Forecasting from the agenda of this morning’s (Tuesday, March 2) 10 a.m. board of supervisor’s meeting in San Bernardino, today looks to be especially bright for our Morongo Basin. Destined for almost certain approval are two items for Joshua Tree and another for the Wonder Valley area just east of Twentynine Palms. In Joshua Tree, the board is expected to open up the bidding process for the planned two-mile bike trail along Sunburst Avenue from Highway 62 to Calle Los Amigos. Then heading south along Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree, supervisors will likely authorize a $565,000 grant application for improvements to the Desert View Recreational Trails Project, formerly known as section six. And for the Wonder Valley Community Center, the board is expected to authorize a $200,000 grant application that, if awarded, will pay for a badly needed commercial kitchen upgrade at the facility.
A distribution of free food will be held in Wonder Valley Wednesday, February 24. The food give-away, for Wonder Valley residents only, is at the Wonder Valley Community Center on Amboy Road, starting at 10 a.m. until the food is gone. Wonder Valley residents may pick up one bag of groceries for a neighbor if a signed pick-up form is presented. Masks are required, and residents must stay in their vehicles.
For more information call Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880.
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.
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
The family of a Walnut Creek woman who went missing last June said they were notified Thursday by the county coroner that her remains have been identified. Erika Lloyd, 37, was last heard from on Sunday, June 14, 2020. She told her family she was going to Joshua Tree National Park to “unplug.” Rangers found Lloyd’s vandalized black Honda Accord the next day at Indian Cove campground in the park and left a note on the car about the damage; when they returned later that day, the car was gone. On June 16, a CHP officer found the beat-up car on Shelton Road, east of Twentynine Palms, and had it towed. Lloyd’s family reported her missing June 17, and at that time, learned that her car had been found outside the park. On January 31, a hiker walking near Danby Road found decomposed human remains, about a mile and a half west of Shelton Road.
We have limited information about an attempted murder in Wonder Valley Monday, February 15. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 4300 block of Nevada Trail about 5:20 p.m. for a shooting. Paramedics stabilized the male victim and met with Mercy Air for transport to a trauma hospital. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating.