The Valley Fire, located in the Southeast of San Diego County, has now been active for 3 days.
Earlier last week the NWS, informed of an incoming record-breaking heatwave arriving in San Diego just in time for Labor Day weekend. The high temperatures and low humidity primed the area for wildfires according to the NWS, which warned the extreme temperatures, record dry-fuels and mild winds put the county’s mountains and foothills risk of critical fire weather conditions. The blaze, dubbed the Valley Fire, in Japatul Valley near Alpine, started on Saturday, September 5, and was quickly fueled by the extreme weather conditions.
Here are some useful facts about the Valley Fire that has been blazing through Southeast San Diego for three days now:
Where is the Valley fire located?
The wildfire began around 2:15 pm on Saturday, September 5, off Spirit Trail near Japatul Road and Carveacre Road, just Southeast of Alpine. Cal Fire reported that 374 firefighters were on the ground battling the fire as of Sunday evening, and resources included four bulldozers and five water tenders. They were also quick to issue an evacuation warning for Carveacre on Sunday and have since extended the warning to other San Diego areas.
As of Monday, September 7, areas with evacuation warnings also include the intersection of Japatul and Lyons Valley Rd, State Route 94/Moreno Valley Rd, Lyons Valley Rd, areas out to Morena Reservoir, Barrett Lake Dam, Corte Madera area and South Pine Valley.
The evacuation centers are at Steele Canyon High School at 12440 Campo Rd. in Jamul and Joan MacQueen Middle School at 2001 Tavern Rd. in Alpine.
How big is the wildfire?
As of September 13, the Valley fire has reached 17,665 acres across Cleveland National Forest with 87% containment. CAL Fire authorities tweeted on Monday night the fire had grown 407 acres overnight.
Temperatures were expected to cool down on Tuesday, September 8, however; Santa Ana winds hitting the region could potentially could potentially aggravate the spread of the fire.
What is the air quality like in San Diego right now?
Air quality has been severely affected through part of San Diego County. The County Air Pollution Control District said air quality in areas affected by smoke may reach unhealthy levels and has issued a smoke advisory.
Check California’s AirNow website for more information on the air quality in your area.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for San Diego County on Monday, September 7, what does that mean?
California Governor, Gavin Newsom, issued the state of emergency for San Diego County on Monday due to the extensive damage caused by the Valley Fire. The proclamation allows for federal funds to be used in response to the fires. Here’s a full break down of what the declaration includes:
- Mobilizing the California National Guard to support disaster
response and relief efforts.
- Suspending provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code, imposing a
one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants for all
applicants unemployed as a direct result of the fires who applied for
unemployment insurance benefits from Friday dating back to March 4.
- Waiving fees to replace copies of certificates of birth, death,
marriage and dissolution-of-marriage records for anyone who lost such records as a result of the fire.
- Suspending Vehicle Code sections requiring payment of fees for
requests of replacing a driver’s license or identification card, vehicle
registration certificate or certificate of title for anyone who lost such
records as a result of the fire.
- Suspending Vehicle Code sections requiring the timely registration
or transfer of title for any vehicle for any resident unable to comply with
those requirements as a result of the fire.
How can I help victims of the Valley Fire?
A way you can help out Valley Fire victims is by making donations to those foundations steering funds to help all those affected by the fire. Here are some San Diego foundations you can reach out to:
- San Diego Foundation. The foundation has activated the San Diego Regional Disaster Fund to collect funds aimed at the recovery and rebuilding from the Valley Fire and other wildfires currently impacting the San Diego region. The fund was created in 2003 for regional crisis and to provide relief to those affected by large-scale disasters.
The American Red Cross of the Southern California Region.The Red Cross has been operating from temporary evacuation sites, lending a helping hand to all those displaced. It’s also accepting donations for all those affected by the wildfire.
- The San Diego County Department of Animal Services. Animal services is helping take care of small animals at the Bonita Animal Shelter during the Valley Fire. They’re looking for volunteers for those interested, but they’re also accepting donations of pet supplies.
Here are some useful resources to help you keep up with the Valley Fire and its development:
For more information on the Valley Fire, here are some useful links to help you keep better track of all developments:
- CAL FIRE–Valley Fire
- CAL Fire/San Diego County Fire Twitter
- NWS San Diego
- Cleveland National Forest Officials
- Wildfire preparedness and information
- Wildfire safety tips and information
- AirNow–Air quality information
[Featured image: @ACampaNajjar, Twitter]