X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin: October 2007 Archives

Governor to Scammers, Looters: 'You WILL Pay'

"We are also going after the scam artists, price gougers, and shady contractors and anyone else going after anyone else who preys on people hurt by these fires," he said. "We are as serious about protecting people from cheats and criminals as we are about protecting them from fire."

"If anyone tries to exploit this tragedy I will make sure you will pay for rest of your life," added Schwarzenegger. "We will arrest them and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

I'd be a little bit concerned if it were me the Terminator was talking about. Not that this will deter the scum of course. But, to riff another of his movies, I'd probably be wishing it was a tumor instead. Understand this about the man: when he sets goals, he keeps them. No matter what they are.

**********

We got a few minutes of rain last night where I am. It was likely more where the fires are. Combined with persistent efforts on behalf of the fire folk, that appears to have made a critical difference. Things are looking decidedly rosier than yesterday.

10-27-07 11:54 a.m. Peutz Valley Road, along with its ancillary streets, is now open to residents and the general public alike. El Monte Valley, including the entirety of both El Monte Road and Willow Road, is now open to residents and the general public alike.

10-27-07 3:48 p.m. All Evacuation Orders Are Lifted For The Harris Fire.
The following areas are newly opened:

* Carveacre Region
* Lawson Valley Region
* Jamul Region

This also includes the following previously reopened areas:
Potrero Region; Tecate Region; Dulzura Region; Barrett Junction Region; Engineer Springs Region; Deerhorn Valley Region; Indian Springs Region
All of these areas are open to residents only. The following road closures still in effect due to road work:

* Highway 94 at Barrett Smith East
* Highway 188 and Highway 94


10-27-07 4:08 p.m. The following communities impacted by the Witch Fire are now open. The area is specified by a box created by:

* Areas north of San Pasqual Valley Road and Hwy 78.
* Areas east of North Lake Wohlford Road and Valley Parkway
* Areas west of Black Canyon Road and Sutherland Road
* Areas south of Canal Road

Cleveland National Forest is still closed for recreation purposes.

6:25 p.m. According to CAL FIRE, the Poomacha Fire is the only blaze in San Diego County with active flames along the perimeter. About 2,690 residents of the Palomar Mountain and Pauma Valley area remain under an evacuation order tonight, as the fire remains active in those communities. Fire officials will re-evaluate the situation tomorrow.

7:44 p.m. The Tecate port of entry will reopen to passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic at 5 a.m. on Monday, October 29, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced today.

The port will resume its normal operating hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. to process on average 2,500 passenger vehicles and over 7,000 people daily that enter the U.S. at the eastern San Diego County border facility. Due to roadway safety concerns by state officials, all cargo trucks will still be required to enter and exit the U.S. at the Otay Mesa or Calexico commercial ports of entry until the roadways leading to the port are certified safe for big, heavy vehicles.

Fire map current as of 1830 on 10/27.


Cal Fire this morning:

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 90,750 acres and is 65 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 16 firefighter injuries, as well as one death on this fire. 206 homes and 247 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 252 additional structures are damaged. Damage assessments are still being conducted.

All evacuations have been lifted. Re-entry for residents only is being allowed.

Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 197,990 acres and is 90 percent contained. The Witch Fire has joined the Poomacha fire in the north. Residents are being allowed re-entry into to area.

1,040 homes and 414 outbuildings have been destroyed. 70 homes and 25 outbuildings have been damaged. Additionally, 239 vehicles have been destroyed.

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 49,150 acres and is 50 percent contained. The Poomacha Fire has joined with the Witch Fire to the south. 136 homes and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed. 500 homes remain threatened.

Evacuations are still in place for the communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Pala Reservation, and Palomar.

Horno/Ammo Fire
Camp Pendleton
San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 21,084 acres since October 23 and is now 100 percent contained.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 100 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. Evacuations have been lifted.


searchable database of destroyed property


9:28 a.m. The community of Deerhorn Valley has been reopened to residents only.
Residents must enter from the west side of Hwy. 94 Honey Springs Road is closed to traffic just north of Deerhorn Road.

9:41 a.m. Evacuation Orders Lifted for: Dulzura, residents only Indian Springs and Proctor Valley, residents only Engineer Springs and Barrett Junction, residents only Residents must enter from west side of Highway 94. Many areas of Highway 94 are reduced to one lane. Highway 94 at Barrett Smith East remains closed for roadwork.

Evacuation Lifted:

INCIDENT NAME: COUNTYWIDE FIRE UPDATE 156 INCIDENT DATE/TIME: October 27, 2007 REPORT DATE/TIME: 8:25 am San Diego County Operational Area EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Evacuation Order Lifted for Japatul The evacuation order for Japatul has been lifted for residents to return home. Evacuation orders REMAIN for Lawson Valley & Carveacre.

Confirmed damaged or destroyed structures in unincorporated areas 13 page .pdf. Go to city websites for lists of destroyed property within city limits.

Road Closures

Cal Fire:

Harris Fire Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94 San Diego County

This fire has burned 85,800 acres and is 55 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 16 firefighter injuries, as well as one death on this fire. 188 homes, 1 commercial properties and 222 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 252 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. Residents are being allowed to re-enter parts of Jamul as well as the area from Otay Lakes Road to Pio Pico Thousand Trails. The communities of Lyons Valley, Lawson Valley, Carve Acres, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, and Jamul are threatened.

Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 197,990 acres and is 60 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, Del Dios, and Lake Hodges areas. Re-entry of residents is also occurring in the towns of Julian, Wynola, and Cuyamaca. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

911 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.

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 43,000 acres and is 45 percent contained. The Poomacha Fire has joined with the Witch Fire to the south. 78 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, Pala Reservation, and Palomar are threatened. This fire has resulted in 14 firefighter injuries.

Horno/Ammo Fire
Camp Pendleton
San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 21,084 acres since October 23 and is 90 percent contained.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 80 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.

"we're not out of the woods yet"

Partially contained fires are just that -- partially contained. And time may not be on the firefighters' side.

"Until we can get some sort of control line around these fires, it's still a major hazard," he said. "There a possibility of a new high-pressure system coming into this area in the next couple of days."

forecast for Campo (Harris Fire)

Today: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Areas of smoke. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south.

Tonight: Areas of smoke before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 48. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 84. East wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 49. East wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 82. North wind 5 to 15 mph becoming south. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

Come on, rain! Because if that doesn't happen, look what we're going to get the next couple of days. Back to Santa Ana conditions - ACK!

Julian Forecast (Poomacha/Witch)

Today: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Areas of smoke. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. South wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Tonight: Areas of smoke before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 54. South wind around 5 mph becoming north.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 80. East wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 54. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 78. East wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Once again, come on rain!

A cool website for fire information that I found this morning. They've got individual webpages for all the major fires

Harris Fire

Witch Fire

Poomacha Fire

Rice Fire

The maps are at least 24 hours out of date, though.

Lyon's Peak webcam shows the smoke around Barrett reservoir being a lot less intense.


Cuyamaca North Peak would probably help for the Poomacha/Witch Fire if it were pointed north rather than east.

I was really hoping to get some new satellite photos, but nothing of that nature seems to be available.

(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.

making updates to this post today, same as yesterday Scroll down. If you have something to tell me, comment or email danmelson (at) the domain name).

Wildfires spread but 'we've turned the corner'

No homes were lost Wednesday in San Diego, and fires within the city had no new flare-ups, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque said.

327,000 total acres burned. That's 510 square miles. But only 27,000 more than end of day yesterday, a difference of only 9 percent.

I've always given Aguirre the benefit of the doubt until now. But he;s proven himself both an idiot and a busybody today

In separate interviews with The San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday, the police chief, fire chief and mayor's office said Aguirre urged them to consider such an exodus after the wildfires began Sunday. A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the administration also was aware of the request.

