Photos Tom and Nadin Abbott
July 3, 2014 (Julian) The Fourth of July parade was an unintended victim of the so called “banner fire” east of Julian. The fire started at around twelve and by tonight it had charred 150 acres, with fifteen percent containment according to Captain Ken Bortisser of CAL FIRE.
Julian Chief Rick Marinelli of the Julian Fire Department, as well as Chief Joe Rinaldi, the Incident Commander for CAL FIRE gave the reasons for the cancellation of the parade. Both men said that it had to do with the movement of equipment that had to continue to support operations for the Banner Grade. They also said that it was a decision based on public safety. In the worst case scenario the fire would kick back to life, and doing the evacuations would be next to impossible with the Parade and the traffic jams.
Frank Herndon demanded to know from Marinelli, “whom did you speaks a representative of the community.” He went on as to the economic cost to the community. Marinelli answered “Jack Shelver and Mike Menghini were notified.”
The back and forth got testy at times, but Herndon reflected the felling of the community. There is anger because this parade is the major event in the town.
In the Julian News Publisher site on Facebook we find that the Community at Crest has offered a place in the parade for the people in Julian.
The Chamber also told the Julian Publisher that:
“From the Chamber of Commerce –
Annual Julian 4th of July Parade Cancelled Due to the devastating fire that struck the Julian area today, numerous road closures and evacuations and under direction from the California Highway Patrol, the annual Julian Fourth of July Parade and celebration has been cancelled. The American Legion BBQ and Music in the Park will go on as planned.”
The Julian Publisher also posted that they will walk starting at the Gas station to their post, where they will carry on the parade.
Earlier in the day about 200 homes were at risk and evacuations were ordered for the Woodspring Pines Area and Kenwood. All evacuations have been lifted but road closures remain in effect. Two homes were lost, as well as a shed.
Also while talking with Chief Marinelli at the Command post, he said that CAL FIRE did a very good job and it was an aggressive attack.
Captain Bortisser told us that units came from all over the County, as well as assets from Orange County. Most of the units on the ground were from the county, and they included Viejas Fire, Lakeside, El Cajon, Bonita, Coronado, Carlsbad and San Pascual. This list is far from complete.
There were also personnel at the Command Post from The County Office of Emergency Services.
The Red Cross and Julian-Cuyamaca CERT opened first a shelter at the Julian High School multi purpose room. According to Johhny Hake they were activated early in the incident, and then they were moved to the Park, and finally came back to the High School.
The number of evacuees was about 50, though Hake believes there were more. According to Sheriff Lt. J.W. Boltwertz while there were mandatory evacuations in place, they could not truly force anybody out of their homes. They were aware that some people chose to stay behind.
During the briefing when Herndon confronted Chief Marinelli was confronted, which was held at six at the High School, we also learned that there had been a fire fighter injury. While people were not pleased that the parade was cancelled, they still thanked fire and police officials with an ovation.
That said, residents raised issues regarding notification. Some of the residents said that they did not get any reverse 911, or anything else. Officers went door to door, with bullhorns and the command center issued reverse 911 calls. Bortisser recommended people sign up for cell phone reverse 911 as well.
We recommend you have as many sources of notification as possible. We also add to the recommendation that you add to your phone the Ready San Diego App.