Fires Ravage Southern California

Fires devastated the southern portion of our state in December, proving once again that fire season is no longer just a few months a year. It is now considered fire season all year long. While most people were focused on the holidays, others were leaving home with just the clothes on their backs. The largest blaze was the Thomas Fire. It started on Dec. 4 and, as of press time, had burned 237,500 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and destroyed or damaged 873 structures, according to CAL FIRE. There was no expected date of containment, which is when firefighters have the fire completely surrounded.

Closer to home, the Lilac Fire started on Dec. 7 and burned 4,100 acres near Fallbrook. As of press time, CAL FIRE estimated full containment by Dec. 21. That fire destroyed or damaged 221 structures.

There were red flag warnings during all of the incidents, which means weather conditions are extremely favorable for fires to spread quickly. And that’s just what happened. It’s interesting to note that, according to CAL FIRE, red flag warnings also were in effect during the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, the 2003 Cedar Fire, and the 2007 Witch Creek Fire.

During the December fires countless people were evacuated from their homes, many with just a few minutes notice. As we have stated over and over, “Preparedness starts with all of us.” Yet statistics show that only 38% of us are prepared.

So in addition to all of the things we have been telling you to do—prepare a “To Go” bag, create defensible space around your home, and inventory your belongings—here are other things to consider before a fire hits your area:

  • What if you are not home?
  • Does your work have a plan?
  • If your children are home alone, do they know what to do?
  • What if your children are at school and locked down?

We suggest you think about these issues and talk to your family about them.

Also, there is an app for your cell phone called PulsePoint, which alerts you when the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has been called for a fire. It pinpoints the location so you are aware if any fire is close to home. Most of all, be vigilant. If you see something, say something.

The Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council wishes all of you a safe and happy new year. To reach us or for more information, visit www.srfiresafe.org, call 201-3711, or email [email protected]

Neighborhood Watch: Surveillance Cameras Help Catch Criminals

Home security cameras were probably a big gift during the holidays. When a crime happens, clear video could help catch a crook, but police aren’t always aware of camera locations.

In the event of a crime on your street it would be helpful to let your Neighborhood Watch block captain know that you have surveillance cameras that could help catch a criminal. Of course, this is voluntary on your part. Several cameras could show different angles so that police can collect more complete evidence.

Remember, for emergencies, dial 911. For non-emergencies and to report suspicious behavior, dial 858-484-3154. To find out more about the Scripps Ranch Civic Association Neighborhood Watch program, please go to www.scrippsranch.org/watch or email [email protected] We wish you a safe, crime-free 2018!

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

Can Scripps Ranch Match the Ice Bucket Challenge?

As the new year starts, let’s start a community-wide effort to help those in need. As you may know, Ronald McDonald House takes aluminum can pop tops and converts them into money for their programs. Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a “home away from home” for families who have children in hospitals with serious illnesses. The San Diego “house” is located across the street from Rady Children’s Hospital.

When my kids were in Boy Scouts we collected thousands of pop tops and donated them to the Ronald McDonald House. Now that my kids are older, I didn’t want to see the community donations just stop.

So I challenge you all to collect your aluminum can pop tops and drop them off—in plastic bags, jars, cups, or any container—on my porch at 10333 Avenida Magnifica. We will gather them up and deliver them to Ronald McDonald House. You can even go to stores and restaurants and see if you can get them to join the fun. Let’s get popping, Scripps Ranch!

Stephen Rosen, Scripps Ranch Resident

Scripps Ranch Farmers Market New Hours

We start 2018 with good news! We will be at our regular location until at least June 2019. This new extension allows us to bring in more farmers, food, and artistic vendors. Come check us out!

As of Saturday, Jan. 6, we are changing our hours to 10 am to 2:30 pm in an effort to make it more convenient for shoppers. We are open every Saturday at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and Spring Canyon Road. For more details, email us at [email protected]

Bev and Mike Cassity, Managers