From the daily archives: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Navy helicopters and ground equipment have been supporting firefighting efforts as wildfires continue to burn throughout San Diego County. A fire also raged through a naval installation in Fallbrook, Calif., and many military families have been evacuated from their homes to lodging on Navy bases.

Tomahawk Fire at Navy Fallbrook base

The Tomahawk Fire has burned over 6,000 acres, much of it on a detachment of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. The fire has been largely extinguished on the Navy installation, with some spot fires remaining and mop-up operations continuing. An initial survey of the damage on the base indicates some damage to uninhabited outbuildings, but no damage to inhabited structures or munitions-related structures. The base remains closed to all but essential personnel.

Navy helicopters

At the request of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), six MH-60S helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 are supporting firefighting efforts in vicinity of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The MH-60 is highly versatile and can carry up to 420 gallons of water in its ‘Bambi Bucket’ to the fire.

The Seahawk is a multi-mission helicopter capable of anti-surface warfare, combat support, humanitarian disaster relief, combat search and rescue, aero medical evacuation, special warfare operations and organic airborne mine countermeasures.

Navy ground firefighting support

Engines, brush trucks and firefighters from local Navy installations are also supporting CALFIRE throughout the county. A four-person team and brush truck from Naval Base Coronado were dispatched to the Bernardo Fire Tuesday, and remains on station for continuing support. A four-person team and engine from Naval Base San Diego were dispatched to the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, and a four-person team and engine from Naval Air Facility El Centro has joined the consolidated firefighting strike team.

Evacuated military families

Military men and women and families who have been evacuated from homes throughout the county are being directed to lodging accommodations at Naval Base Coronado, Naval Base San Diego and Naval Base Point Loma. Affected service members and family members should also check in with military units for accountability. Families can call the Navy’s Family Information Call Center at (866) 923-6478 for more information.


Tribune Weekly Chronicle 05-15-2014 WEEKLY-CHRON SUN STD 01.qxd


Alamo River Fire 014The Holtville Fire Department, led by Marcos Cornejo with a crew of Edward Monninger, Oscar Garza, and Fabian Ramirez, has responded to the Strike Team call to assist in the fires that are currently burning in the San Diego area.
Our Fire Department is part of the Imperial Valley Strike Team. This team consists of 1 engine and 4 personal from each department. The Imperial Valley has 2 different units. Holtville is part of Unit 1, along with the cities of El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, and the Imperial County. They are always on call for fire emergencies throughout the state of California.
Chief Silva was put on alert on Tuesday as fires broke out in several areas in the San Diego region. Holtville Fire Department, along with the Imperial County StrikeTeam Unit 1, was called to assist on Wednesday afternoon around 4 o’clock. They are currently assisting at the fire in Carlsbad.
The so-called Poinsettia Fire broke out for unknown reasons shortly after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday near Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road, just east of El Camino Real. Winds quickly pushed the flames about 400 acres and west toward neighborhoods and some high-tech businesses.
The Firefighters worked through the night, cutting containment lines around 60 percent of a wind-driven brush fire that forced thousands of evacuations and destroyed more than two dozen residential units in Carlsbad, officials said Thursday morning.
About 300 firefighters were working Thursday trying to complete a containment line around the fire. The eastern area of the fire was still not controlled, but crews had prevented the fire from growing. Heavy winds and extreme heat are expected to continue through Saturday. As of Thursday afternoon there were 9 separate fires burning in the San Diego area.


f35The Navy has published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register concerning the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the west coast home basing of the F-35C aircraft. The Final EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of home basing F-35C squadrons at either, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Ca. or Naval Air Facility El Centro, Ca. Alternative 2 would entail placing seven Fleet Squadrons plus the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Lemoore while maintaining training operations at NAF El Centro, alternative 2 has been identified in the Final EIS as the preferred alternative. This alternative best meets mission requirements; optimizes operational efficiencies related to personnel, training, and logistics support functions; maximizes the reuse of existing facilities and minimizes the need for new construction; and preserves NAF El Centro as a valuable training asset.
The Environmental Impact Study gives three different alternatives; the first alternative would to place the entire F35 squadron at the Naval Air Facility El Centro where all operations would be conducted, including maintaining the fleet and training. The second alternative would to home base the F35 squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore, where the operations would be split with maintaining the fleet at Lemoore with some training and using NAF El Centro for a training facility.
The third option would to take no action, which would end up with no new Naval fleet operations on the west coast.
Officials from the Imperial County have been working vigorously trying to convince congress to Home Basing the F35 here at NAF EL Centro. A final decision is expected in the coming months.
To view the EIS visit:

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