San Diego County Fires October 26th 2007 (UPDATE 2 1710)

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(I will be making occasional updates over the day. Questions or information, email danmelson (at) the domain name or comment)


Dale Franks of Q and O went to see results of the Witch Fire up close and personal on Wednesday (the 24th)

2 a.m. Only 350 people remain at the shelter at Qualcomm Stadium and the City of San Diego is planning to close the shelter at noon today, Oct. 26. 3:56 a.m. Residents at the Qualcomm Stadium shelter will be relocated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds around noon today, Oct. 26.

Can't have them taking up parking spots at the Charger game without paying, can we? (Sometimes a little snark is called for)

4:15 a.m. Bottled water is available for Ramona residents at the Ramona Rodeo Grounds at 434 Aqua Lane. Water from the Ramona Municipal Water District is currently unsafe, and residents have been advised not to drink or use the water in their homes and businesses until further notified.

Cal Fire update:

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 84,300 acres and is 20 percent contained. The fire started October 21 and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County. There have been 21 civilian and 12 firefighter injuries, as well as one death on this fire. 97 homes, 2 commercial properties and 17 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 250 additional structures are damaged. Damage assessments are still being conducted. 1,500 homes are still threatened.

Evacuation orders remain in effect. Re-entry for residents only was allowed in the Thousand Trails, Potrero and Tecate neighborhoods. Today residents only will be allowed to re-enter Jamul. The communities of Lyons Valley, Lawson Valley, Carveacre, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened

Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 197,990 acres and is 45 percent contained. The Witch Fire has joined the Poomacha fire in the north. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, Mesa Grande and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest. Residents are being allowed to return to portions of Poway, Valley Center, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, Ramona and Rancho Bernardo. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

1,061 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 175 outbuildings have been destroyed. 62 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 1,000 residences, 100 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are still threatened. 239 vehicles have been destroyed.

(It appears to me from the map that the actual Witch Fire flames are basically out - it's the Poomacha fire flames that appear to be going now)

Poomacha Fire Highway 76, Pauma Valley San Diego County

This fire started October 23 as a structure fire on the Lajolla Indian Reservation. It has burned 39,000 acres and is 35 percent contained. The Poomacha Fire has joined with the Witch Fire to the south. 60 homes and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed. 2,000 homes remain threatened.

Evacuations are in progress in Valley Center. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Hidden Meadows, Deer Springs, Vista and Palomar are threatened. This fire has resulted in 12 firefighter injuries.

Horno/Ammo Fire
Camp Pendleton
San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 19,353 acres since October 23 and is 80 percent contained. The Horno Fire has two heads, one north bound tied into Basilone Road and the other south bound tied into Aliso Canyon Road. Firing Operations are being conducted on the northern head from San Onofre to Camp Horno and along Canyon Road to Bailone Road.

So my concerns last night about it getting into Oceanside have largely been abated.

Rice Fire Rice Canyon San Diego County

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 40 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 200 homes are threatened currently. Evacuation orders are in effect for Fallbrook and outlying areas. Portions of Fallbrook have been reopened to residents. Three firefighters injuries have been reported.

Damage assessments from unincorporated areas 9 pages of addresses.

a Google based map

more fire maps, a little more useful to me, even if they've got Rancho Bernardo on the wrong side of the 15 (yes, there's some on the west side, but the vast majority is on the east)

mapping 2003 and 2007 burns (bottom of page). Notice that the area north of Barrett Reservoir, where the Harris Fire is currently burning, has been untouched for longer than that. Let the Harris Fire get into well-overgrown areas, particularly if the Santa Ana starts back up, and we could have a lot more burned.

A map of available fuel for fires, and an overview of fire activity the last few days. What did I say about how the Harris Fire is still dangerous?

Most of the media folk seem to live in the areas the Witch Fire hit early in the week. With that no longer so much of a factor, they've gone to coverage of aftermath, but the Harris and Poomacha fires are still dangerous.

Update 1 (12:30)

Driving around the city, this could be any day with merely bad smog. News services want to pretend it's over and don't want to report anything but aftermath, which is as predictable as gravity. People are tired of fire news, but there are two very dangerous ones still out there.

Lyon's Peak Webcam is back up and showing some pretty intense fire in the vicinity of Barrett Reservoir.

Evacuation Lifted

Evacuation Order Lifted for Western Jamul
Residents from the western Jamul communities are allowed to return home. The area will be open to residents and IDs will be checked.

Residents will have access via Highway 94.

Road closures will remain at Lions Valley Road and the Skyline Truck Trail; Highway 94 at Honey Springs Road; and Highway 94 at Otay Lakes Road.

Evacuation Order Lifted for Areas of Valley Center
The Rincon and San Pasqual Reservations and areas north of Lake Wohlford are now open to residents and businesses only.

The approximate area is represented by the following Thomas Brother Map Coordinates:
MP 1071: C-2 to C-7; D-1 to D-7; E-1 to E-7; F-1 to F-4
MP 1091: A-5 to A-7; B-2 to B-7; C-2 to C-7; D-1 to D-5; E-1 to E-4
MP 1110: G-1 to G-3; H-1 to H-3; J-1
MP 1111: A-1, A-2, B-1, C-1

The following areas will remain closed:
Paradise Mountain/Skyline Ranch
Palomar Mountain (Highway 76 corridor from the Pala area to Highway 79)
Pala Reservation
Pauma Reservation
La Jolla Reservation
Rancho Heights (Areas south of Lake Wohlford, including « Bear Valley » and « Guejito
Ranch areas)

Evacuation lifted:

Evacuation Order Lifted for Highway 67 Corridor
Residents living on the Highway 67 corridor from the Poway City limits to Maple View Street are now allowed to return home.

