Federal Agency Positions Firefighting Helicopters at Viejas as Santa Ana Winds, Drought Increase SoCal Fire Risk
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A) has moved two of its firefighting helicopters from northern California to the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego County to position them for quick response as the wildfire threat increases across Southern California.
The continued drought conditions, extreme heat and Santa Ana winds forecast over the weekend have made San Diego County, and Southern California, ripe for wildfires and have prompted multiple agencies to be on high alert.
The helicopters, which can drop water buckets and firefighting crews, will remain at the Viejas Reservation until October 10 with a possible extension up to 15 days, depending on weather and other conditions.
The BIA-funded helicopter will be staffed daily for 10 hours by tribal firefighters from various reservations through the nation. If a wildfire starts anywhere in Southern California, they will be dropped into the area to help battle it on the ground.
For more info please contact Robert Scheid RScheid@viejas-nsn.gov
Release Date: Jul 17, 2014
Effective July 18, 2014 at 6:00 a.m., fire restrictions on the Cleveland National Forest will be moved to the “Elevated” level. The increase in fire restrictions is due to dryer fuel conditions, higher temperatures, and the likelihood of small fires becoming larger fires. The Cleveland National Forest fire restriction system works in conjunction with the daily Fire Danger Rating System, commonly referred to as the “Smokey Bear fire danger level.” The Fire Danger Rating System is a scientific calculation that takes into account several factors such as fuels conditions, expected weather effects on fuels, burning indices, live fuel moistures, and energy release component calculations, to establish the likelihood of a fire starting within a 24 hour period. “When you see a Smokey Bear sign that states the “Fire Danger Today is Very High,” you need to know that the likelihood of a wildfire starting, and then quickly developing into a large fire is a strong possibility,” stated Carlton Joseph, Fire Chief for the Cleveland National Forest. “The public needs to be extremely careful when recreating within the Forest during periods of high, very high and extreme fire danger.” The elevated fire restriction state fireworks are never allowed, wood or charcoal fires are not allowed except in designated areas, and smoking is prohibited except inside vehicles or buildings or within a developed recreation site.
The restrictions also require spark arrestors on off-highway vehicles, chainsaws and other internal combustion equipment and restrict welding, grinding, cutting and using explosives along with other activities that require a special use authorization. The fire restrictions levels are posted on the Cleveland National Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cleveland. Find more campfire safety information at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/OneLessSpark/ and http://www.smokeybear.com/. “Know before you go!”
Contact your closest Forest Service office to find out the current information concerning fire danger across the Forest, and the level of fire restrictions currently in affect before you head into the Forest. District offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 4:30PM. • For the Cleveland National Forest Supervisor’s Office call (858) 673-6180. • For Alpine, Descanso, and Laguna Mountain areas contact the Descanso Ranger District at (619) 445-6235. • For Palomar Mountain, Henshaw, Ramona, Temecula Valley and Oak Grove areas contact the Palomar Ranger District at (760) 788-0250. • For the Ortega Hwy area, San Mateo, Orange County and Corona areas contact the Trabuco Ranger District at (951) 736-1811.
Photo by Jana Tzinburg
12:15pm 5-16-14 – Had a little scare today here in Alpine. A fire was reported on Marshall Rd., behind the Silver Oak Condos. I happened to be driving through town when a friend who lives bear there alerted me. I drove by to check it out at the same time as more fire trucks were arriving, the smoke was WHITE and the fire appeared to be OUT. My friend, who lives in the complex, said the fence BEHIND THE CONDOS that separates the condo property and an open field was on fire. First responding fire units had it knocked down right away. At this point there is no word on what the cause was. I will update this post when I get more info.
Alpine Fire confirmed that it was stopped at 1/4 acre, burned a fence and singed the outer edge of an apt building. Our guys were ON IT FAST!