1) First off, this is a free country. Anybody has the right to voluntarily decide to leave, forever or for a while. Some friends of mine in the neighborhood had done precisely that. Yeah. the air quality doesn't make life easy. But we're not threatened where I am. The Harris Fire got within about 8 miles - 8 miles filled with concrete and asphalt - before they stopped it outside Spring Valley. Not close.

2) Officials urging evacuation of the city sends entirely the wrong message. The blow to morale of the firefighters quite frankly would be severe. They might think, quite reasonably, that you don't trust them to do the job, and if there's nobody coming back anyway, why work so hard to save their house? Not to mention the morale of the citizens.

3) Except as the worst case of over-CYA in recorded history, it's just not his business. It's outside his job description. He's putting his ignorant nose in where he has no business having an official opinion.

Coming on top of this:

On Oct. 3, Aguirre rushed to the scene of the Mount Soledad landslide, wondering whether water-main breaks could have contributed to the problem. His actions, which included two forums for residents, angered the mayor.

Does he have qualifications as a civil engineer? Surveyor? Geologist? Any allied discipline? This is politics for personal gain, plain and simple. Anyone want to bet me he's on the ballot for something at the earliest opportunity? When it happens, I hope the citizens have the sense to get rid of him before he messes anything else up.

Updated map, road closures, properties confirmed destroyed by ZIP, etcetera

Cal Fire

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 35,000 acres and is 10 percent contained. 50 homes have been destroyed and 2,000 homes are threatened. Evacuations are in progress along the Highway 76 corridor. 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. 719 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command with CAL FIRE and the Cleveland National Forest. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $750,000. Poomacha Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Horno/Ammo Fire
Camp Pendleton
San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 10,000 acres since October 23. It is currently 40-50 percent contained. Sections of that fire have threatened Interstate 5, causing its closure from Highway 76 to San Onofre. The Horno Fire has two heads, one north toward San Onofre and one south toward Pulgas Rd. Camp Pendleton authorities have relocated the residents of one housing area, San Onofre 1 and 2, to San Mateo. That relocation, which affected approximately 800 family members, was a precautionary measure in light of the proximity of the Horno fire. Horno/Ammo Fire Information Line (866) 430-2764.

Camp Pendleton fire officials have announced they are fighting a new fire in southeastern Camp Pendleton near the San Luis Rey Gate. Residents of Serra Mesa Housing have been instructed to relocate to the 22 Area Parade Deck as a precautionary measure due to their proximity to the fire. Military police are on the scene assisting in relocating military members and their families to a safe location on base. Air assets are being utilized to assist in fighting the fire. The San Luis Rey Gate is closed to in bound an doutbound traffic. For more information, military members and their families are encouraged to visit the base Web site at www.pendleton.usmc.mil or call the main information line at (866) 430-2764.

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 75,000 acres and is 10 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 25 civilian injuries and one death as well as seven firefighter injuries on this fire. 155 homes, 2 commercial properties and 17 outbuildings have been destroyed in this fire and 250 additional homes have been damaged. 1,500 homes are still threatened. 4500 people have been evacuated and additional evacuations are being ordered. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1,341 firefighters are assigned under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $3.4 million. Harris Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 20 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 1,500 homes are threatened currently. 35,000 people have been evacuated from the communities of Fallbrook and Deluz Canyon. Camp Pendleton and Oceanside are threatened. One firefighter injury has been reported. 1,095 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire is $1.2 million. Rice Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 196,240 acres and is 20 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills. 645 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 50 outbuildings have been destroyed. 250 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 5,000 residences, 1,500 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are currently threatened. 12 firefighters have been injured on this fire. CAL FIRE Incident Command Team #10 is in command of this incident with 2,331 firefighters assigned. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $5 million. Witch Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

.pdf Fire Map, as of 3:30 Looks like Harris is currently burning the most area,

8:31 p.m. - According to Mayor Jerry Sanders, West Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, 4-S Ranch (city part only, not county area) and Santa Luz have been reopened. Area open is south of Rancho Bernardo Road, west of I-15, east of Rancho Santa Fe Farms Road and north of Highway 56.

Just an FYI reminder, President Bush will be visiting the area today.

With the Santa Ana gone, I'm hoping that today is what really breaks the fires' back. There are still endangered communities, but when you haven't got hot dry 50 mph winds pushing the flame, that makes a real difference in how fast it can move, which means their actions have a lot less reaction to them, and a lot more action.

UPDATE 1 (1150) Updates are going to be fewer and farther between today.

10:00 a.m. Evacuation Notice Lifted for Escondido. All areas within the City of Escondido previously evacuated have been re-opened to residents.

Evacuation Notice Lifted for County's Portion of 4S Ranch
The County of San Diego has lifted the evacuation order its portion of 4S Ranch. All of 4S Ranch is now re-opened to residents.

These are mid county to northerly areas that were under threat from the Witch Fire. Things are getting back to something resembling normal. All residential areas of the City of San Diego are also able to return home.

Cal Fire:

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 81,100 acres and is 10 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 25 civilian injuries and one death as well as seven firefighter injuries on this fire. An estimated 200 homes have been destroyed or damaged. 1,500 homes are still threatened.

4500 people have been evacuated and additional evacuations are being ordered. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1,611 firefighters are assigned under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $3.4 million. Harris Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.


fact sheet (.pdf)

Harris Fire Evacuation Order Lifted for Residents in the Otay Lakes and Thousand Trails Area 10/25/07


Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 197,990 acres and is 20 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest. Residents are being allowed to return to portions of the communities of Poway, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego and Rancho Bernardo. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

645 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 50 outbuildings have been destroyed. 250 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 5,000 residences, 1,500 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are currently threatened. 22 firefighters have been injured on this fire. 2,619 firefighters are assigned to this incident under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $5.3 million.

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 35,000 acres and is 20 percent contained. 50 homes have been destroyed and 2,000 homes are threatened currently.

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. 859 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command with CAL FIRE and the Cleveland National Forest. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $950,000. Poomacha Fire

Horno/Ammo Fire Camp Pendleton San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 17,000 acres since October 23. It is currently 40-50 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.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 30 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 400 homes are threatened currently. Evacuation orders are in effect for Fallbrook and outlying areas affecting 35,000 residents. One firefighter injury has been reported. Fire spread has slowed due to decreased winds, however, the fire has potential for increased growth. 1,095 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire is $1.2 million.

No one hurt in Ramona chopper crash

The helicopter that crashed in the Ramona area less than an hour ago was carrying three SDG&E employees who were surveying areas for energy restoration, SDG&E spokeswoman Jenny Redmond said.

Those folks do hard dangerous work in the best of times. Glad to know they're not hurt.

What I consider to be one of the best signs the worst is behind us:

11:12 a.m. Potrero residents will be allowed to reenter today at 12:00 pm.
Highway 94 will remain closed west of Potrero.
The Tecate Border Crossing will reopen to passenger traffic today at 12:00 pm.

Still a lot of threat to various east county areas from the Harris Fire, but this was the area that started it.

8:18 a.m. - Evacuation Notice Lifted for Olive Hill Area of Fallbrook. The County of San Diego has lifted the evacuation order for parts of the Olive Hill area in Fallbrook. They include: All residents that have access to their homes from Highway 76 to Burma Road. IDs will be checked All other areas in Bonsall, south of Highway 76 are open and require no check-in.
5:35 a.m. - FEMA has announced that residents who have sustained losses in the wildfires can begin applying Thursday, October 25 for assistance. You can apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. You can also register online by visiting www.fema.gov. The toll free number will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Here's that link: http://www.fema.gov/

Whole bunch of county webcams

UPDATE 2 (1430)

Mini-air force, weather unite to wage war on fires

11:51 a.m. Rancho Santa Fe evacuation order partially lifted. Residents of Rancho Santa Fe can reenter their homes with the exception of the following: Del Dios Highway Community of Del Dios

Reentry access will be limited to residents only on the following streets:
Las Colinas
El Mirador
La Valle Plateada
El Vuelo
Zumaque
El Sicomoro Street

1:12 p.m. Correction on Tecate border crossing. The point of entry will remain closed until further notice.

