Wildfire News

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.

RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT STORM DAMAGE

 

Source: SD County Emergency

January 20, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego County residents experiencing significant damage to their homes or businesses are requested to report it to the County Office of Emergency Services online: http://www.sdcountyrecovery.com/damages-resulting-from-disaster/

Completion of this form will assist the County and City in collecting damage information and associated costs with the series of winter storms moving through our area. Compiling total costs throughout the county will assist local governments in determining whether we might qualify for state or federal disaster recovery assistance.

CAL FIRE: A LEADER IN FLOOD RESPONSE

 

Source: CAL FIRE

January 21, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Though CAL FIRE is most often highlighted in its role as a wildland fire fighting agency, the Department’s forces answer the call more than 300,000 times for other emergencies each year.  During the 1990s CAL FIRE was called upon several times to respond to serious flooding in the state. 

FLOODS FORECAST: STRONGEST STORMS IN 7 YEARS TO BRING HAZARDS THURSDAY TO TUESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service warns that a series of strong Pacific storms will pack a wallop across Southern California from Thursday, January 19th through Tuesday, January 24th—bringing flooding of rivers, possible mudslides and tree damage from saturated grounds.

IN HEATED CPUC HEARING, PUBLIC SPEAKS OUT ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

 

By Rachel Williams

January 12, 2017 (Escondido) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted public hearings on Monday covering SDG&E’s second attempt to charge ratepayers for the utility’s unrecovered losses from California’s 2007 wildfires.

SPRING VALLEY FIRE INJURES FOUR PEOPLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Terri Steele

January 8, 2017 (Spring Valley) –Three people suffered minor burns and a fourth was treated for smoke inhalation from a fire at a home in the 10000 block of Don Pico Road in Spring Valley this afternoon, NBC TV reports.

“At about 12:10 today we heard a chorus of sirens immediately south of us, across the 94,” neighbor Terri Steele informed ECM, who shot these dramatic images from her back deck.

FIRE SURVIVORS' ADVOCATE URGES PUBLIC TO SPEAK AT MONDAY CPUC HEARINGS ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

Hear our KNSJ radio interview with Diane Conklin, Mussey Grade Road Alliance, by clicking the audio link. Conklin estimates cost of SDG&E’s proposal could be $280 per household.

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) --In 2012,  a huge turnout by ratepayers helped persuade the California Public Utilities Commission to deny SDG&E’s request to charge ratepayers for its uninsured costs of  three 2007 wildfires.

 Now the utility has revived a similar proposal, seeking $379 million from ratepayers. On Monday, the CPUC will hold public hearings in Escondido at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the California Center for the Arts Escondido conference center, Salon 1Room, 340 North Escondido Blvd. in Escondido.

Advocates for ratepayers and fire survivors are urging the public to again turn out in force at Monday’s hearings, arguing that it would be unfair and set a bad precedent to allow a utility to charge ratepayers for fires caused by its equipment. They say that SDG&E should have foreseen high winds and taken steps to protect the public.   The group estimates average cost per household would be $280 if SDG&E’s proposal is approved.

 But SDG&E contends that  it’s fair to ask ratepayers to help shoulder costs of the fires, which it contends were natural disasters with winds stronger than seen in previous fires.  The company also notes that it has worked to reduce claims and made major investments to improve fire safety for the future.

Audio: 

ALPINE FIRE SWEARS IN TWO BOARD MEMBERS

 

Source: Alpine Fire Dept.

Photos:  District Legal Counsel Steve Fitch administers oath of office to incumbent Alpine Fire Board member Thomas “Jim”  Mann (left) and new member Steve Taylor (right).


December 27, 2016 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District swore-in two Board members at the December 20, 2016 Board meeting.  Incumbent Thomas “Jim” Mann took the oath for his second 4-year term on the Fire Board.  New Board member Steve Taylor was sworn in for a 4-year term as well. Both Board members were the top two vote getters in a 5 person race for two seats on the Fire Board.  Both Board members were sworn in by District Legal counsel Steve Fitch.  Outgoing Board member Mary Fritz did not seek re-election.  Board member Fritz was thanked by staff, the firefighters and her fellow Board members for her many years serving on the Fire Board. 

ROAD HAZARDS ACROSS REGION, SNOW IN MOUNTAINS, FROST WARNING TONIGHT IN URBAN AREAS

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

December 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--Heavy snow is blanketing Mt. Laguna, with several inches reported in Boulevard.  Snow could dip to 3,000 feet tonight, with frost possible even in urban and suburban areas such as El Cajon and La Mesa tonight and tomorrow, according to forecaster Alex Tardy with the National Weather Service.

The storm, combined with accidents, has resulted in numerous accidents and other road hazards across our region.

