MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN 1 OF 4 FIRES THIS WEEKEND

Fire crews in the Morongo Basin had a busy weekend battling four separate fires.

About 4:30 afternoon Friday (February 19), fire crews were called to the 55200 block of Mi Casa Blvd in Johnson Valley. Initial reports said the resident was trying to put out the fire, and later reports that ammunition could be heard going off inside. Crews arrived to find a single-story home well involved with a heavy fire load and initiated a defensive fire attack. During the firefight, power lines fell, causing a life hazard alert and subsequent request for SoCal Edison service crews. Unstable interior structural conditions made overhaul difficult. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Firefighters were called to a fire in the 55200 block of Mi Casa Lane about 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 19. San Bernardino County photo
This single-family home in the 55200 block of Mi Casa Lane was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived February 19. San Bernardino County Fire photo
A Johnson Valley home was a total loss following a fire February 19. San Bernardino County Fire photo

A man was seriously injured in an early-morning fire in Wonder Valley Saturday (February 20). Firefighters were called to the blaze in the 84500 block of Amboy Road in Wonder Valley just before 3 a.m. where they found a single-wide mobile home on fire. A 64-year-old man suffered burns in the blaze and was transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Hi-Desert Medical Center, where he was then flown by helicopter to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for treatment of his burns. The fire is still being investigated.

A vegetation fire broke out in Joshua Tree about 4:40 Sunday afternoon (February 21). A passer-by reported that bushes were on fire in the area of Twentynine Palms Highway and Memorial Drive in Joshua Tree. The flames were estimated to be about 10 feet high. Firefighters found a small fire burning in a hedge of mostly dead oleander on the eastern edge of the Mentalphysics Center and brought the burn under control within minutes, with no threat to nearby properties. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although witnesses reported seeing homeless people and off-road motorcycles in the area earlier in the day.

And Morongo Valley firefighters were called to assist fire crews from Riverside County at a small vegetation fire near Desert Hot Springs at 6:40 Sunday evening. Winds were fanning the fire, off Indian Canyon, east of Highway 62, causing flames three to five feet high. Fire crews had the blaze out in about 30 minutes.

San Bernardino County Fire Department reminds residents and visitors that fire season lasts year-round and to use fire wisely and responsibly. For additional information about fire permitting or burn proclamations please visit the County Fire website at www.sbcfire.org

COUNTY INTRODUCING SENIOR MOBILE VACCINATION CLINICS

San Bernardino County is introducing its new senior mobile vaccination clinics in various areas throughout the county. So far, a mobile clinic is in Crestline, and will start in Lytle Creek and Lake Arrowhead today and Tuesday (February 22 and 23). Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about the clinics…

A senior mobile vaccination clinic is planned for Twentynine Palms, as well as other cities throughout the county, but it’s not known at this time when the Twentynine Palms mobile vaccine clinic will be here.

“Getting our older residents vaccinated as quickly as possible will save lives, relieve strain on our hospitals, and allow us to reopen additional businesses and return to some sense of normalcy,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “San Bernardino is the nation’s largest county, so our vaccination campaign requires establishing sites in a wide variety of different locations. We want to make it as easy as possible for residents to get their shots, which means bringing the clinics to them rather than asking them to commute long distances for their appointments.”

The new mobile vaccination sites are exclusively for residents age 65 and older. The county is coordinating the scheduling and locations of each clinic and will work with community partners in alerting seniors and setting up appointments.

The mobile vaccination vans have been outfitted with vaccines and related supplies. Once established at a location, seniors will be able to walk up for their vaccine, and will be directed to an area for a 15-minute observation period to monitor for any possible side effects. A second appointment is made for them at the same time.

TWO MORE VACCINATION LOCATIONS OPEN LOCALLY THIS WEEK

Two new locations for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing open in the Morongo Basin this week. In addition to the county vaccination site at Copper Mountain College and the testing site in 29 Palms, Morongo Basin Community Health Center will offer both COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at the Twentynine Palms Health Center (6360 Split Rock) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and vaccines at the Yucca Valley Health Center (58375 Twentynine Palms Hwy) on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1p.m.

Testing is at the Yucca Valley Health Center on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

An appointment is required for both testing and vaccination. Call 760-820-2614 to make an appointment. Participants must remain in their vehicle. Staff will ask for medical insurance information. No co-pay or share-of-cost will be collected. All insurances are accepted. The uninsured are welcome.

At this time, vaccinations are limited to senior adults aged 65 or older.

For complete testing and vaccination information or to make appointments go to www.sbcovid19.com or call 909-387-3911

MORONGO UNIFIED STUDENTS TAKING PART IN VIRTUAL STEM EDUCATION EVENT

Thousands of San Bernardino county students will take part in the county’s first virtual STEMapalooza event Wednesday, February 24. Reporter Andrew Dieleman says students from the Morongo Unified School District will also take part in the event…

Approximately 15,000 fourth- through eighth-grade students from throughout San Bernardino County, including students from Palm Vista and Joshua Tree Elementary schools, will take part in the county’s first virtual presentation of STEMapalooza. Students will take part in immersive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities and learn about STEM careers, essential STEM skills, and pathways to higher education. Opportunities include live keynote speakers, industry Insight videos, and a web-based cyber-attack challenge. For teacher resources and more information, visit the link below.

https://www.sbcrop.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1924871&type=d&pREC_ID=2131160

MIXED EMOTIONS ON NEW HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS GUIDELINES

The California Department of Public Health updated its guidelines for youth and high school sports competition on Friday, and these new directives yielded a bag of mixed emotions from athletic directors and coaches. There was excitement for sports like baseball and softball, with thresholds to resume competition being eased. And there was cautious optimism some football teams might get to play before the CIF Southern Section’s season deadline of April 17. However, there also was disappointment for indoor sports that did not receive any relief. Most indoor sports competitions will not be allowed until a county is at the most difficult to reach tier, yellow.