Satellite Map of Fires

Current Road Closures in San Diego County

Pauma SR 76 -- Pauma Reservation Road to SR 79 Closed
Rancho San Diego SR 94 -- Steele Canyon to Forest Gate Closed
Santa Ysabel SR 79 -- SR 78 Bear Valley Parkway Closed
Valley Center SR 76 -- Cole Grade to SR 79 Closed
Valley Center SR 76 -- Mission to Old Hwy 395 Closed
Ramona SR 67 -- NB Scripps/Poway Parkway to Highland Valley Closed
Jamul Lawson Valley -- entire length Closed
Jamul Skyline Truck Trail -- entire length Closed
Jamul Honed Springs -- SR 94 to Lyons Valley
Otay Otay Lakes -- Wueste to SR 94 Closed
Fallbrook I-15 off ramps to Mission Closed
Lakeside Wildcat Canyon -- Willow to San Vicente Closed
Valley Center Couser Canyon -- SR 76 to Lilac Closed
Valley Center Lilac -- SR 76 to Couser Canyon Closed
Escondido Via Rancho Pkwy -- I-15 to Del Dios Hwy Closed
Escondido Via Loma Vista -- Via Rancho Pkwy to end Closed
Escondido Quit Hills -- Felicita to Via Rancho Pkwy

Fire summary as of 2:12 pm today

Witch Fire (southern North County): 198,000 acres, 20% contained, Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest.

645 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 50 outbuildings have been destroyed. 250 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 5,000 residences, 1,500 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are currently threatened.

Harris Fire (East County): 81,000 acres, 10% contained. 4500 people have been evacuated and additional evacuations are being ordered. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened.

Poomacha Fire (Northeast portion of the county): 35,000 acres, 20% contained. Evacuations are in progress in Valley Center. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Hidden Meadows, Deer Springs, Vista and Palomar are threatened.

50 homes have been destroyed and 2,000 homes are threatened currently.

Rice Fire (north county, west of I-15): 9000 acres, 30% contained. Evacuation orders are in effect for Fallbrook and outlying areas affecting 35,000 residents.

206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 400 homes are threatened currently.

Horno/Ammo Fire (Camp Pendleton, northwest corner of county): 17,000 acres, 40-50% contained.

UPDATE 3 (1650)

2:07 p.m. Mandatory evacuation ordered for Lawson Valley and Carveacre. The communities of Lawson Valley and Carveacre have been ordered to evacuate. Residents can take shelter at Qualcomm Stadium or Faith Chapel at 9400 Campo Road in Spring Valley.

AMENDED 3:22 p.m. Correction: Lawson Valley and Carveacre Evacuation Shelters. It was previously reported that Lawson Valley and Carveacre evacuees could find shelter at Qualcomm Stadium; however, these residents should instead report to Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Further Clarification: Lawson Valley and Carveacre Evacuation Areas. Carveacres residents must evacuate in the areas:
North of Wilson Creek
South of Pearson Canyon
East of Kearchoffer Flat
West of Horsethief Canyon

Lawson Valley residents must evacuate in the areas:
South of Loveland Resevoir
North of the Community of Lyons Valley
East of Beaver Hollow
West of Kearchoffer Flats

2:54 p.m. Evacuation order partially lifted for Valley Center. Valley Center residents and businesses may reenter the following areas of Valley Center (according to Thomas Brothers maps): MP 1029: B-7, C-7, D-7, D-6, D-5, E-5, F-4, G-4, H-4, J-4 MP 1030: A-4, B-4, C-4, D-5, E-5, F-6, F-7, G-7, H-7 MP 1049: A-1, B-1 MP 1050: H-1, H-2, J-2, J-3, H-4, G-4, F-5, G-5, G-6, F-6 MP 1051: A-4, B-5, C-6, C-7. D-7 MP 1071: E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, C-4, D-5, D-6, D-7 MP 1091: D-1, C-2

The following areas will remain closed: Paradise Mountain/Skyline Ranch; Palomar Mountain; the Highway 76 corridor from the Pala area to Highway 79; the Rincon, Pala, La Jolla, Pauma and San Pasqual Reservations; the Lake Wohlford area.

Updated road closure and opening information
Lake Wohlford Road will remain open.
Cole Grade Road south of McNalley Road will be opened.
Lilac Road south of McNalley Road will be opened.
Highway 76 from just east of Highway 15 to highway 79 will remain closed.

Why it took so long to get most of the firefighting planes into action

So what if people and animals are dying! It's not important that hundreds of homes were burning! They had bureaucratic turf to defend!

Preliminary evidence seems to indicate quite a bit of arson involved in setting several of the fires.

Barrett Junction Mobile Home Park Destroyed

SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHEDULED TO REOPEN TUESDAY, OCT. 30. 3:20 p.m. - San Diego Unified School District to reopen to students Tues, Oct. 30th. Regular hours in effect; Staff to report on Mon, Oct 29th.

Palomar Outdoor School, the district's sixth grade camp, will remain closed until further notice. All field trips requiring bus transportation will be canceled through Fri, Nov. 2.

For more information, check the district's web site at www.sandi.net. A special information line is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon-Fri, at (619) 725-8140.

Fire Map as of 1530 10/25

Appears as if the worst current activity is the Poomacha fire along the 76 corridor near Palomar Mountain.and the Harris Fire north of Potrero. Harris fire also appears to have active arms east of Jamul and a smaller one near the 188 between Jamul and Dulzura. Next on the hit list appears to be the Horno fire on Camp Pendleton in the northwest portion of the county, which the onshore breeze might push in Oceanside if it freshens. Rice Canyon appears much diminished, and I don't see any evidence of the original parts of the Witch Fire, although the Poomacha fire has now burned into the same area the Witch Fire went through previously.

Rice Canyon fire confirmed: downed power lines.

4:24 p.m. Citizens residing on Otay Lakes Road to Thousand Trails may return to their homes. Citizens residing in the community of Tecate may return to their homes; the Tecate Border Crossing remains closed.

Probably only one more update tonight.

UPDATE 4 (2010 Final tonight unless something major happens)

Pomerado Hospital, including its emergency department has reopened

NEW EVACUATION (probably due to the Poomacha Fire)

5:17 p.m. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has been activated. Mandatory evacuation of Lake Henshaw, Mesa Grande, and La Jolla Indian Reservation The EAS message advises that "due to a fire from south and west, residents in the area

* west of Hellhole Canyon
* north of Palomar Mountain to Warner Springs
* south of Bear Valley and Rancho Santa Ysabel and
* east of Montezuma Valley

are under a mandatory evacuation notice. Please take the following route Route 79 to S-2 to S-22 to Borrego High School."

5:38 p.m. 2007 Wildfire Fatalities Update Fourteen fire-related deaths of San Diego County residents have occurred during the 2007 Wildfires. This includes seven deaths directly related to the fires, three that occurred during evacuation activities and four that happened after the decedents were evacuated. The most recent fatalities included in these statistics are:

* Two sets of unidentified charred remains were reported earlier today. This update includes the positive identification of those two individuals, husband and wife who were found in the rubble of a completely destroyed house on Highland Valley Road in unincorporated Poway during the evening hours of October 24. Victoria Katherine Fox, a 55-year-old female, and John Christopher Bain, a 58-year-old male, were identified via dental records as burn victims.
* Four sets of unidentified charred remains were reported found today in the Potrero area. Medical Examiner's Office Investigators are currently en route; no further information known at this time.