SANTEE FIRE RECEIVE LIFE-SAVING EQUIPMENT

 

Source: Santee Fire Department

December 12, 2016 (Santee) — Santee Fire Department officials will express their appreciation to the Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation for providing the city with grant funds for new life-saving equipment at static display of the equipment scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 16.

SUIT FILED AGAINST U.S. FOREST SERVICE TO PROTECT FORESTS AND SENSITIVE SPECIES ON CALIFORNIA FOREST LANDS FROM FUEL BREAK PLANS

 

East County News Service

December 8, 2016 (Santa Barbara) -- Two conservation organizations have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to protect fragile habitat and rare species in the path of a massive, remote fuel break recently approved in the Los Padres National Forest. The suit is also an effort to encourage the Los Padres National Forest to focus on reducing fire risk where it matters most, directly in and around communities.

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT RECEIVES GRANT FUNDING FOR NEW RESCUE EQUIPMENT

 

East County News Service

December 7, 2016 (Alpine) –  The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for Rescue Extrication Equipment.  The AFPD will use the funds to purchase modern life-saving equipment capable of safely assisting firefighters in extricating victims trapped in motor vehicle collisions. 

SANTA ANA WINDS FORECAST THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

November 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A potentially strong Santa Ana weather pattern will develop Thursday evening, bringing strong Santa Ana winds Thursday night through Saturday. Sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour and gusts over 65 mph are possible in the windiest locations, including Highway 8 in San Diego County from Alpine to the Imperial County border.

SDG&E PLAN TO RECOVER 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS SET FOR CPUC HEARING JAN. 9 IN ESCONDIDO

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Escondido) — The California Public Utilities Commission will hold public hearings January 9, 2017 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s application for authorization to recover costs related to the 2007 Southern California wildfires recorded in the Wildfire Expense Memorandum Account (WEBA). 

CAL FIRE SLATE WINS 3 OF 4 SEATS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – In July, San Miguel’s Fire Board voted by a slim one-vote margin to cancel its contract with CAL FIRE a year early and go back to being a free-standing district, but kept the action on hold pending outcome of the election.

READER’S EDITORIAL: FIRE TRUCK USED FOR POLITICKING IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE

 

By Patrick D. Walker, Deputy Vice President—District X,  CAL FIRE Firefighters Local 2881

November 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- In reference to your article regarding Santee firefighters' use of a fire engine for political action, it should be known that the same is being done in San Miguel.  Those who oppose the CAL FIRE Cooperative Agreement are using an Engine that the District sold to them (Former Local 1434 / San Miguel Firefighters Foundations) for $1 with the clause that it would not be used for political action, well it clearly is.  Not only are they using it for political action (Displaying at local businesses) they are also sharing the images on Social Media and storing the fire engine at a fire station.  See video.  They are also driving the engine around the District with trucks in front and behind supporting the opposition.  From day one they have done everything to sabotage the CAL FIRE Agreement, this is just another example.

HEAR OUR HOT INTERVIEWS: SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD CANDIDATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The future of the San Miguel Fire District hangs in the balance.  Should San Miguel keep its contract with Cal-Fire or return to being a stand-alone district, as the current board recently voted by a slim margin?  We interviewed a representative from  each of the two slates running for our East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ. Listen now by clicking the orange audio link.

 In this heated session,  incumbent Bill  Kiel, a retired engineer, makes the case for staying with Cal-Fire, while retired fire chief Kim Raddatz argues for giving Cal-Fire the boot and returning to an independent district.  Each side claims their position will be best for taxpayers and public safety.  One side is backed by Cal-Fire firefighters, the other by leaders of the former San Miguel firefighters.

Audio: 

I-805 RAMP TO 52 EAST CLOSED FOR EMERGENCY REPAIR

 

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, Caltrans requested an emergency road closure for bridge repairs to be done on the transition road from southbound I-805 to eastbound SR-52.

Beginning immediately, the transition from southbound I-805 to eastbound SR-52 is closed to allow Caltrans to conduct their work.  The transition road is expected to be re-opened tonight around 2000 hours.

SAN DIEGO REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION AWARDS $280,000 TO LOCAL FIRE AGENCIES

 

Source: San Diego Fire Foundation

October 27, 2016 (San Diego) - During this year’s Fire Prevention Week, the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation presented grant checks to a dozen local fire agencies at open house events around the county.

“These grants enable fire departments to obtain needed fire and medical/rescue equipment and to provide training to ensure our firefighters can deliver the highest level of service to all San Diego County communities,” said Fire Foundation Chairman Frank Ault.  “Each year, we receive specific requests from agencies targeted for their individual needs.”

Pages