be sent to temporary charging stations in neighborhoods without power, bringing electricity to people who rely on medical equipment.

FIRE DESTROYS TRAILER IN EL CAJON

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

January 26, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A fifth-wheeler trailer erupted into flames on Terrace Hill Road around 10:30 this morning, sending a plume of black smoke visible across much of the community on the boundary of El Cajon and Lakeside.  The fire briefly threatened a home before firefighters subdued the blaze.

Heartland's El Cajon Fire, Lakeside Fire, San Miguel Fire and Cal Fire responded to the incident.

ACTIVE SHOOTER AT BALBOA NAVAL HOSPITAL

 

Update: After searching the premises, authoroities have concluded the report of gunfire was unfounded.

January 26, 2016 (San Diego)--An active shooter is reported at Balboa Naval Hospital in Balboa Park.  KNSD TV indicates there have been reports of three shots fired. Avoid this area.  There is a heavy law enforcement presence including U.S. marshals and a S.W.A.T. team in the area. The public is advised to avoid the area.

Balboa Naval Hospital posted on its Facebook page:

**!ATTENTION!** An active shooter has just been been reported in building #26 at Naval Medical Center San Diego. All occupants are advised to run, hide or fight. All non-emergency response personnel are asked to stay away from the compound, located at 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134

SINKHOLE CLOSES LANES ON I-8

 

 

East County News Service

January 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --A large sinkhole has opened on I-8 at Waring Road in the College area, forcing closure of the two right lanes through tomorrow morning.  A SIG ALERT has been issued and motorists are advised to use other routes if possible to avoid traffic delays.

10 News estimates the sink hole is 20 feet wide and 20 feet deep, caused by water that undermined the freeway.  For additional coverage visit www.10News.com.

PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR FLOOD VICTIMS

 

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2016 (San Diego)—San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernie Dronenburg wishes to advise all property owners whose property was damaged or destroyed during the recent flooding that property tax relief is available. This tax relief program requires the reassessment of the property to reflect its damaged condition.

The reduced value will remain in effect until such time as the property is rebuilt or repaired. More importantly, after the property is rebuilt or repaired, the owners can retain their previous taxable value if the property is rebuilt in a like or similar manner. This means that the property tax assessment will not increase beyond what it was prior to the flooding.

JAMUL AREA FLOODING AND ROAD CLOSURE

 

 

East County News Service

Jaunary 7, 2016 (Jamul) --Honey Springs Road will be shut down all night due to power lines downed by vehicle that struck a power pole this evening, while awaiting SDG&E repairs, the CHP website indicates. A SIG Alert has been issued.

Highway 94 had substantial flooding this afternoon, reaching 30 feet wide in places and up to two feet deep, by some estimates..

Ronnie Durfee sent in video including this still shot of the dip between Rancho Jamul and Melody Lane.

CHIEF’S CORNER: EL NIÑO SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

El Niño has arrived and it looks even more powerful than expected, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Don’t get caught in flooded waters and debris flow!  You need to be aware of the potential flood and debris flow dangers associated with rainy days.  Here’s what to do.

 

JULIAN GETS NEW PARAMEDIC SERVICE FROM COUNTY AND CAL FIRE

 

Source: County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Julian) -- Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

 

MAJOR ROAD CLOSURES AND HAZARDS DUE TO SNOW, FLOODING, AND DEBRIS

January 7, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Snow, debris flows and flloding from heavy rainfall are making the morning commute tough. Here are the latest updates on closures and hazards impacting Highway 94, Interstate 8 and other highways as well as major surface streeets across East County.

  • Snow on I-8 just east of Kitchen Creek – snow ploughs are working (CHP)  Numerous accidents reported east of Pine Valley.
  • SR-94 closed both directions from Lyons Valley Rd. to Honey Springs due to flooding (Caltrans); CHP site indicates a “river” flowing 30-40 feet wide this a.m.
  • Sunrise Highway is open but you are required to carry chains. CHP is en route to check conditions on Highway 79 from I-8 to Julian.
  • Dehesa road from the school to willow glen has multiple mudslides and is a total mess.    Willow glen is completely closed by the quarry, a reader reports
  • State Route 94 at Buckman Springs Rd., vehicle overturned (CHP)
  • I-8 east west of Fuerte, off-ramp sign fell down and is in slow lane, per CHP
  • Ramona: B St. closed from 10th and at 11th due to flooding (DPW).  Also Magnolia dip is now closed at highway 78 and 500 feet north of Magnolia dip due to flooding in Ramona.
  • Spring Valley: Quarry Road from SR125 to Lakeview is closed due to flooding(DPW)

APARTMENTS UNDERWATER IN CITY HEIGHTS; DOG DIES IN FLOOD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2016 (City Heights) – Floodwaters from tonight’s deluge have left four apartments underwater, also submerging vehicles at 48th and El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights.

Resident Jonathan Goetz says that “at least six feet of water”  have inundated downstairs units. “Dude, my car is underwater!” he posted on his Facebook page. 

His photos document the drama in real life as a woman rescues her dog, Cha-Cha, cradling her pet in her arms. Another man searched frantically for his missing chihuahua  Nacho, hip-high in the swiftly rising floodwaters. Goetz reports that Nacho was found dead in a bedroom.

FLOODING IN EAST COUNTY: AVOID THESE ROADWAYS

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) 6:15 p.m.– A flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning, meaning flooding is occurring in our region. Here are updates on roadways reported flooded within the past hour in El Cajon, La Mesa, Crest,  and San Diego.  If you know of other hazards spots please post in our comments section.

Here are flodoed conditions reported in the last hour or so:

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