5:58 p.m. Boil Water Orders. The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued Boil Water Orders and Public Notifications for the following public water systems effective immediately:

* Dulzura Café, 17023 Highway 94, Dulzura, CA 91917
* Skyline Ranch Campground,17120 Skyline Truck Trail, Jamul, CA 91935
* Potrero General Store, 25125 Highway 94, Potrero, CA 91963
* Set Free Ministries, 18985 Highway 94, Dulzura, CA 91917

Due to the fires these water systems lost pressure in the water distribution system. As a precaution, a Boil Water Order is being issued until laboratory results show the water is free from bacterial contamination. The Boil Water Order will remain in effect until the distribution system has been disinfected and samples confirm the absence of bacteria in the water supply

Fire Map as of 1830. Compared to three hours ago, the Horno Fire is moving significantly towards Oceanside, southeast through Camp Pendleton, and the Harris Fire near Barrett Reservoir has intensified. The Poomacha Fire isn't exactly dying in place, either, in the northeast part of the county. We aren't out of this yet. Let the Horno fire get into north Oceanside and base housing on Pendleton, and we could easily see a doubling of the damage done so far. Not that the Harris Fire and Poomacha Fire are any less concerning to those in their path, but that number is much fewer.

Cal Fire update 7:20

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 84,000 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. The communities of San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons 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 30 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest. Residents are being allowed to return to portions of Poway, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego 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.

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 38,500 acres and is 30 percent contained. 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 17,000 acres since October 23. It is currently 50 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.

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.

Fall brook evacuation partially lifted

County supervisor Dianne Jacob announced at a press conference tonight that residents of Ramona are allowed back into the community. Ramona Municipal Water District customers, however, still cannot use water.

Not even once it's boiled, from an earlier report. Bring drinking, cooking, and washing water with you if you're going back to Ramona.

Morena Village on standby for evacuation

Hauser Wilderness is an 8,000-acre mountainous area that ranges from 2,000-4,000 feet in elevation. It's loaded with old growth of chamise, chaparral and scrub oak. It is a rich, riparian area with woodlands, all fuel for a fire like the Harris Fire.

Pine Creek Wilderness is a 13,100-acre area similar to Hauser, only bigger.

But the Hauser Wilderness stretches right up to the Morena Dam, where Cottonwood Creek still runs thanks to a leak in the dam. That small creek, which feeds to Hauser Creek, has created a green belt that goes all the way to Barrett Lake.

Which is where the Harris Fire is burning now. Let Hauser Wilderness catch, and it could go to Lake Morena very easily, and if Pine Creek catches from there, there's nothing but I-8 in the way.

NASA photos of Barrett Lake, which is where Harris Fire is burning now. The Thermal sensor image really helps.

Once again, we're not out of this by any means. Looking at the forecast, the Santa Anas could return tomorrow and Saturday. Julian's Forecast says the same thing. Palomar Mountain forecast says south to southeast winds. Oceanside says slack west winds, which is a blessing. We'll see what happens.

(I'll be making updates to this post today, same as yesterday Scroll down. If you have something to tell me, comment or email danmelson (at) the domain name).

Got an email from a friend of mine. His sister and her husband had already been cut off east of Ramona by the time the evacuation order came, so having no choice, they stayed and fought the fire and saved their house. It caught three times, but they managed to save it - and themselves. They described the fire as a swarm of glowing bumblebees. One small victory, and two larger ones. I'm very happy they didn't become statistics.

Pendleton Fire Cuts I-5 This is north of Oceanside, and only a few miles south of San Onofre. Train Service has been discontinued. Now called the Horno Fire.

Harris Fire shifts course and is now threateng Jamul, east of Chula Vista and South of Rancho San Diego. There's also an evacutation point in that area, at Steele Canyon High School on CA 94. Rancho San Diego (southeast El Cajon) is also under evacuation order and threatened. This fire appears to be more of a threat to Crest and Harbison Canyon now than the Witch Creek Fire.

another list of addresses known to be destroyed

Firefighters making stand high up Palomar Mountain

The top of Palomar has not burned in recorded history, and much of the densely forested mountain has not burned in about 50 years. Although crews have been clearing trees killed by the bark beetle for years, in many places it remains thick with brush and wood debris, and has substantial stands of old-growth forest.

This includes the Palomar Observatory, which for many years was the most powerful telescope in the world. This is Northeast of Escondido, Southeast of Temecula.

The Rice fire in the Fallbrook area was 10% contained as of last night, and they're now saying it has destroyed 200 homes rather than 500. Not precisely good news, but I'll take it, happily.

5:26 a.m. BIRCH HILL EVACUATIONS: Mandatory evacuation Reverse 9-1-1 calls have been sent to 167 residents in Birch Hill near Palomar Mountain . Residents should go to the Temecula Community Recreation Center at 30875 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula

3:51 a.m. DE LUZ EVACUATIONS: The Sheriff's Department has activated reverse 9-1-1 calls to alert the residents of De Luz of a mandatory evacuation. De Luz is north of Camp Pendleton . Residents are advised to evacuate on De Luz / Murrieta Road north or Sandia Creek Drive north toward Riverside County .

The Horno Fire at Camp Pendleton has burned 6000 acres and is moving north and west between Las Pulgas Road and the Border Patrol Checkpoint. Camp Pendleton requested the closure of train service, and Metrolink has confirmed that service is shut down from Oceanside to San Clemente

EXPANDED I-5 CLOSURE : The California Highway Patrol has expanded the Interstate 5 closure. The freeway is closed in both directions between Highway 76 and Cristianitos Road due to the fire at Camp Pendleton . Traffic at the south end of the closure is being diverted to Camino del Rey to Old Highway 395 to Interstate 15.

1 a.m. I-5 Closure: California Highway Patrol reports that Interstate 5 is closed in both directions between Las Pulgas Road and Basilone Road in the area of Camp Pendleton due to heavy smoke.

12:28 a.m. FALLBROOK EVACUATIONS : Reverse 9-1-1 was used to issue mandatory evacuations in the communities of Bonsall, San Luis Rey Heights and Winterwarm on the north side of Highway 76. Residents should use Highway 76 heading west away from the fires. SHELTER UPDATE IN OCEANSIDE: The Oceanside Police Department reports that the shelter at El Camino High School is full and evacuees should to go to MiraCosta College at 1 Barnard Drive off of College Avenue, north of Highway 78 in Oceanside .

I said the Bonsall evacuations were coming yesterday, San Luis Rey Heights and Winterwarm are in the same area. These are north of 76 and west of I 15, which appears to be open.

According to CalFire, containment of the Harris Fire is not expected until the 31st! This is largely a function of how rugged the terrain is east of Jamul, where large parts of it are.

I linked this webcam yesterday on Lyon's Peak. At 7AM, I can see flames very close both east and west! East was practically black with smoke. It also gives you an idea of how rugged the terrain is!

Looks like National Weather Service is predicting an end to the Santa Ana As I said yesterday, windshift is a dangerous time because it drives fire in a different direction, where the fighters may not be ready to fight it, but having moist 5 to 10 mph winds is a lot better than dry 50 knot winds.

JULIAN EVACUATED 5:00 a.m. - Approximately 1600 residents and 700 homes have been evacuated. The town has no power or water. Mandatory evacuations will be in effect through Thursday due to the possibility of winds shifting back into town.

Thank the universe for at least one small favor:

11:30 p.m. - California Department of Forestry officials report that a fire that started near El Capitan tonight has burned itself out.

This is just north of I-8, near Alpine, where it could hit any of several large semi-rural communities.