Angela Brookshire – ACN Director Angie@AlpineCommunityNetwork.com
UPDATE 1:30pm 5-16-14 from Alpine Fire Protection’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alpine-Fire-Protection-District/
Vegetation Fire in Alpine quickly extinguished!!
Alpine Firefighters quickly extinguished a vegetation fire that burned approximately 1/4 acre. The fire reported at 11:51 am off of Marshall Road destroyed a wooden fence and singed the eave of a condo complex before being extinguished. Alpine Firefighters were assisted by CALFIRE, Lakeside Fire, Viejas Fire Departments.
Photo By Alpine Fire Dept
Comment by Amanda Mitchell via Facebook:
Whew! That was a scare of a lifetime for us in Silver Mountain and the complex next door! I wonder if the folks who live in the unit against the fence were home! Here’s a shot I took from next door”
Photo courtesy of nbc san diego
Another brush fire sent firefighters to the East County Wednesday amid a long, difficult day of battling raging wildfires in the North County.
Officials said this latest blaze sparked at Olde Highway 80 and Aurora Drive at around 5:10 p.m., near Greenfield Street. Aerial shots of the fire showed heavy flames engulfing a hillside between Rattlesnake Mountain and Lake Jennings Park Road.
Heartland Fire & Rescue said the fire burned at least one acre.
Some structures are threatened.
No further details were immediately available. Check back for updates.
Click here for a map of the wildfires burning across San Diego County.
Follow us: @nbcsandiego on Twitter | NBCSanDiego on Facebook
10:30 am May 3, 2014
There have been several reports of brush fires at I8 and Pine Valley. multiple response at this point. I have read on the CHP website (http://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx) that 2 of the fires are now OUT but the 3rd fire that is FIRE CLOSER TO SCENIC VIEWPOINT 1 MI JEO WILLOWS ST EXIT OFF 8 West has potential to make run and they are calling in air craft. This fire could be 100 acres.
People who live in the area of East Willows and the 8 Freeway should be on alert.
A TRAFFIC ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE AREA.
I will keep you updated as I get more info. – Angie
Update 11:33am (Per chp website) POSS BAD CATALYTIC CONVERTER ON UNKNOWN VEH POSS SPARKING THESE FIRES
Update: 11:40am CHP is reporting that there is a Firefighter with an injured leg. (Per Brush Fire Party line East County San Diego Facebook Page) – “I am at the fire. At this time there does not appear to be any threat to homes. It is burning towards Viejas grade. I know there are a few homes in the direction the fire is burning- bit it appears that the fire crews have a good handle on it at this time” VIEJAS ALERTS (Via Twitter) is also reporting that The View Point Air Attack reports that the fire is now 12-14 acres (Approximate) with a slow rate of spread. The No. 2 lane of westbound I-8 near East Willows has been blocked while crews work to put out the fire.
Update 12:15pm (Via Viejas Alerts on Twitter) Per scanner traffic “the fire is almost boxed in with retardant.” They also estimate 20% containment.
Photo Taken Traveling Westbound From Descanso towards Alpine – Submitted By Terri Sonn
Photos by Wende Cornelius, Cleveland National Forest
Photo By Wende Cornelius, Cleveland National Forest
Photo By Wende Cornelius, Cleveland National Forest
Photo By Alpine Resident
*Photos by Laura Pursglove
Update 11:20am 3-9-14: “Gun Fire” Update: 125 acres and 30% contained with 260 personnel on scene. Gusty winds in the area have grounded helicopters.
Update 3:41pm - Via Cal Trans – All lanes on I-8 have been reopened.
Update 3pm: This fire has now been named the “GUN FIRE”. This fire is now 100 acres and is only 5% contained. It appears to be burning SOUTH EAST (away from ALPINE) because they are evacuating the Cibbets Flat Campground and Kitchen Creek Area. See the map here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sunrise+Hwyfirstname.lastname@example.org,-116.4700126,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x80d97e5f87c7388f:0xcda682b5d7d92634
Fire officials are saying that this will be a multi-day operation as the winds are a huge challenge for them.
