September 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Campers and hikers are being urged to take simple steps to protect themselves after three ground squirrels trapped in routine monitoring near Palomar Mountain tested positive for plague.
“People can protect themselves from being exposed to plague,” said San Diego County Environmental Health Director Jack Miller. “Just remember: Don’t feed or play with squirrels, report dead squirrels to camp rangers, and do not set up your tents near squirrel burrows.”
By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2013 (Palomar) –Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department has hired an attorney in an effort to stave off strong-arm efforts by the County, which seeks to force the tiny department to join the County Fire Authority or lose funds. Joining would mean handing over control to Cal-Fire, which runs rural stations under the CFA.
“Our closest mutual aid is 45 minutes down the hill,” Chief George Lucia said at a packed public meeting in late May, the U-T San Diego reported. “They’re telling me I can’t hire local community volunteers. I say to them that without my local community volunteers that live here, sleep here and have a stakeholder’s interest in the community, I can’t guarantee that I can cover a call.”
Campers and Hikers Warned to Take Precautions
County environmental health officials urged campers and hikers to take simple steps to protect themselves Friday after routine monitoring and testing showed that a ground squirrel on Palomar Mountain had Bubonic plague.
The squirrel, which was trapped at the Cedar Grove Campground, marked the first case of plague found this year.
Department of Environmental Health Director Jack Miller said it’s not unusual to find plague in local mountains during warmer months and that people could take simple steps to protect themselves from exposure.
February 27, 2013 (Palomar) --If you see smoke across San Diego's north inland areas, don't worry. The Cleveland National Forest is conducting burning operations this week on the northeastern side of Palomar Mountain along the Aguanga Ridge/Palomar Divide Road this week. The Forest Service is burning fuels that have been piled as a result of fuel treatments in the area.
By Miriam Raftery
February 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) ---Heavy snowfall has transformed our local mountains into winter wonderlands. Mount Laguna received 10 inches of snowfall in the past 24 hours, followed by Palomar Mountain with 7 to 8 inches. Cuyamaca also received significant snowfall, as this image sent in by reader Grace Schlesier shows. Frost and freezing temperatures are expected through Monday in inland valleys.
Other areas dusted in white include Julian (3-6 inches), Ranchita (5 inches), Santa Ysabel (2 inches) and Pine Valley (2 inches) . Snow even dipped down to Descanso and Campo, which received less than a half inch each.
September 15, 2012 (Palomar) – Assembly Bill 1478, now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting signature, would issue a moratorium on state park closures until at least 2014. It also directs that a windfall of funds found within the Department of Parks and Recreation should be used in part to keep state parks open, with priority given to those parks where citizens have shown support by raising funds through foundations or nonprofits. (For details see http://www.friendsofpalomarsp.org/legislative_update_09_10.htm.) Now supporters of Palomar Mountain State Park are asking for public help to persuade Governor Brown to sign this legislation.
Campers, hikers warned to take precautions
September 13, 2012 (Palomar)--Two ground squirrels trapped during routine monitoring at the Cedar Grove Campground on Palomar Mountain have tested positive for plague, County Vector Control officials announced Thursday.
Officials said the squirrels represented a low risk of transmission because their blood tests showed that their exposure was not recent, but that they were conducting flea-control measures and posting plague-warning signs at Cedar Grove and nearby Doane campground as a precaution.
June 28, 2012 (Sacramento)—At least 65 of the 70 state parks slated for permanent closure on July 1 will remain open—even though Governor Jerry Brown made a line-item veto to cut $31 million of the $41 million in funds earmarked to keep parks open.
Fortunately, the Department of Parks and Recreation made deals with private donors, foundations and nonprofits to keep operating 40 parks and has since found outside partners interested in saving 25 more. That includes both Palomar Mountain State Park and the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park in San Diego County.
Update: 20% of $60,000 funding goal met so far; pledges sought from public
New! View a video of what may be lost: http://palomarsp.org/friends/save_palomar_video_standard.htm
By Miriam Raftery
January 16, 2012 (Palomar) – Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park has submitted a plan to the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation that could prevent the park from closing permanently on July 1 due to budget cuts. The group seeks pledges from inidividuals in hopes of reaching $60,000. [Editor's note: 16% of the goal was met when we posted this. Now on Jan. 17, 20% of the goal has been met. Thanks to our readers who helped! I made a pledge and hope many more of you will help save this beautiful place!)