Quotes from CAL FIRE

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 20,000 acres and is uncontained. 50 homes have been destroyed and 2,000 homes are threatened. Evacuations are in progress along the Highway 76 cxorridor. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon Hidden Meadows and Deer Springs are threatened. This fire has resulted in 10 firefighter injuries. 218 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire. Poomacha Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 72,000 acres and is 10 percent contained. The fire started October 22 and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County. There have been 21 civilian injuries and one death as well as five firefighter injuries on this fire. 200 homes have been destroyed in this fire. 2000 homes and 500 commercial properties are threatened currently. 4500 people have been evacuated. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1211 firefighters are assigned under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $2.1 million.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 7,500 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 10 percent contained. 206 homes have been destroyed. 1,500 homes are threatened. Evacuations are ongoing in the communities of Fallbrook Rainbow Glen and Deluz Canyon. Camp Pendleton and Oceanside are threatened. One firefighter injury has been reported. 723 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command including 387 CAL FIRE staff.

Witch Fire
Witch Creek Area East of Ramona
San Diego County

This fire has burned 196,420 acres and is one percent contained. 500 homes, 100 commercial properties, and 50 outbuildings have been destroyed. 250 homes, 75 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 5,000 residences, 1,500 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are currently threatened. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the communities of Scripps Ranch, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Valley Center, San Marcos, and Rancho Santa Fe. Twelve firefighters have been injured on this fire. A CAL FIRE Incident Command Team is in command of this incident with 1,492 firefighters assigned. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

I had an unconfirmed report that Poomacha had merged with Witch, which would have been bad, but I'm not finding anything official on it, and they do still appear to be separate. Not that I'm within miles of either.

Fire maps updated by channel 8. If you'll notice, the southeast "hook" of the Witch Fire includes an area around a vaguely T or cross shaped lake. That's El Capitan Reservoir, the area of the new fire which had burned itself out last night.

Channel 8
also has another partial list of destroyed homes, and a very few saved. Let's all be happy for those last folks. The way the last three days have gone, I'll take any victory I can get.

UPDATE 1 (0850)
Road Closures

Camp Pendleton I-5 north and south bound Smoke across freeway--closed
Otay Otay Lakes Road from Wueste to SR 94 Closed
Poway/Ramona SR 67 from Slaughter House Canyon to Highland Valley Road Closed
Jamul Skyline Truck Trail (entire length) Closed
Jamul Lawson Valley Road (entire length) Closed
Jamul Blacksmith Road Country Trails east end Closed
Rancho
San Diego Steele Canyon Rd from Willow Glen to Jamul Dr Closed
Lakeside Wildcat Canyon from Willow to San Vicente Closed

Wildcat Canyon has the Barona Casino and a wildlife sanctuary, as well as a fair number of people with only Wildcat Canyon Road going out (both directions). If you've never been on it, it's pretty twisty, and scary in a couple of places.

Skyline Truck Trail in Jamul is their largest "community road".
here's a map of the area

For that matter, here's a map of Wildcat Canyon Road Most of the twists and turns are too small to show on the map!

To debunk a rumor that there's no evac order for Jamul
CALFIRE Website

Harris Fire Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94 San Diego County

This fire has burned 73,000 acres and is 10 percent contained. The fire started October 22 and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County. There have been 21 civilian injuries and one death as well as seven firefighter injuries on this fire. 200 homes have been destroyed in this fire and 250 additional homes have been damaged. 1,500 homes are threatened. 4500 people have been evacuated. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1211 firefighters are assigned under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $2.5 million.

more info and a couple cool photos here

Channel 8 is now reporting

7:41 a.m. - Interstate 5 South in the Camp Pendleton area is now OPEN, according to the CHP.
NEW: MORE EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED
7:00 a.m. - The Otay Mesa Voluntary Evacuation has been lifted.

Del Mar Heights and Carmel Valley can be re-populated. This encompasses the following grid: south of the city limits, west of Rancho Santa Fe Farms, east of Interstate 5, north of Highway 56.

Since my wife went back to work in Sorrento Mesa this morning, that makes me feel better, as those areas are within a few miles of there.

Looks like the weather service has changed its mind about the Santa Ana ending. Exit, cursing. Wind shift is dangerous, but we're going to have to get past it to beat the fires, so I'd rather have sooner than later. Plus, there was a breeze from the west this morning that's likely offset the fires just enough so that they are in fresh fuel areas again. Blast!

I'm going to shut down for a while, planning to head to the office. If it is safe, I'll get some more pictures from the same place I did yesterday on the way.

UPDATE 2 1130

Photos:
tecatepeak.jpg

This is looking ESE from Mt. Helix, that same 1400 foot molehill I went up for yesterday's pictures. Tecate Peak is mostly obscured. Smoke looks like it's coming from Lyon's Peak Area, and further east as well.

sanmiguel.jpg

This is looking south towards San Miguel Mountain, the same as yesterday's photos. Couldn't see any flames, but two sources of smoke vaguely in the Jamul area, just left of center, and about 80% of the way towards the left. Radio reports were saying that a lot of the area had been spared, and the fire was bypassing a lot of stuff.

cajonvalley.jpg

This was looking NE towards El Cajon Mountain and El Capitan Reservoir. El Cajon city in foreground. Didn't spot any sources of smoke, but they're there - but further out. The smoke here is much more distant that the previous pictures, although it's not obvious from the photo. The sky was actually quite a bit clearer than it was yesterday, which made it reasonable.

cowlesmtn.jpg

This is looking north past Cowles Mountain, which at roughly 1600 feet is the highest point in San Diego. The smoke sources are all at least ten miles past that. For those who are curious, there's a rust colored watertower with aluminum clouds on it to the right of Cowles. My office is about two miles past that, between there and the next ridge.

maincity.jpg

This is looking west into the main portion of the city. Not endangered by fire, but the smoke is obscuring pretty much everything. The I-8/CA 125 interchange is in the foreground.

UPDATE 3 (1240)

10:01 a.m. President Bush has declared a federal disaster in San Diego County. The President's signature triggers the availability of Federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. FEMA said that those who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Monday through Sunday.
11:39 City of Poway partially reopened. City of Poway assessment teams have determined that the entire city except for the High Valley area is safe for residents to return to their homes.
10:54 a.m. Escondido re-entry hotline. Evacuated Escondido residents only can call (760) 839-6262 to find out if they are now being allowed to return to their homes.

updated road closures, mostly in the north county:

More action maps The first few seem updated; the others are older.

Fires update from CAL FIRE: The Harris Fire is now 73,000 acres, suppression costs are at $2.5 million. There have been 7 injuries. 759 Firefighters assigned. The fire was held at the edge of Chula Vista and Spring Valley. The returning onshore flow has moved the fire to the northeast threatening structures along Highway 94 from Jamul to the east and Jamacha to the west. Lyons Peak was burned and the fire jumped perimeter control lines in the area.

The wind seemed to be pretty calm when I was up on Helix. Maybe the Santa Ana is over.

Channel 8 has more updated maps

Unconfirmed report:

11:28 a.m. - Interstate 5 Northbound is now open in the Camp Pendleton area.
I'm seeing this from multiple sources, but it's not showing on the official websites.

ESCONDIDO RE-ENTRY Call (760) 839-6262 to see if you will be allowed back to your area.

scalable Fire Incident map. It does appear as if the Poomacha and Witch fires have merged.

Insurance Claim Numbers
AllState Insurance: (800) 547-8676
Auto Club: (800) 672-5246
Farmers Insurance: (800) 435-7764
Fireman's Fund (866) 456-3108
Mercury Insurance: (888) 313-6372
Safeco: (800) 332-3226
State Farm: (800) 732-5246
Travelers: (800) 252-4633

Wild Animal Park reporting only 2 animals killed; and it plans to re-open tomorrow.

Palomar Mountain in north county and Barrett Reservoir in east county appear to be the worst hotspots right now.

