APPLE VALLEY • With the Apple Valley Fire Protection District looking to cut costs, one politically sensitive option being floated is the possibility of contracting with San Bernardino County for fire service, as every other Victor Valley city now does. Apple Valley Councilman Rick Roelle, then sitting as mayor, spearheaded a push to look at turning the local fire department over to County Fire last April. Roelle cited concern with the district’s finances and how it might affect its ability to provide service to residents. That suggestion drew sharp criticism from many residents, who insisted that the quality of service would drop without having a local fire department, and the idea died last June. According to County Fire figures, it takes roughly $1.3 million to $1.6 million a year to run a fully staffed fire station. The numbers from AVFPD were not immediately available. “The guys are going to do the best with what they got,” said Jake Salgado, president of the Apple Valley Professional Firefighters Association. “The fire district will deliver outstanding quality service regardless of how big or small the budget. We are being fiscally responsible to the community.”
BORON • Fire investigators are searching for clues in a major fire at the former Boron Federal Prison that required fire units from across the High Desert. San Bernardino County Fire crews from Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto, Kern County Fire, Barstow Fire and Marine Corps Logistic Base Barstow converged Saturday evening on the large fire, which burned the wing of what appeared to be an administration building to the ground, Fire Engineer Jay Hausman said. Crews worked for several hours to contain the fire to the wing and prevent it from spreading, he said. Fire personnel had to truck in water to the location to fight the blaze, he said. According to the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the former federal prison camp, which closed in April 2000, is abandoned but portions of it is still used by the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. No one was at the empty facility when firefighters arrived.
Story by: Victorville Daily Press
Photos by: Randy Smith with the Desert News.
On January 13th,14th, and 15th, a multi agency Ice Rescue and Avalanche Awareness drill was held at Jackson Lake and Mountain High North. The drill was hosted by the San Bernardino County Fire Department and Mountain High. The drill was attended by: LA County Fire, LA County Sheriff Search and Rescue, LA County Sheriff Air Rescue 5, and Wrightwood CERT members. Thank you Mountain High for providing the avalanche instructors, the lunches, and for making the Mountain High North Lodge and Grounds available for the training.
HESPERIA • A family of four was displaced after a fire — which may have been started by a child playing with matches — ripped through their Hesperia home Monday afternoon, according to San Bernardino County Fire officials. Firefighters responded to a bedroom fire in the 11800 block of Fifth Avenue near Sequoia Street just before 1 p.m., said Fire Engineer Jeremy Lindsay. Neighbors and the residents were trying to put out the blaze with garden hoses when firefighters from Hesperia, Victorville and Spring Valley Lake responded, with the first units arriving just four minutes after the call went out about smoke and flames coming from the home. Rescue personnel were able to put out the fire despite adverse weather conditions, including hail.
San Bernardino County firefighters serving the communities of Phelan, Pinon Hills, Wrightwood and El Mirage celebrated the grand opening of Fire Station 10 at a ceremony on June 30th where First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt praised them for their service and resourcefulness, and welcomed them to their new facility. “This modern, state-of-the-art fire station replaces the previous facilities, which consisted of two aging mobile homes and a metal shed,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt. “Even though those facilities were not ideal, firefighters still accomplished their mission. I want to thank the firefighters who have served here for their resourcefulness and patience, and congratulate them on getting the type of facility they deserve.” The previous facilities were meant to be temporary, but remained in place for 20 years. Supervisor Mitzelfelt was joined by San Bernardino County Fire Chief Pat Dennen, who praised the Supervisor for his commitment to the fire department and public safety in general. The $2.8 million station is located on the same site as the previous Station 10 at 9625 Beekley Road. The 6,997-square-foot station will be able to house the fire engine, ambulance and up to seven personnel. New driveways and parking areas were also constructed along with a separate 1,800-square-foot storage building. The project was constructed by RIC Construction Company of Hesperia and took nine months to complete.Station 10 covers over 100 square miles and serves the citizens of Phelan and Pinon Hills, as well as assists with calls in Wrightwood, West Cajon Valley, Baldy Mesa, Oaks Hills and El Mirage.
HESPERIA • San Bernardino County firefighters pulled a disabled elderly man and his three dogs from his burning Hesperia home on Father’s Day night, officials said. The man, who uses a wheelchair, was able to get into a hallway of his home, and that’s where rescuers were able to find the man, according to Megan Blaney, spokeswoman for the fire department. “When they pulled him out, he had fairly significant burns to 50 percent of his body,” she said.
Rescuers airlifted the man to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. The fire broke out in the bedroom of the home in the 9800 block of Balsam Road around 10:15 p.m., Blaney said. The man’s wife was able to escape the home and told rescuers her husband and pets were still trapped inside. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the bedroom of the home and knocked it down within 20 minutes, Blaney said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.