Wildfire News

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ARSON IN POINTE FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo by Kristin Kjaero

September 5, 2016 (Spring Valley) – A 17-year-old was arrested yesterday and is being charged with willfully and maliciously setting fire to forest land, CAL FIRE reports.  The juvenile is believed to be responsible for starting the Pointe Fire on August 17th, which charred 25 acres in Spring Valley, forced evacuation of homes, put the public at risk and injured a firefighter.

EARTHTALK®: SMOKE WAVES FROM WILDFIRES ARE HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo: Smoke waves can radiate out for hundreds of miles from wildfires, spreading particulate matter and causing health problems for millions of Americans who think they are safe and far from the fire lines. Credit: Dave Thomas, Flickr CC.

September 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: What are “smoke waves” from wildfires and how can they be hazardous for our health? -- Doug Jenkins, Big Sandy, TX

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH: LYONS FIRE IN JAMUL

September  2,  2016 (Jamul) -- Ray Conser sent in these dramatic videos of the Lyons Fire in Jamul.  He writes,”The fire on Thursday that burned up to Skyline Truck Trail was 1/4 mile from my house and these are the video that I took. God bless all those firefighters!!!!”

The first video shows the fire in close proximity to homes: https://youtu.be/DQNxPXjvRmQ

The second shows a helicopter dropping water on the fast-moving brush fire, which firefighters held to about 10 acres with no structures lost: https://youtu.be/G5yde4f0qHc

READER’S EDITORIAL: WILDIFRE EVACUATION SLOWED BY PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOS: PLEASE DON’T ENDANGER OTHERS

 

By Ray Conser

Photo courtesy of Troy

September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - One negative factor from this week’s fire on Skyline Truck Trail.

I personally called my neighbors at work to let them know that a fire had broken out close to their homes and that the should head home to take care of their homes, horses and pets.  Most of them had a difficult time getting home because so many by-standers were parked on the shoulders of Skyline taking pictures with their phones that also included several Border Patrol cars, REALLY! If anything they should have been going from car to car getting them to move on and clear the road.

HOMES THREATENED BY LYONS FIRE IN JAMUL

 

Update: The fire is holding to 10 acres, Cal Fire reports. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Troy

September 1, 2016 (Lyons Valley) –Multiple structures on Skyline Truck Trail in the Lyons Valley area of Jamul are now immediately threatened by a fast-moving brush fire.

The fire began shortly before noon at 3046 Lyons Creek Lane. The fire is threatening multiple structures and currently burning behind the Lyons Valley Trading Post, burning northward.  The fire is 5 to 10 acres with potential for 50 to 100 acres.

CHP has requested closure of Skyline Truck Trail at Lyons Valley and at Lawson Valley.  Vehicles are being turned back to State Route 94.

RED FLAG WARNING FOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

 

Source: County Emergency Services

September 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from 11 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m.Saturday for the San Diego County mountains and deserts. The Red Flag Warning has been issued due to strong gusty winds and low humidity.

Winds will be west to southwest 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts to 40 mph. Strongest winds will be in the afternoon and evening with afternoon humidity forecasted at 5 to 10 percent.

CHIEF’S CORNER: BRUSH FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR HOMEOWNERS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- There’s nothing wrong with being defensive, and providing some space!  Firefighting resources can get stretched thin this time of year as multiple brush fires break out. It’s important that homeowners do their part to mitigate the threat of wildfire by creating defensible space around their homes. .

GOVERNOR SIGNS GONZALEZ BILL REQUIRING NOTIFICATION WHEN AN ARSONIST WHO MURDERED A FIREFIGHTER SEEKS PAROLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2016 (Sacramento) – A new law will require notification of a murdered firefighter’s former fire department when the convicted arsonist seeks parole. Assembly Bill 898, authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) was signed into law by the Governor today.

UNSUNG HEROES OF FIRE RECOVERY BRING PRICELESS RELIEF

 

Photo:A member of the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team work on cleaning up debris on a property burned during the Potrero Fire.

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications OfficeAug. 22, 2016 | 9:00 AM

After the Border Fire swept through rural East County in June, it left burned-out, ashen remains of six homes and 12 outbuildings. To help survivors clear debris, the County Office of Emergency Services turned to some veterans of disaster clean-up: the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization.