UPDATE 4 (1720)

Map resources from SDSU

u\more updated fire perimeter info (from SD County - Firefox users be aware it's a 'pdf!)

From the Union-Tribupdated list of structures burned, and a satellite photo from 2:40 pm

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has announced that Interstate 5 is now open in both directions. All other closures remain the same:


I-15 NORTHBOUND & SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS TO MISSION RD CLOSED

I-15 NORTHBOUND & SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS TO WEST BERNARDO/POMERADO RD

SR-67 CLOSED FROM POWAY RD TO HIGHLAND VALLEY RD

SR-76 CLOSED FROM MISSION RD TO OLD HIGHWAY 395

SR-76 CLOSED FROM COLE GRADE TO SR-79

SR-78 CLOSED FROM BEAR VALLEY PARKWAY TO SANTA YSABEL/SR-79

SR-79 CLOSED FROM SR-78 TO SR-76

SR-94 CLOSED FROM STEELE CANYON TO FOREST GATE

SR-94 EASTBOUND CLOSED AT SR-54

SR-94 EASTBOUND CLOSED JUST EAST OF POTRERO VALLEY RD

SR-94 WESTBOUND CLOSED JUST WEST OF POTRERO VALLEY RD

PLEASE NOTE: RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE FOR HIGH-PROFILE VEHICLES ON INTERSTATE 8 FROM ALPINE TO IMPERIAL COUNTY LINE.

NC Times has a list of destroyed properties that seems to include more North County Residences.

It does seem like the fires are far less destructive today, now that the Santa Ana is mostly over. It furthermore seems like most of the areas that are still in active danger are less populated than yesterday, when the Witch and Harris Fire were both threatening solidly built up areas. We still have four major fires burning uncontained, but today's reports of additional acreage burned are relatively small this far.

KPBS has a map they're updating with twitter. They're saying Julian and Pine Hills are being threatened.

4A

The Lyon's Peak Webcam is back up!

Every silver cloud has a dark lining:

5:07 p.m. Evacuation Alert for Residents along Highway 94. Residents living along the Highway 94 corridor from Jamul to the east and to the Jamacha community to the west should prepare to evacuate. The returning onshore flow has moved the Harris Fire to the northeast threatening structures.

UPDATE 5 (1950)

Cal Fire

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 25,000 acres and is uncontained. 50 homes have been destroyed and 2,000 homes are threatened. Evacuations are in progress along the Highway 76 cxorridor. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Hidden Meadows, Deer Springs, Vista and Palomar are threatened. This fire has resulted in 10 firefighter injuries. 659 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command with CAL FIRE and the Cleveland National Forest. Poomacha Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Horno/Ammo Fire
Camp Pendleton
San Diego County

The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 10,000 acres since October 23. It is currently 40-50 percent contained. Sections of that fire have threatened Interstate 5, causing its closure from Highway 76 to San Onofre. The Horno Fire has two heads, one north toward San Onofre and one south toward Pulgas Rd. Camp Pendleton authorities have relocated the residents of one housing area, San Onofre 1 and 2, to San Mateo. That relocation, which affected approximately 800 family members, was a precautionary measure in light of the proximity of the Horno fire. Horno/Ammo Fire Information Line (866) 430-2764.

Camp Pendleton fire officials have announced they are fighting a new fire in southeastern Camp Pendleton near the San Luis Rey Gate. Residents of Serra Mesa Housing have been instructed to relocate to the 22 Area Parade Deck as a precautionary measure due to their proximity to the fire. Military police are on the scene assisting in relocating military members and their families to a safe location on base. Air assets are being utilized to assist in fighting the fire. The San Luis Rey Gate is closed to in bound an doutbound traffic. For more information, military members and their families are encouraged to visit the base Web site at www.pendleton.usmc.mil or call the main information line at (866) 430-2764.

Harris Fire
Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94
San Diego County

This fire has burned 73,000 acres and is 10 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 25 civilian injuries and one death as well as seven firefighter injuries on this fire. 200 homes have been destroyed in this fire and 250 additional homes have been damaged. 1,500 homes are threatened. 4500 people have been evacuated. The communities of Chula Vista, San Diego, San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1211 firefighters are assigned under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $2.5 million. Harris Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Rice Fire
Rice Canyon
San Diego County

This fire has burned 7,500 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 10 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 1,500 homes are threatened currently. 35,000 people have been evacuated from the communities of Fallbrook and Deluz Canyon. Camp Pendleton and Oceanside are threatened. One firefighter injury has been reported. 723 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command including 723 CAL FIRE staff. Rice Fire Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Evacuation Orders Lifted

6:15 p.m. Hidden Meadows evacuation notice lifted. Evacuation notice for the community of Hidden Meadows has been lifted. Residents who have evacuated the area are allowed to return to their homes.

Mountain Meadows evacuation notice lifted. Evacuation notice for the community of Mountain Meadows has been lifted. Residents who have evacuated the area are allowed to return to their homes.

Most of tiny Del Dios safe after tense fight

6:55 p.m. - Camp Pendleton officials say the San Luis Rey fire is no longer a threat to the southeastern region of Camp Pendleton, and Serra Mesa residents can return to their homes.
7:20 p.m. - Residents of the Oak Tree Ranch community in Ramona who would like information on their homes are being asked to call (760) 789-1382. Approximately 54 homes have been destroyed there.

NASA satellite images

More fire updates

Shifting wind patterns prompted a 73,000-acre wildfire in southern San Diego County to focus its destructive energies in new directions today, authorities said.

As onshore air currents replaced a protracted period of bone-dry Santa Ana winds, the Harris Fire began moving to the northeast, toward Campo, Hauser Canyon, Jamul, Lake Morena and Lyons Valley, according to Cal Fire.

Road Closures

I-5 TRUCK SCALES CLOSED (Scale station only)

I-15 NORTHBOUND & SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS TO MISSION RD CLOSED

I-15 NORTHBOUND & SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS TO WEST BERNARDO/POMERADO RD

SR-67 CLOSED FROM SLAUGHTERHOUSE CANYON ROAD TO SR-78/SR-79

SR-76 CLOSED FROM PANKEY RD TO SR-79

SR-78 CLOSED FROM SAN PASQUAL VALLEY RD TO SANTA YSABEL/SR-79

SR-79 CLOSED FROM SR-78 TO SR-76

SR-94 CLOSED FROM STEELE CANYON TO FORREST GATE

SR-94 EASTBOUND CLOSED JUST EAST OF POTRERO VALLEY RD

SR-94 WESTBOUND CLOSED JUST WEST OF POTRERO VALLEY RD

SR-188 TECATE PORT OF ENTRY IS CLOSED

PLEASE NOTE: RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE FOR HIGH-PROFILE VEHICLES ON INTERSTATE 8 FROM ALPINE TO IMPERIAL COUNTY LINE.

I think things are dramatically better than yesterday, except for those folks unfortunate enough to be placed in the path of the Harris Fire by windshift.

This will be the last update tonight. Back tomorrow, starting a new article, if things don't improve drastically.

(I'll be making updates to this post today, same as yesterday Scroll down. If you have something to tell me, comment or email danmelson (at) the domain name).

10-23-07 3:12 a.m. Mandatory reverse 911 calls have been issued for North Jamul and Indian Springs. The fire is located near Hwy 94. The evacuation center for this area is Qualcomm Stadium. Reverse 911 calls have been made to 1,549 residents.

These areas are east of Otay Lakes. Probably part of the same burn area I observed there yesterday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Dept. is reporting that in Fallbrook the fire is moving east towards De Luz Rd. and fire crews continue to evacuate homes ahead of the fire.

This is in North County west of i-15

10-23-07, 2:45 a.m. Reverse 911 calls are being sent out at the request of Lakeside Fire for all of Wildcat Canyon and Muth Valley south to Willow Road. Evacuations are mandatory and there are 3,780 calls being sent out. Evacuees are being directed to Santana High School.