To pledge, visit www.friendsofpalomarsp.org. (You won't be asked to pay unless State Parks agrees to the plan.) To learn more and see photos of what’s at stake, see ECM’s story on Palomar State Park at http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/5539
January 1, 2012 (San Diego County) -- The National Weather Service has provided the following reflections on local weather highlights for the past year--which included some wet and wild times.
Nothing but the Truth!
By Will Power
May 16, 2011 (San Diego) -- Citing budget concerns , the State of California (and the U.S. federal government) are studying plans to turn over California's most precious beaches, lakes, and forests to private entrepreneurs who will rent California's own land back to its citizens for a profit.
Seventy Califiornia state parks are slated for permanent closure, including Palomar Mountain State Park and San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park in San Diego County. Once the title to these pristine and irreplaceable lands is clouded by contract law, do not expect the public to ever see them again for free.
February 27, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- One of the heaviest snowfalls in memory, dropping snow down to under 1,500 feet, spurred many of our readers and staffers to send in photos of winter wonderland images across our region.
February27, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The weekend storm has passed, leaving 26 inches of snow on Laguna Mountain and 16 inches on Mount Palomar. Alpine, Pine Valley, Campo and other communities received ample snow to require snow plows to clear roads.
Below are the latest road conditions and weather updates.
Note: Chains are required this morning on both Palomar and Laguna Mountains, and Sunrise Highway is closed at the north end. There is ample snow at lower elevations however for snow play, such as in the Cuyamaca area.
February 27, 2011 (Cleveland National Forest)--With 26 inches of snow on Laguna Mountain and at least 16 inches on Palomar Mountain, the Forest Service offers tips for fun and safety.
Playing in the snow on the mountains is always a great deal of family fun, but the Cleveland National Forest Service would like to ensure that everyone is properly prepared for the trip.
“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
By Miriam Raftery
February 21, 2011 (Palomar Mountain) –President Theodore Roosevelt, the great conservationist who founded our national park system, once observed, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.”
Roosevelt would have been enchanted by the pristine beauty of Palomar Mountain, blanketed in a foot of snow this President’s Day. No doubt he would also feel melancholy to learn that Palomar State Park is among those state parks under consideration for possible closure due to the state's budget gap. For now, however, visitors frolick in the powdery snow, most blissfully oblivious that the park's fate hangs in the balance.
Volunteers to remain unpaid; reactions mixed among area residents
January 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – On Tuesday, San Diego’s Board of Sueprvisors voted unanimously to consolidate five additional volunteer fire departments in unincorporated backcountry areas (Boulevard, Campo, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, and San Pasqual) into the County’s newly created Regional Fire Authority.
January 18, 2011 (Palomar) --If you see smoke, don't panic. The United States Forest service will be conducting a controlled burn today and tomorrow near the intersections of Palomar Divide Truck Trail and Halfway Road placing it on a North East / East aspect of Palomar Mountain.
December 21, 2010 (Mt. Palomar) – Heavy rains and high winds have caused numerous rock slides, mud slides and downed trees during tonight’s storm on Palomar Mountain, Fire Chief George E. Lucia reports. “The South Grade Road access was closed twice to traffic due to rocks and trees,” he added.
Palomar Mountain’s Volunteer Fire Department is working around the clock with the San Diego County Road Department, State Parks, Cleveland National Forest and CHP to keep the roadway open and free of rocks and debris. The Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department CERT team was also activated to assist local residents and firefighters during this severe weather.
February 13, 2010 (Palomar) -- Cal Fire will continue a prescribed burn to reduce dead and dying vegetation on Palomar Mountain near the Palomar Observatory starting on Tuesday, February 16th. Burning will be conducted by Cal Fire crews on week-days. Smoke may be visible from many miles away.
February 5, 2010 (Palomar) -- From February 8 through February 15, Cal Fire will be conducting a prescribed burn to reduce dead and dying vegetation on Palomar Mountain near the Palomar Observatory. Firefighters expect the 200 piles to be burned within seven days.
September 16, 2009 (San Diego)—A fire that began early this evening has been contained at a half acre near Doane Pond on Palomar Mountain. Nine engines, four crews, three helicopters, two air tankers and tha Martin Mars were dispatched initially.