Teresa Mizuhara

Cal Fire suspends burn permits

CAMINO — To date Cal Fire has responded to twice as many wildfires than average and it is anticipated that fire season will only continue to get worse. Fortunately, Cal Fire began its transition into fire season several months earlier than normal and is continuing to prepare to meet the challenge. Due to the drought and the threat […]

‘Fill the Boot for Burns’ fundraiser Saturday

The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire will be holding its 12th annual Fill the Boot for Burns fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 15 in Cameron Park. The fundraiser will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be three locations where one can simply drive by and donate: the corners of Cameron Park Drive […]

Dry vegetation plus wind equals caution

“With the lack of rain, our local vegetation is tinder dry; all you have to do is go outside to hear the crackle and crunch of pine needles and leaves under your feet. Add wind to this scenario and you are looking at very critical fire conditions (Red Flag Conditions),” said Cal Fire Unit Chief […]

All it takes is a spark

A single spark from a mower blade striking a rock or carelessly disposed of ashes from a wood burning stove or a burn pile left to smolder can start a wildland fire that under dry, windy conditions can quickly grow to a fast moving wildfire. There have been fires across California, including one in the […]

Beware while burning, Cal Fire advises

CAMINO — “With record breaking high temperatures in our area coupled with the lack of precipitation, this winter has created a problem for California residents. The California Department of Water Resources has indicated that the snow pack which provides the state with about a third of its water is at 20 percent of normal. Last […]

Tips for preventing house fires

CAMINO — “Across the nation over 236,000 house fires occur annually and they peak in January due to the winter weather. Many of these fires are preventable, so here are some key things you can do to reduce your chance of becoming a statistic” says Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Mike Kaslin of Cal Fire. The […]

Cal Fire goes into winter prep

CAMINO – As of Dec. 16 the Amador-El Dorado Unit (AEU) of Cal Fire transitioned into its “winter preparedness” level of staffing. This also means the closure of some seasonal fire stations. “Cal Firecarefully weighs its staffing levels based on our current and forecasted weather conditions and we are always prepared to call back additional […]

Clean your chimney to avoid house fire

CAMINO — With the winter chill in the air, many people are turning to their wood/pellet burning stoves or fireplaces to heat their homes. The Amador-El Dorado Unit (AEU) of Cal Fire would like to remind everyone that chimney fires can often times be avoided if you properly maintain your fireplace on an annual basis. People dismiss […]

Cal Fire unit chief retires

CAMINO — Leaving behind a career of over 30 years is often a “no brainer,” but leaving a lifetime of public service can be tough. Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Kelly Keenan will retire Dec. 22 with a little trepidation. “I have spent most of my adult life dedicated to a career with the California Department […]

Cal Fire burglary gossip spreads like wildfire

CAMINO — Sometime before Thanksgiving a story began circulating around the Diamond Springs, Camino and Pollock Pines area about a rash of burglaries committed by a group of individuals that were wearing Cal Fire shirts. This rumor has since made its way to the Georgetown Divide and has been embellished, claiming that among other things, […]

Stay safe with Christmas trees

“Did you know that a dried out Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames in a matter of 3-5 seconds and in another 30-40 seconds everything in your room can be ablaze?” asked Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “A well-hydrated tree, on the other hand, is very difficult […]

Cal Fire warning: Don’t let ashes burn you up

All around town we see smoke rising from chimneys signaling the arrival of fall with crisp days and cold evenings. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace you know the drill well as you find yourself scraping out the old ashes that have accumulated as you burn firewood to heat your home. “If you […]

Thanksgiving fire safety tips

The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire wants to make sure everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday is a fire safe holiday. Unit Chief Kelly Keenan said, “Did you know that across this nation there are approximately 2,000 house fires reported on Thanksgiving Day, the highest number of house fires for any single day of the year? These […]

Burn restrictions lifted in AEU

Camino – On Friday, Nov. 1 at 8 a.m., the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire will rescind the burn restrictions due to the current and expected weather pattern which will allow homeowners to properly burn their debris piles that have accumulated over the summer. Unit Chief Kelly Keenan cautions, “if the weather does a […]

Check your smoke and CO alarms

The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire would like to remind everyone that on Sunday, Nov. 3, daylight savings time comes to an end and we “gain” one hour as we “fall back,” or roll back, our clocks before going to bed on Saturday night. Historically our message has been to change your batteries in […]

Prescribed fire planned for Sly Park

CAMINO — Over the next few weeks, Cal Fire crews will be conducting a prescribed fire project at Sly Park Lake as long as very specific conditions are met. This annual vegetation management project is done in cooperation with the EI Dorado Irrigation District in order to keep the recreation area and local subdivisions safer in the […]

Burn ban unchanged

CAMINO — As fall arrives with a couple thunderstorms across the unit, Cal Fire is reminding everyone that there is still a burn ban in effect for all State Responsibility Areas of Amador County, on the west slope of El Dorado County and Sacramento County. “It would take only a few days of warm, windy […]

Preventing kitchen fires

CAMINO — Did you know that 42 percent of house fires in the USA are caused by kitchen fires, i.e., cooking equipment such as your stove or oven, primarily because food is left unattended while cooking. These fires account for 38 percent of fire injuries and 15 percent of fire deaths in the home and result […]

How quickly can a wildfire move?

CAMINO — Even professionals can find it difficult to comprehend the speed at which a wildfire can move, so for the public it can be tough to understand it unless you have witnessed it firsthand. With any luck you may never have such a life changing experience.  Trying to predict what causes a small wildland fire in the […]

Disaster preparedness for the disabled

“September is National Disaster Preparedness Month (NPM) so why not take some time to help prepare one of our more vulnerable populations in our community,” Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit said, referring to those with access or functional needs or disabilities. “Everyone’s needs are unique and some may require a […]

Defensible space works

CAMNO — The recent wildland fire in Diamond Springs is a compelling illustration of how well defensible space works. Homes surrounding the fire area were spared major damage due in part to a swatch around the perimeter that had been mowed earlier in the year. This “defensible space” prevented the wildland fire from sweeping straight […]

Fire safety for seniors

“There are an estimated 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. who began turning 65 at the rate of one every 10 seconds in 2011. They make up 13 percent of the U.S. population,” said Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit Chief Kelly Keenan. “Boomers have redefined what a senior is. They are physically active, healthier, […]

Fire prevention: Hard lessons learned

CAMINO — One home and an outbuilding were destroyed on Saturday afternoon when a person mowing tall, dry weeds caused a wildfire that spread quickly to the structures. The fire displaced a Placerville family that escaped with only the clothes on members’ backs, and took the lives of some of the family’s pets. A few hours […]

Grilling fire safety tips offered

CAMINO —  One of the best smells of summer is something cooking on the barbecue; one of the worst smells would be your home or yard on fire after something went awry while cooking outdoors. “Californians love to barbecue almost anything that is edible, from meat and veggies to pizza and fruit, we simply love […]

No fireworks in county

Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan, of the Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit, is encouraging everyone in El Dorado County to celebrate Independence Day by attending one or all of the following local events: • Saturday, June 29,  Cameron Park Lake, Cameron Park from 2 to 10 p.m. Fun and games for the entire family.  Fireworks spectacular in […]

Are you doing the right thing the wrong way?

“Recently there have been a number of wildfires caused by people using gas-powered equipment to create defensible space at the wrong time of day. Using equipment such as tractors, lawn mowers or weed eaters at the wrong time of day can end disastrously,” said Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit of Cal Fire. […]

Vegetation management burns announced

CAMINO — The Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit of Cal Fire will be conducting two vegetation management project (VMP) burns between June 17-21, weather permitting. The first will be at the Wakamatsu Farm located on Cold Springs Road in the community of Gold Hill (this is being rescheduled from a prior announced date) and the second will […]

Laws in place for timber harvesting

Camino — Many local residents are unaware that timber harvesting is still conducted on private lands throughout the foothill and mountain communities of Amador and El Dorado Counties, or that there are Forest Practice Rules and Regulations designed to protect many of the other natural resources found in the watersheds where timber harvesting occurs. These […]

Cal Fire suspends burn permits, USFS initiates restrictions

With one of the driest winters on record, vegetation is drying earlier and the fire danger is rising. Beginning on June 17, Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit will suspend dooryard burning permits and the U.S. Forest Service will begin fire restrictions in portions of Eldorado National Forest. Fire restrictions in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management […]

Vegetation burn set for Gold Hill

The Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit of Cal Fire will be conducting a vegetation management project (VMP) burn at the Wakamatsu Farm located on Cold Springs Road in the community of Gold Hill between June 5-11. “This broadcast burn is part of a cooperative effort with the American River Conservancy to assist in the restoration of native […]