COUNTY RELEASES REPORT ON BORDER FIRE, SETS MEETING IN POTRERO ON SEPT. 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (Potrero) – San Diego County staff has completed its after-action report on the Border Fire.  The report is available at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/Border-Fire-June-2016-AAR.pdf.  View reports on prior fires at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FIGHTING THE POINTE VALLEY IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

 

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) - Thanks to Kreg Kearly for sending in these dramatic images of the Pointe Fire in Spring Valley taken by his son, Kerouac Geoffroy-Kearley. The brush fire threatened homes and forced evacuations in Spring Valley on Wednesday. 

POINTE FIRE NOW 80% CONTAINED, EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Update August 19,2016 8 a.m.:The fire held to 26 acres overnight and is now 80% contained.

Update 8:40 p.m.: Evacuation orders are now lifted. Please watch for firefighters as you return home.

Update7 p.m.:The fire is 15 acres and 40% contained. A firefighter was bitten by a rattlesnake and has been hospitalized.

East County News Service

Photos by Kristink Kjaero taken off State Route 94 and Kathleen Coates-Hedberg, viewed from Mt. Helix.

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) – Evacuations have been ordered in Spring Valley on Ledge Side between Ledge View and South Barcelona due to the Pointe Fire, Cal Fire reports. Structures are threatened north of Point Parkway near the water tanks, NBC 7 news reports.

Monte Vista High School is being set up as an evacuation center at 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd. in Spring Valley. The fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres.

 

RED FLAG WARNING EXTENDED THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT

 

Source: San Diego County Emergency Updates

August 16, 2016 (San Diego) -- The National Weather Service has extended the Red Flag Warning until 9 p.m. Thursday for the San Diego County mountains and deserts. The Red Flag Warning has been issued due to strong gusty winds and low. Gusty winds west to southwest along the ridges and desert slopes of the mountains will be accompanied by very low relative humidity, resulting in critical wildfire conditions.

EIGHT BIG FIRES BURNING ACROSS CALIFORNIA

 

Photo: Clayton Fire in Lake County, courtesy of Cal Fire

East County News Service

August 15, 2016 (San Diego) – Cal Fire reports that over 8,800 firefighters are battling eight large wildfires in California.  None are in San Diego County, though hot dry conditions pose a significant risk. Below is an update provided by Cal Fire on the fires burning statewide:

BRUSH FIRE IN MEXICO REACHES CAMPO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: Audrua  A. Lou’Lou, taken at Campo Hills, below cut photo:  Bob Scheid

Update August 14, 2016 2 p.m. -  Fire is now 120 acres, all currently south of the Border,per Cal Fire, which has three engines monitoring the blaze.

Update 7 p.m.:  Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez says the fire is now 60 acres. According to Capt. Sanchez it is entirely in Mexico, though several eyewitnesses have told  ECM it did cross the border earlier in at least one spot near Campo. Cal Fire describes the fire as south of Bell Valley near Potrero,burning southeast along the Mexican side of the border fence."

  Firefighters will remain at scene throughout the evening in order to ensure that it does not spread to the north.  Currently, CAL FIRE and San Diego County Fire have 12 engines, 4 water tenders and 4 hand crews (approximately 100 personnel) at scene. 

 

August 13, 2016 (Campo) – A fast-burning brush fire that started in Mexico has now crossed into the U.S. in Campo, multiple residents confirm.  The fire crossed the border fence about two miles west of the Campo store. 

“It is on both sides of the fence and they are pulling water from private ponds not Lake Morena,” says Karen Noblitt-McIntyre. Lake Morena has been drained to below 3% capacity by the City of San Diego.

Long-time residents of the area advise that the brush there has not burned in many years. Some are voluntarily evacuating near the border.

CAL FIRE INVESTIGATION LEADS TO CONVICTION OF ARSONIST WHO SET FIRES IN LAKESIDE AND OTHER AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – On Friday, Poway resident Jonathan Benjamin Cohen, 45, was found guilty of five counts of arson.  “Cohen faces up to 30 years when sentenced in September,” says Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez in El Cajon, speaking on behalf of County Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

SDG&E’S SKYCRANE RETURNS TO SUPPORT REGIONAL FIRE-FIGHTING NEEDS





Company adds new wildfire risk reduction model, more weather stations

Source: SDG&E


Photo: Cal Fire

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-IBIVYhdo&feature=youtu.be

Aug. 8, 2016 (San Diego) -  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today unveiled the latest additions to its fire-preparedness toolkit for this year, which includes the return of the Erickson Skycrane “Sun Bird” for the seventh straight year. The helitanker, which holds a maximum of 2,650 gallons of water or fire suppressant and can get airborne in just 15 minutes, already helped knock down two fast-moving brushfires just days after its arrival in San Diego on July 1.

