(NEWS 8) - Millions of Americans in Puerto Rico are still feeling the severe impact of Hurricane Maria. Power is still out and running water is hard to find for many of the island's residents.
One local deputy fire chief is currently in Puerto Rico and is doing everything he can to help the victims of Maria.
His name is Kelly Zombro and he’s the Deputy Chief of the San Diego Fire Department where he works as an Incident Commander of the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team. Zombro is in Puerto Rico helping the island to slowly recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Zombro says that assistance on the ground is, for the most part, getting through to the people of Puerto Rico, despite conflicting reports.
Zombro's team is working closely with the New York Fire Department, Puerto Rican Firefighters and the Puerto Rican National Guard and the agencies have been tasked with opening roads that have been shut down by the deadly hurricane.
Much of the focus is on the high country, which is mountainous areas of Puerto Rico that are exceedingly hard to access and subject to landslides and mudslides.
Also critical in this recovery process is the determination of the locals.
"They have been opening some of the roads themselves, using chainsaws, machetes, whatever they have access to,” said Zombro. “They are resilient. I am quite impressed.”
One remarkable sign of progress noted by FEMA was the San Juan Airport is open for business and can now handle 250 flights a day.
A section of sea bluff collapsed Thursday off an area at Torrey Pines State Beach, prompting lifeguards to close off that section of the beach as a safety precaution against any further landslides.
BIG3's founder Ice Cube and Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman talk about the upcoming BIG3 championship.
Firefighters are working to extinguish a small brush fire on a hillside alongside eastbound state Route 52, near Mast Boulevard in Santee.
A San Diego County sheriff's deputy already facing charges that he groped 13 women he encountered while on duty over a two-year period was arrested again Thursday on five new charges, including forcible oral copulation.
Sparks from a passing vehicle -- not an arsonist, as previously believed -- ignited a wildfire that spread over about 100 open acres this week near San Diego Zoo Safari Park, authorities reported Wednesday.
As firefighters make progress on the Holy Fire, which has devastated parts of Riverside and Orange counties, animal shelters in the impacted areas have had to make room for lost pets. To accommodate an influx of displaced dogs, some of the canines who were already in those shelters were moved to San Diego this week.
Sheriff deputies tell News 8 that Jonathan Hernandez walked out of jail just before 6:00 Thursday morning because no charges were filed against him by the DA's office.