Be prepared with a disaster plan

As we have seen on the news recently, wildfires, tornadoes or floods can strike at any time. Survival can be predicated upon who was prepared in advance of the disaster. So what can you do today to help prepare you and your loved ones? “Creating a Family Disaster Plan is the first step in preparing […]

Wildfire Awareness Week event includes Smokey hot air balloon

STATELINE, NEV. — Lake Tahoe fire protection agencies all agree: defensible space isn’t a bunch of hot air. To back up the importance of defensible space, they’re organizing a free Wildfire Awareness Week kickoff event that includes free tethered Smokey Bear hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), firefighter photo opportunities, a pancake breakfast and more […]

Burning safely is your responsibility

CAMINO— In 2012, the No. 1 cause of wildland fires Cal Fire personnel responded to was escaped residential debris burn piles. Too often we become lackadaisical about our residential door yard burn piles, we have done it for years, sometimes even decades, and may not take all the necessary precautions that we should. If this […]

Burn permits required now

CAMINO—  Burn permits were required as of May 1, Cal Fire announced. “In 2012, 23 percent of all wildfires in the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire were caused by residential debris burning. This amounted to a total of 47 fires and 52 acres burned,” said Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of […]

Cal Fire, SPI prepare for upcoming season

CAMINO — Chief officers from Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado and Tuolumne–Calaveras units met recently with representatives from Sierra Pacific Industries Camino, Martell and Sonora districts to prepare for the upcoming wildland fire and logging seasons. The meeting was held in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the California Forestry Association and the […]

How fire safe are you?

CAMINO — If you live in a mobile or modular home your risk of a house fire is increased due to the types of materials used in its construction, according to Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit. “Your risk of dying in a mobile or manufactured home fire is 30 to […]

Time to create defensible space

CAMINO — The time is now to begin working on clearing defensible space around your home. Living in the Sierra comes with a responsibility that many urban/suburban dwellers do not face, from the lower foothills covered in annual grasses that can reach several feet in height, to oak woodlands and on to forests of timber reaching […]

Most fire deaths from homes without smoke alarms

SACRAMENTO — While a 2010 study by the National Fire Protection Association found that 96 percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. To help reduce the number of home fire fatalities, Cal Fire […]

Christmas tree safety tips offered by Cal Fire

“A dry tree can become fully engulfed in flames in a matter of 3-5 seconds, in another 30-40 seconds everything in your room can be ablaze. To see a video on what a Christmas tree on fire can do, go to It is a very sobering video,” said Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the […]

Cal Fire urges community to buy local firewood to keep forests safe

“Keeping our forests healthy and productive is everyone’s responsibility. You can help by not moving firewood from our county into another county or vice versa. There are pests and diseases which have the potential to devastate our local forests, leaving in their wake hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of dead and dying […]

El Dorado County burn projects under way

CAMINO – The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire will be conducting a series of Vegetation Management Program (VMP) burn projects in El Dorado County.  The first project is located in the Auburn Lake Trails perimeter shaded fuel break outside the town of Cool. The second project is the Bacchi VMP and it is located on the Bacchi […]

Halloween safety tips from Cal Fire

CAMINO — Halloween is an exciting time of year for “kids” big and small.  “Decorations, costumes and parties create a festive feeling as fall colors surround us. Keeping everyone safe is our primary job. With that said, I would like to take a moment to remind everyone, young and old, of simple fire safety tips […]

Historically dry conditions dangerous

SACRAMENTO — The 2012 fire season has proven to be a destructive year and with the dry conditions, Cal Fire officials are warning Californians of the continued wildfire threat. The combination of above average temperatures, below normal rainfall and record dry conditions have resulted in above normal potential for large fires in many parts of the […]

Two ways out can save your life

CAMINO — “Knowing two ways out of every room in your home may save your life during a house fire. It’s not just knowing two ways out of your home, typically that is easy, but do you have two ways out of every room in your home and can you safely use each exit?” asks Unit Chief […]

Amador-El Dorado lightning fires controlled

“All lightning caused wildland fires in the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire have been fully controlled,” said Incident Commander Brian Estes who added, “steep terrain and difficult access into these fires combined with heavy, dense vegetation slowed firefighting efforts.” Beginning on July 22 through July 23, the Amador-El Dorado Unit experienced extreme lightning activity […]

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