1:57 a.m. CHP says there is a fire at 3-mile marker of Wildcat Canyon Road . They are describing the fire as 300 yards wide and the "whole side of mountain." Units on scene right now. Also, there are reports of fire coming down the mountain into San Miguel area. Flare-ups at the following locations:
Honey Springs and Deerhorn Valley, Dulzura,
Aqua Tivia and fire crews are evacuating Point Parkway Map 1291, F2

This is close to my specialty area, but east of highway 67 heading up towards Ramona and San Diego Country Estates. Wildcat Canyon is where Barona Casino is.

San Miguel Mountain is about 12 miles south of there, and it relates more to the Jamul area information above. Honey Springs, Deerhorn Valley, Dulzura and Agua Tivia are much further east, along Highway 94.

NEW FIRE

According to CALFIRE, a new fire is burning in the area of the La Jolla Indian Reservation. The fire was reported at 4:10 a.m. Several structures are burning. At least 150 acres involved. The reservation has been closed, and people are being evacuated to the Palomar Observatory. CALFIRE and U.S. Forest Service crews are battling the blaze.

This is along Interstate 8 past Pine Valley, near the Golden Acorn Casino if you've driven the area.

FIRE MAPS here

Just got an advisory on TV that reverse 911 calls are going out to Spring Valley. This would be the area around Sweetwater Reservoir. I'm seeing pictures of a long burn line, at least a mile long. Looks like theres an evacuation for the Casa De Oro neighborhood as well, just South of CA 94 East of 125. (just found area definition for the first area:

Mandatory evacuations have been announced for the area of Highway 125 and San Miguel Road south of Sweetwater Reservoir. Evacuated residents are being told to go to the Chula Vista High School Youth Center (campus of Chula Vista High School, 465 L Street).
)

Witch Fire Evacuation Area (burning in the area of I-15) now goes all the way to the ocean south of CA 78, and I just heard on TV that they'd evacuating parts of Camp Pendleton as well.

DOD planes being brought in

KFMB Website:
Road Closures South County:

SR-94 is closed between Otay Lakes Road and Forest Gate Road.

Honey Springs road at Lyons Valley Road.
(This is the San Miguel/Jamul Area)

Campo: (Far east Couty)
All roads west of Forrest Gate Road and East of Otay Lakes Road.

Viejas: (Alpine to Guatay)
Eastbound I-8 is closed at Willows Road, Westbound I-8 is closed at SR 79.

Alpine:
East Victoria between Otto & Overland Passage Road.

Buckman Springs: (Far Eat County)
Eastbound I-8 at Buckman Springs Rest Area.

Otay:
SR 94 at Melody

(This isn't Otay, it's Jamul, where Proctor Valley Road goes up the hill)

Chula Vista:
Proctor Valley Road within the City of Chula Vista.

Ramona: (this is north and east of me)
SR 78 at Magnolia Avenue.
Wildcat Canyon Rd, Willow Road to Ramona.

Julian: (folks outside the county, look at the intersections of CA 78 and CA 79, Zip 92036)
Fire is burning on Eagle Peak at 7MM, west of Pine Hills Road.
Tree down at Detrich Way between Oak Grove Drive and Blue Jay.

Lakeside: (This is all the way to downtown Lakeside, such as it is, within about 5 miles of my office)
SR 67 is closed to Northbound traffic @ Mapleview.
Ashwood and Mapelview Closed

San Pasqual: (East of I-15 and Escondido. This is where the Wild Animal Park is, which I've heard is safe, but can't find a link)
Eastbound SR 78 at Bear Valley Parkway.
San Pasqual Valley Road, Joe Bandy Canyon Road & 78/Weekend Villa.

Rancho San Diego: (This wasn't near any fires I saw, but is on the edge of urban area in southeast El Cajon)
Large Tree is down on Willow Glen at Hillsdale due to winds.

Elfin Forest: (East of 15, south of 78, north of Del Dios)
A power pole with live wires is down at Country Club Lane.

Valley Center: (northeast of Escondido)
There is a tree in the roadway on SR-76 at Red Gate.

Rancho Santa Fe: (West of I-15)
El Montevideo at Paseo Delicias.

Fallbrook: (near the northern end of the county, west of I-15. A separate fire is threatening)
Old 395 at Hwy 76 and East Mission - both ends.
Reche Road from Gird to Old 395.

Just to reiterate ALL CITY AND COUNTY SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED

At least 500 homes destroyed by the Witch Creek (Witch) Fire, and 250 damaged

The head of the fire, blown west from Poway by savage Santa Ana winds, had been headed for Fairbanks Ranch but took a turn southwest toward Del Mar Heights and Solana Beach, where residents also were told to evacuate. Carmel Mountain Ranch and 4-S Ranch also are considered threatened.

The south end of the fire has been pushing toward Lakeside, western Alpine, Peutz Valley and Harbison Canyon, but has not reached any of those communities, said Capt. Don Camp of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

I'll probably go up one of the hills in my area to see what I can see on the way to the office a little later. My home area (San Diego/La Mesa Border, near SDSU) is not threatened, nor does any of the areas on the way to the office appear to be.

UPDATE 1 (0745) National Weather Service appears to be calling for the Santa Ana to be gone, and a more normal wind pattern.

As I said yesterday, this is both the beginning of the end for the fire, and a VERY tricky time. Just because the fire appears to have passed now, does not mean the danger is gone. Windshift is a very nasty time for firefighters, and aircraft as well. It's what killed firefighters four years ago. Furthermore, it'll be being driven back up towards higher ground.

The newer and smaller fires that haven't burned so much of what's going to be their backtrail will likely be more dangerous now than the two huge ones (Harris and Witch Creek), but with moister Pacific winds as well as much slower, if we can get past the windshift things will likely get a lot better, faster, than if it wasn't shifting.

UPDATE 2 (1045) I went up on Mt Helix (a 1400 foot molehill, but it's close and offers a good view south and east). Took several pictures, chose the best two. The first is looking almost straight south, towards Mt. San Miguel It appears that the Harris Fire has crested the ridge and started down towards Spring Valley.

View image
The second is from a few feet away, looking ESE towards Lyon's Peak, you can see the plume of the eastern arm of this fire. It's spread out in two arms over at least twenty miles.

View image

(If demand slows my servers too much, I'll remove these)

I drove up onto the flank of Cowles Mountain as well, but I couldn't see anything significant to the north. The smoke obscured everything. Being completely unwilling to get in the way of those fighting the blaze, these are as close as I'm going to get.

updated Map of Witch Creek Burn

There are reports that the fire was moving towards Bonita, which I warned of last night.

I heard a news report on the radio that the 15 is open, but they are evacuating Valley Center and Lawrence Welk Village. All roads into Valley Center are closed unless you're an emergency vehicle, but you can get out. This has to do with the new fire, which evidently I misunderstood the location of. It's in North County, near the 76 east of 15.

From the county emergency site, which took a long time to load, so I'm porting it verbatim:

10-23-07 9:12 a.m. Del Mar Evacuations. A mandatory evacuation is ordered for the following areas within the City of Del Mar; All areas east of Crest Road; San Dieguito Road; Oribia Road; Avenida Primavera (along Crest Road); Serpentine Drive; Gatun Street; Balboa Avenue; Zapo Street

Other areas of the city have not been issued a mandatory evacuation order. However, it is strongly suggested that all residents pack necessary belongings and be prepared to evacuate if a mandatory order is issued. Del Mar residents who are unable to self-evacuate should call 858-704-3694.

