1800 ACRES OF WILDERNESS SCORCHED IN SAN FELIPE FIRE AMID GROWING QUESTIONS OVER OUT-OF-CONTROL BURN
Dozers ordered to Volcan Mountain
By Miriam Raftery
“Something will have gone out of us as people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.” – Wallace Stegner
May 24, 2013 (Julian) Updated May 29, 2013 – The quote above is inscribed on the Volcan Mountain Foundation webpage, a site devoted to protecting the wilderness preserve. But today, as a raging wildfire that started as a controlled burn encroached, bulldozers were ordered to cut a firebreak on the crest of Volcan Mountain, ECM has learned.
Meanwhile an ECM investigation has raised growing questions over whether this fire could have been prevented. Those questions include:
- Why did Cal-Fire order a controlled burn in hot weather just hours after a high wind advisory had expired?
- Why did the National Weather Service issue a spot fire weather report to Cal-Fire advising lower wind speeds when it has no wind monitor in the valley where the fire occurred?
- Why was Volcan Mountain Foundatiion advised conditions were too dangerous for it to conduct pile burning, yet Cal-Fire conducted its own controlled burn?
- Why did fire officials underestimate the potential size of this fire at 500 acres? (It has burned over 1,800 acres and is 60% contained.)
- Should Cal-Fire’s plan to sharply increase the number of acres it clears statewide be axed given the consequences of this out-of-control burn?
February 19, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --Cleveland National Forest is conducting burning operations today in the San Vicente area in East County and on Palomar Mountain near Observatory Campground. This is a continuation of burning operations that began yesterday, but are not expected to continue into tomorrow due to the weather system that may bring rain and that is moving into southern California.
The Forest Service is burning fuels that have been piled as a result of hand and mechanical fuel treatments in the area.
January 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re seeing smoke over our local mountains, don’t panic. Cal-Fire confirms that it is assisting the Rancho Cuyamaca State Park with a controlled burn today.
IPN indicates the burn is at the Middle Peaks area of the Park.
October 22, 2010 (Ramona)--The Palomar Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest is conducting prescribed burning from October 19th 2010 to May, 2011 if weather and fuel moisture conditions permit. This vegetation treatment is for community defense, fuel break maintenance and forest health, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The prescribed burning will take place on Forest Service Land that adjoins the San Diego Country Estates.
By Billie Jo Jannen
Firefighters shoot back at border fire
September 29, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- A Mexican fire that threatened the border area between Castle Rock and Bell Valley over the weekend was turned back handily at the border fence Sunday night by a line of firefighters armed with a variety of ignition devices.
That’s right—I said ignition devices.
January 7, 2010 (San Diego's East County)-- The Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest will be conducting 300-500 acres of prescribed burning in the south eastern part of San Diego County. The projects are located near the communities of Alpine, Pine Valley, and Mt Laguna. Prescribed burning will be conducted from January to June 2010, as weather and fuel conditions permit. The purpose of these burns is to assist in providing community protection by slowing the spread of wildfires under normal summer conditions.