SDG&E takes another shot at picking your pocket

Wants ratepayers to chip in $379 million for 2007 fires

In recent years, the words “California Public Utilities Commission” have come to mean one thing: corruption. The commission has concentrated on boosting profits of the investor-owned utilities — Sempra Energy, Edison International, and Pacific Gas ...

Ring of fire

The cost of accidental fire, Bowles fire, Tecate fire, El Cajon Blvd. arson, firebug detectives, Cedar Fire holdouts and cost of choppers, post-fire wildflowers

Who gets burned? Although accidentally starting a fire is a misdemeanor violation of the state health and safety code (section 13001 — "causing a fire" — maximum penalty $500 and one year in jail), no ...

Poised to burst into flame

1970 Palomar fire, firefighters who commit arson, 2002 Pines fire, 2003 Cedar Fire, 2004 Campo fire, deadly Hauser Canyon fire

Red Sky The 1970 Palomar Mountain Fire. In the chaparral-covered hills east of San Diego, Saturday, September 26, dawned a burnt orange. At 6:15 that morning, the first day of deer-hunting season, two hunters reported ...

Views of wildfire recovery

See how it grows on the once-scorched Pine Ridge Trail

A hike in the Cuyamacas with views in a wilderness setting.

Serrato's legal hotspot cools

Charges dismissed against man accused of re-igniting California wildfire

Arson charges against Alberto Serrato, 57, were dismissed in San Diego Superior Court on August 13. Serrato had been accused of re-igniting a brush fire three months ago, while fires raged across North County. Serrato, ...

U-T shuns climate change in wildfire stories

Other state media pick up such coverage

According to Media Matters, a liberal nonprofit research organization that monitors media, the U-T is barely mentioning climate change in its wildfire coverage. However, other state media are doing the reverse. The media watchdog reports ...

Air traffic control tower at the Ramona Airport to close

How will they see wildfires in East County?

The threat of the federal government to close the air traffic control tower at the Ramona Airport has caused the County Board of Supervisors to protest. The Federal Aviation Administration had placed the Ramona tower ...

Wildfire South of Boulevard

At 1 p.m. on June 27, one mile south of the border, near Tierra del Sol, a fire broke out and was being blown toward the U.S. side of the border by winds pushing it ...

San Diego East County four years after the Cedar wildfire

Angel in the rubble

On October 25, 2003, I go outside to touch base with the night sky and feel the air before retiring to bed. Tonight feels different. A Santa Ana is brewing and I smell smoke. I ...


African-American Buffalo soldiers comb smoldering Hauser Canyon fire

I didn’t see the forest ranger who got trapped with the Marines,” recalled Colonel William Hastie, whose 10th Cavalry helped rescue burn victims from the Hauser Canyon Fire of 1943. “I heard he felt terribly. ...

Body count

Blackened bodies, scorched earth at Hauser Canyon fire

The Santa Ana winds died around 2:00 p.m. October 2, 1943. Hershel Higgins could finally drive his D7 bulldozer down into Hauser Canyon, where a 113-Marine crew was fighting what was about to become one ...

Engineering a miracle

The Cedar Fire failed to burn Joe Mitchell’s Ramona home

Fire in the California backcountry is an inevitability. Thirty years of fuel meant that when something happened, it was going to be big.

Goodbye, Pines

2002 Pines fire destroyed 300-year-old sugar pines in Cuyamacas

Wait six months. That's the message native vegetation experts seek to convey to backcountry landowners itching to replant and reseed the scorched shrubs and wildflowers and cut down the blackened trees on their properties. "That ...

You're Gonna Die if You Stay

Cedar Fire residents who wouldn't evacuate from Julian

Fire consumed John Heglin's Santee home in 1986. "I lost everything," he recalls, "and I was homeless for quite some time. But the worst thing was not losing everything but having to deal with the ...

Where wildfires have gone in San Diego, wildflowers will follow

Now that San Diego County's historic megafires are extinguished, outdoor-oriented folks — and the just plain curious — are anxious to get out there and do some sightseeing. The full recovery of the natural landscape ...

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