Update 2pm: Fire is now at 75 acres with rapid spread. I-8 at Sunrise Highway and Buckman Springs is closed at this time while crews are battling the fire. Reports from some residents that are in Pine Valley/on Sunrise Hwy and physically watching this fire – say that air strike is getting a handle on this fire. Only one spot is giving them trouble at this time. The fire appears to be North of the 8 near the border patrol check point and started near Green Head Gun club.
Per Cal Fire San Diego: “Cal Fire is assisting the Cleveland National Forest with a vegetation fire near Pine Valley. Currently the fire is 50 acres. The fire is at sunrise highway and old hwy 80. The fire has a very large plume that is visible for 30 miles. Cal Fire is unable to use air tanks due to turbulence from high winds.”
The Alpine Community Network will keep you updated with new information as it comes in!
February 25, 2014
If you see smoke in East County today, do not be alarmed, State Parks & Cal Fire are doing a controlled burn at Cuyamaca State Park.
The Controlled Burn will take place on February 24, 25 & 26. 8:30 A.M. to 6 P.M
UPDATE: 3pm February 25, 2014 : Battalion Chief says it is running a bit hotter than expected due to higher winds but is still within burn area.
UPDATE 6 pm Feb 25th (shared from Brushfire Partyline San Diego East County Facebook Page) on “controlled Burn” as per Wildlandfire.com– Cal Fire & State Park VMP burn inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. VMP has escaped and spotted outside lines, additional resources assigned including one copter. IC just asked for a second copter, most spots now holding. Wind a factor.
Mt. Laguna west cam http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/L/ml-w-mobo-c.jpg
La Cima cam: http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/L/hpwren-iqeye8.jpg
Scanner feed: http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/9733/web
USFS Wooded Hill burn also going on today.
Mt. Laguna south cam: http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/L/ml-s-mobo-c.jpg…this must be what we are seeing further out Laguna-ish.
USFS will commence burning piles of brush along the perimeter of the Carveacre neighborhood tomorrow. (12-19-13) Smoke will be visible throughout the community.
PO Box 1404
Alpine, CA 91903
10-21-13 CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service and Dept of Fish and Wildlife will be conducting a controlled burn in Jamul area today, smoke will be visible.
7:19pm UPDATE: Cal Fire is reporting that the Lakeside fire is at 40 acres and spread has been slowed. Structure threat has been mitigated
6:24pm UPDATE: I just spoke to Chief Bill Paskle of Alpine Fire and he is at the scene of the fire at Dunbar Lane in Alpine. He stated that the fire looks to be 15 acres and poses NO STRUCTURE THREAT.
6:20pm UPDATE: (Via 10 News) CHP looking into possibility fires were started intentionally
6:09pm UPDATE: “Valley Fire” is at Los Coches & I-8. Last size up was 20 acres. Air resources and ground resources are on this fire. Air Attack is ordering 2 additional air tankers for a total of 6 with no divert. IC is requesting 3 Strike Teams, one for initial attack, 2 for structure protection. Additionally another report via CHP has another fire at I-8 and Dunbar, called the Dunbar Fire.
6:01 pm Update: i am waiting on a call back from the Alpine Fire Chief to get the details on the fire at Dunbar – They are on scene now and assessing if there is any danger to Alpine.
5:53 UPDATE: Authorities are closing Eastbound I-8 at Greenfield as they battle the fire
5:40pm: Brush fires on I-8 at Dunbar and Los Coches/Greenfield: Heartland Fire, Cal-Fire & USFS on scene, traffic backed up Brush Fire near EB I-8 & Los Coches Rd. in El Cajon is close to homes. Ground crews on scene; ASTREA copters en route for water drops.
*WATCH LIVE ON 10 News: Brush fire off I-8 near Greenfield Drive in El Cajon area http://bit.ly/16W1GN3