Evacuation Order Lifted for Areas of Wildcat Canyon
Areas in and around Wildcat Canyon Road south of the Barona Reservation are now open for repopulation.

Harris Fire update (.pdf)

Incident Start Date & Report Time: October 21, 2007 @ 9:30 a.m.
Incident Type: Wildland Fire Acres: 84,300 Acres Cause: Under Investigation
% Containment: 20% Estimated Containment: 10/31/07 Cost to Date: $5,800,000
Fatalities: 5 civilian Injuries: 7 firefighters, 21 civilians Vehicles/Equipment Destroyed: 1 Fire Engine
Structures Destroyed: 155 Residences; 2 Commercial Properties; 17 Outbuildings/Other
Structures Damaged: 250
Structures Threatened: 1,500
Resources: Hand Crews 28 Dozers 4 Engines 149 Air Tankers 3 Helicopters 9
Water Tenders 20 Overhead Personnel 169 Total Personnel: 1,341
Significant events: The fire jumped a portion of Lake Barrett posing an immediate threat to life and property
in the communities of Lawson Valley and Carveacre forcing evacuation orders for these communities.
Yesterday evacuation orders were lifted for the Western Jamul region as well as the area from Otay Lakes Road
to Pio Pico Thousand Trails, allowing residents to return home.
Major problems and concerns: Fire behavior remains active in old and extremely dry fuels. Heavy fuels and
steep terrain on the northern edge of the fire will present few control opportunities. Structure protection will
continue in Lyons Valley. Many resource orders will remain unfilled due to competing incidents in the Southern
part of the state. Fire commanders will continue with contingency planning which could include secondary
dozer lines as well as potential evacuations in threatened communities until containment is obtained.

Road Closures:
Highway 94 at SR-188 Highway 94 at Honey Springs Road
Highway 94 at Otay Lakes Road Jamul Drive at Fowler Canyon Road
Highway 94 at Melody Lane Skyline and Lawson Valley
Highway 94 at Steele Canyon Road Skyline and Lyons Valley Road
Highway 94 at Millar Ranch Road Lyons Valley at Japatul Valley
Highway 94 at Rancho Miguel Lyons Valley at Honey Springs Road
Highway 94 at Highway 54 Melody Lane and Proctor Valley Road
Highway 94 2 miles east of Harris Ranch Road
Evacuations: The following areas are currently under an "Evacuation Order": Lawson Valley, Carveacre,
Potrero, Barrett Junction, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Indian Springs and North Jamul.
Evacuations Lifted: The "Point" in Spring Valley. Otay Lakes Road to the Pio Pico Thousand Trails and the
Western Jamul region.

(bolding in the quote above is mine) Remember that fuel map I showed you in the initial post this morning? This is not good for Campo, Lake Morena, and Pine Valley. These may be comparatively small communities and not that affluent, but I guarantee you the people who live there are every bit as important as the ones in the main city. Of course, living out there they've got "defensible space" engraved upon their thinking, so most should be okay even if the fire heads their way, but that doesn't change the pucker factor while it's going on.

11:18 a.m. - According to the Mayor's Office, the Chargers will play Sunday's game at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers will face the Houston Texans Sunday, October 28 at Qualcomm Stadium at 1:05 p.m.
What did I tell you about nobody gets free parking at a Charger's game?

new satellite photos

As a reminder, City Schools will reopen Tuesday the 30th, not Monday. County Schools will be re-opened on an individual basis (some of them are still threatened)

UPDATE 2 (17:10)

1:39 p.m. The Del Dios Highway was reopened at 1:30 p.m. Drivers still need to be cautious as there may be some downed power lines across side roads within the community of Del Dios that utility crews are still working on.
2:30 p.m. The following areas of the Dehesa-Harbison area are open for reentry:

* All areas north of Willow Glen Drive
* All areas east of El Cajon
* All areas west of South Grade Road and Tavern Road
* All areas south of Interstate 8

2:55 p.m. Residents from the De Luz area and the Oak Crest Estates Mobile Home Park can now return to their homes.
The following areas of San Vincente are open for reentry. The area is specified by a box created by:

* Areas north of Interstate 8
* Areas east of Poway
* Areas west of San Diego Country Estates
* Areas south of Highway 67

Carveacre is still under a mandatory evacuation order. Japatul Road is still closed at Dehesa/Tavern Road. Japatul Valley Road south of Interstate 8 is closed.

3:17 p.m. All of Spring Valley and Jamacha are open for reentry.

Evacuation notices partially lifted for Bonita and Sunnyside. The following areas of Bonita-Sunnyside are open for reentry. The area is specified by a box created by:

* Areas north of Chula Vista
* Areas east of Chula Vista and San Diego
* Areas west of Hwy 125
* Areas south of Jamacha Blvd

4:12 p.m. Further partial lift of Fallbrook evacuation order. Rainbow Glen Road in Fallbrook is now open to residents with I.D., along with the following ancillary roads:

* Ranchbrook Road
* Aspen Road
* Sumac Summit
* Rosa Rancho Lane
* Lookout Mountain

Maps as of 2 pm
Note the burn areas near Highway 76 in north county and near Barrett Reservoir in east county. Still pretty intense.

local assistance centers

Lyon's Peak Webcam showing intense black smoke from the vicinity of Barrett reservoir to the east. Looks like flames got right up to the lookout post!

I can't find much else new. The news services have turned away and I don't want to go risk getting in the fire fighters way. So barring future developments like that flare up I'm worried about north of Barrett Reservoir, this will be the last update.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on October 26, 2007 5:10 PM.

"Fixes" for the Mortgage Meltdown - You Can't Keep A Bad Idea Down was the previous entry in this blog.

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