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Preparing for fire season

 August 15, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, August 15th.


Firefighters are urging residents to be prepared for peak fire season. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Today is District 4’s Election Day, which means it’s the last day for people who live in the district to cast their ballots in the special primary election.

It’s to fill the seat on the county Board of Supervisors that was previously held by Nathan Fletcher.

If you haven’t voted yet and you’d like to cast your ballot in person, 14 vote centers are open today from 7 a-m to 8 p-m.

You can also still drop off your ballot at one of the 29 official ballot drop boxes around the district, or send it in by mail, as long as it’s postmarked by today.


Brace yourselves for another hot week.

Starting today, temperatures are expected to reach close to 90 in the county’s inland areas.

In the mountains, temps will be in the high 80s.

And in the county’s desert areas, temps are expected to reach up to 111.

The National Weather Service says there’s also the chance of thunderstorms in the mountain and desert areas.

But, by the coast, temps are expected to be in the high 60s.


If it feels like gas has been costing you more lately, you’re right.

The average price of regular gas in the county is the highest it’s been since around Thanksgiving.

The average price rose to five-dollars-and-20-cents this week.

Prices have been increasing for three weeks.

Officials say that’s partly because of rising oil prices.

But, gas prices are about 15-cents less than this time last year.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


The devastating fires in Maui are a reminder of the danger of wildfires.

Just last week thousands of east county residents were hit with evacuation warnings and orders as the Bunnie fire spread in Ramona.

Reporter Matt Hoffman says with peak fire season here, firefighters say residents need to be ready for the worst.

Cal Fire San Diego Captain Michael Cornette says how fast the Bunnie Fire grew underscores why people should have a fire plan. That includes making sure everyone in your home knows where to go and what to do.. And how essentials like papers, prescriptions, money or pets can quickly be packed up. Cornette We want to make sure that everybody’s plans are in place now making that emergency kit and having all that food and water and making sure that you can last for 72 hours with that An evacuation warning means the fire could soon be in your area.. While an evacuation order means people need to go as soon as possible. Cornette says people can also proactively help protect their homes by creating 100 feet of defensible space around them. This Saturday the county is hosting an emergency preparedness event in Ramona so residents can be ready for natural disasters like wildfires.. More information including what to include in emergency kits is available at MH KPBS News.


In other fire-rescue efforts… a four-person search and rescue team from the San Diego Humane Society is now in Maui.

Reporter Thomas Fudge tells us about their plans to save animals caught behind the fire lines.

The San Diego humane society has a trained fire team, and that’s why the Maui Humane society is asking for their help. Fast moving wildfires often force people to flee quickly and sometimes leave their pets and livestock behind. So Monday morning the San Diego fireteam got on a plane to Maui to search for abandoned animals in the fire zones. Team leader Summer Piper said along with respirators and other protective equipment they would also bring what’s needed to bring an animal in. “So we might have gloves. There are some nets, different things like that, that allow us to safely capture, contain and then transport an animal.”  She said they hope to reunite animals with their owners when burned areas begin to repopulate. The San Diego fire teams expected to be in Maui for up to ten days. SOQ.


The March of Dimes has a new report on maternity care in California.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with a local manager about what the report does – and doesn’t – reveal.

California is rapidly losing birthing hospitals. More than one in five closed in recent years. This year, hospitals in Poway, Oceanside and El Centro closed their maternity wards. Local March of Dimes manager Jessica Wade says hospital closures contributed to a startling statistic. Last year in the U.S., one in ten babies were born before their due date. That is the highest that the March of Dimes has ever reported. Wade’s son was born premature in what she describes as a low access area. During his 143 days in the NICU, Wade says her family lost everything. House, cars, jobs . . . And there were really days where we were like, ‘Okay, are we going to take the train to see our son who was 90 miles away or are we going to get groceries?’ Fewer providers means more money and time to see a doctor. And Wade says those barriers hit hardest among Black and Indigenous people in low-socioeconomic areas. The report marks Imperial County as a low access area. And that was before the closure at El Centro. Though San Diego County is marked as full access, county-level data can mask disparities between zip codes and miss nuances, like how many people along the border cross into Mexico for care. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


A 21-year-old Sikh man is the first to graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp wearing his articles of faith – his beard and turban.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has this report.

newly-minted marines from golf company marched  friday at the san diego marine corps recruit depot. among them, private first class jaskirat singh, an observant sikh who won the right to wear his beard and turban through training. the marines said he couldn't wear those things, so he joined a lawsuit in november 2021. he says sikhi and marine corps values align. pfc. jaskirat singh “like we have honor in wearing our turban, keeping our beard. the courage – i mean, sikhi is a very worried-orientated, religion. i mean, if you go through history, you'll find out about that.  and then commitment in the marine corps and you have commitment to faith in sikhi.” last year a circuit court of appeals told the marines to accommodate singh and other sikhs. singh is now off to the school of infantry at camp pendleton. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


Coming up.... An author headlining this year’s Festival of Books, tells us about her book on pop culture's impact on society. We’ll have that , just after the break.


The San Diego Union-Tribune’s 7th Annual Festival of Books is this Saturday.

One of the authors headlining the event is Aisha Harris.

Her book is called ‘Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me’.

She talked to my colleague Jade Hindmon about it.

Here is part of their conversation.

What inspired you to write this book and what inspired the name for it?

In the first pages of your book you talk about how you’ve learned a lot of lessons about yourself and how the world works by way of popular culture. Can you talk a bit more about that and about you specifically?

In your book you talk about how the way we interact with pop culture has shifted… especially from one generation to the next. Can you tell me more about that?

Do you think it’s been effective in raising awareness to social issues at all?

TAG: That was author, Aisha Harris, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon.

Harris will be on a panel at the Festival of Books on Saturday at 12:15 p.m.

The Festival runs from 10 a-m to 4 p-m, at U-S-D.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Tuesday.

Peak fire season is here, and firefighters say residents need to be ready for the worst. In other news, we have details on the March of Dimes’ new report on maternity care in California. Plus, an author headlining this year’s Festival of Books, tells us about her book on pop culture's impact on society.