SWAT STANDOFF IN SANTEE

 

August 5, 2016 (Santee) -- San Diego Sheriff is advising residents who live near the 9900 block of Woodglen Vista Drive in Santee to stay indoors due to a SWAT stand-off.

The incident began after deptuies were called to a residence for a domestic dispute mid-afternoon.  A suspect believed to be armed refused to come out and a stand-off has occurred.  Scanner traffic indicates the suspect reportedly shot arrows at officers, according to posts at Brush Party Fireline on Facebook.

FIREFIGHTER INJURED, HOMES DAMAGED BY RECYCLING CENTER FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Screenshot, ECM news partner 10 News

August 3, 2016 (Spring Valley) — A firefighter was injured by a falling stack of cardboard while battling a blaze at a recycling center Tuesday morning in the 3800 block of Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley.

LEARN FIRE SAFETY AT COUNTY PARKS

 

Fire safety events are coming to San Diego County parks, with CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service and park ranger experts sure to kindle your interest in fire science, preparedness and nature in an outdoor classroom.

PETITION LAUNCHED TO SAVE EAST COUNTY LAKES--AND PROTECT LIVES DURING WILDFIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2016 (Lake Morena) – An online petition has been launched asking the City of San Diego to stop draining Lake Morena and Barrett Lake. Rural residents seek help from San Diego residents and all who are concerned about wildlife or the prospect of a devastating firestorm to sign the petition.

The petition, posted by Campo resident Karen Noblitt-McIntyre, accuses San Diego officials of ignoring public safety, noting that two residents died during the recent Border Fire. Firefighting aircraft were diverted to water sources farther away due to lack of water in these lakes, witnesses stated in recent public meetings.

The petition states that the city has put wildlife and rural communities at risk, also failing to live up to its promise to repair the dam at Lake Morena. The city drained Lake Morena to less than 3% of capacity and Barrett Lake to below 6% of capacity, public records indicate.  Although San Diego claimed it needed drinking water during the drought, the city did not ask its residents to conserve water before draining East County’s lakes.  The water was pumped to Otay reservoir, which overfilled when rain fell, so the city dumped the precious water supply into the ocean.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO CONSIDER CANCELLING PEPPER DRIVE FIRE STATION, PURSUING ANNEXATION OF CSA 115 BY LAKESIDE FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board meets Wednesday, July 27th at the district board room at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley.  The board will discuss possible action to reestablish discussions with Lakeside Fire District over a possible joint annexation of County Service Area (CSA) 115, a 441-acre parcel that includes the planned Pepper Drive fire station.  The board will also consider halting development of Station 19 at Pepper Drive pending results of discussions with Lakeside Fire District over annexation.

In addition, board members will discuss and may take action to approve recommendations from the Transitional Ad Hoc Committee regarding a contract for a Transitional Consultant and may approve appointment of a Transitional Consultant.  Purchase of a fire prevention vehicle will also be considered.

SHOOTING ON BLM LANDS BANNED FOR FIRE SEASON—BUT SOME RESIDENTS SAY MORE ENFORCEMENT IS NEEDED TO PREVENT FIRES IN BACKCOUNTRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Effective July 1st, the Bureau of Land Management has banned all recreational shooting on its federal lands in San Diego County due to high fire hazard declared by the California Department of Forestry.

LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS ASSISTS IN RESCUE AT WILDLIFE FACILITY THREATENED BY FIRE IN LOS ANGELES

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (Los Angeles) - Lions Tigers & Bears, an Alpine-based nonprofit rescue organization, is helping with fire evacuation efforts at Wildlife Waystation, a non-profit animal sanctuary located in East Los Angeles County,  The Wildlife Waystation is home to over 400 animals of varying  species—from exotic birds and monkeys to lions, tigers, bears and over 40 chimpanzees.

Emergency evacuation efforts at Wildlife Waystation started yesterday as the Santa Clarita fire AKA the Sand Fire whipped through the area at an alarming rate.  The fire has now charred over 3,000 acres.

Pages