Solana Beach Evacuations: A voluntary evacuation is strongly recommended for the following areas within the City of Solana Beach: All areas east of Interstate 5 (I-5); Areas along the north border of the city, between I-5 and Highway 101

10-23-07 9:30 a.m. All areas west of the active fires in San Diego County will be impacted by the smoke. Air quality will be the worst in and around the fires and will also be very poor downwind of the fires. The air quality levels of particulate pollution in these areas will be in the unhealthy to hazardous range. In areas that are not directly downwind of the fires, air quality levels will range from moderate to unhealthy. People living or working in these areas should take caution and attempt to protect themselves as much as possible. Air quality will be significantly better in areas east of the fires, with levels ranging from good to moderate.

10-23-07 9:13 a.m. Fiesta Island has room for horses accompanied by their owners. No corrals are available at this time, but the San Diego County Department of Animal Services has made food and water available for the animals. Owners wishing to utilize this safe location must be prepared to stay with their horses.


Del Mar and Solana Beach are coastal North County (Zip 92014 for Del Mar). Fiesta Island is in the middle of Mission Bay.

UPDATE 3 (1130)

Overview:

The forecast from this morning for shifting winds does not appear to be happening inland.

Crest, Harbison Canyon and Alpine (east of me) and some areas on the eastern edge of Chula Vista are now being subjected to mandatory evacuation

Witch Creek Fire: 165,000 acres burned, threatening Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Escondido, Lakeside, Valley Center San Marcos and Rancho Santa Fe. Wide and deep - Lakeside at the south end is thrity miles from Valley Center at the north end, and Rancho Santa Fe is probably 15 miles further west than either one of those., and San Marcos is north of that. 1500 fighters on the job, and while I-15 is supposed to be open, it's a crawl by all reports. CA 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona. 500 homes destroyed, 250 damaged (numbers unchanged from earlier) 100 commercial structures gone.

Harris Fire: 70,000 acres burned, threatening Jamul, Spring Valley, Chula Vista and Bonita, as well as numerous small communities in east county, as far out as Tecate and Cameron Corners, a distance of about 30 miles east west. 200 homes destroyed, 275 fighters. CA 94 seems to be closed, from Steele Canyon to Harris Ranch.

Rice Fire: 6100 Acres burned near Fallbrook in north county west of I-15. They're saying an additional 500 homes have been destroyed there. 170 fighters. Threatening Camp Pendleton and Fallbrook, perhaps Bonsall as well.

Poomacha Fire: Started in a structure in the La Jolla Indian Reservation, off 76 east of I-15 This morning. 1000 acres burned, no data on structures destroyed,

I'm also getting information that another fire may have started on the western end of Camp Pendleton, north of Oceanside, on Las Pulgas Road on the base.

Total area reported burned: 242,000 acres, and we're not seeing much containment. That's over 375 square miles.

They're also reporting that a major power transmission line coming in from the east has been disconnected by the fire. Please don't use any energy you don't have a real need for.

UPDATE 4 (1215)
Poway allowing some residents to return

San Diego County Emergency (slow load, so verbatim transcript below)

10-23-07 11:21 a.m. Overall evacuation update. A total of 349,915 Reverse 9-1-1 and AlertSanDiego phone calls have been issued between the County of San Diego and the City of San Diego, informing residents of both advisory and mandatory evacuation orders. Based on 2000 census data, approximately 513,000 people in San Diego County have received a mandatory evacuation order and an additional 12,000 people have been advised to leave their homes.

10-23-07 10:57 a.m. Mandatory evacuation of De Luz area (Fallbrook). Reverse 9-1-1 is being used to issue mandatory evacuation orders to the Fallbrook area. The area boreders are the northern portion of Camp Pendelton on the south, the Riverside County border on the north and includes the community of Rainbow on the east.

Mandatory evacuation of Chula Vista. The police and fire departments are starting mandatory evacuations in the area of Paseo Los Gatos & Paseo Vera Cruz

Fairbanks ranch now under mandatory evacuation as well. There was a rumor that Scripps Ranch residents were being permitted back, but that's evidently false. The county emergency site says that Rancho Bernardo residents can get police escorts to retrieve medicine ONLY.

The Witch fire has evidently reached the Del Dios area, west of I-15, in the vicinity of Lake Hodges

Entire CA 76 Corridor under mandatory evacuation.

a new satellite photo of the Southern California area

No Room At the Inn evidently all available hotel rooms have been filled

UPDATE 5 (1400)

All City Schools are officially closed tomorrow. I expect an announcement about the county schools any time.

2 evacuation areas lifted

San Diego officials are allowing residents to return to parts of Scripps Ranch and Del Mar.

The areas:

-- South of Via de la Valle, west of Interstate 5, and north of Torrey Pines State Beach

-- South of Beeler Canyon Road, west of Sycamore Canyon Road, east of Interstate 15 and north of MCAS Miramar

So the Scripps Ranch rumor that was false earlier is now true.

updated Road Closures

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has announced the following road closures as of 10/23/07 12:00 PM:


15 NB & SB OFF RAMPS TO MISSION RD CLOSED / PM 50.58

78 HAVERFORD / PM 33.79 - SANTA YSABEL/JCT RTE 79 / PM 51.108

79 78 / PM 20.22 - 76 / PM 27.37

76 MISSION RD / PM 12.472 - OLD 395 / PM 17.012

76 PAUMA RESERVATION / 28.99 - JCT RTE 79 / PM 52.318

67 SCRIPPS POWAY / PM 13.36 - HIGHLAND VALLEY RD / PM 21.348

94 STEELE CANYON / PM 17.352 - FOREST GATE / PM 50.556


The following intersections are closed due to the mandatory evacuation of the San Miguel Ranch neighborhood in eastern Chula Vista:

• Paseo Veracruz and Mt. Miguel Road

• Calle La Quinta and Mt. Miguel Road

Approximately 270 homes are affected.

Chula Vista residents who want updates on the current fire situation can call (619) 397-6399 to hear recorded messages.

The following San Diego County roads were closed today due to the wildfires, according to the California Highway Patrol.

* Northbound I-15 between state Route 78 and the Riverside County line
* State Route 67 at Vigilante Road
* State Route 94 between Steele Canyon Road and Harris Ranch Road
* San Miguel Road at Bonita Road
* Otay Lakes Road at Weste Road.

Here's an official Weather Service Announcement: The Santa Ana is staying today

STRONG AND DAMAGING SANTA ANA WINDS TO CONTINUE... STRONG...HOT...AND DRY SANTA ANA WINDS WILL CONTINUE TODAY ACROSS MUCH OF EXTREME SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA. WIND GUSTS UP TO 65 CAN BE EXPECTED BELOW AND THROUGH FAVORED PASSES AND CANYONS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS. THE OFFSHORE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DIMINISH GRADUALLY LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY. THE SANTA ANA WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO BRING HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS TO THE REGION THROUGH WEDNESDAY...WITH A RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF THE REGION. HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES DUE TO THE STRONG WINDS. IN ADDITION...AREAS OF SMOKE...AND BLOWING DUST AND SAND WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES BELOW ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES.

Cool and interesting: A webcam on Lyon's Peak

Olivenhain evacuated:

Encinitas city officials have ordered the mandatory evacuation of Olivenhain east of Rancho Santa Fe Road and north of El Camino Del Norte, although there are no fires inside the city.

No other evacuations are necessary at this time, city officials said.

Residents will be notified by telephone if the city feels they should leave their homes.

The Encinitas Senior and Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, is open as a shelter. It offers food, drinks and restroom facilities. Residents are advised to bring bedding.

Mandatory evacuation for La Jolla Indian Reservation They're saying go to Borrego Springs, not Palomar Observatory!

10-23-07 1:20 p.m. A mandatory evacuation notice has been issued for people in the La Jolla Reservation area. People should go to Borrego Springs. People SHOULD NOT go to the Palomar Mountain Evacuation center. This fire, which was spotted across Highway 76 and established on the south face of Palomar Mountain at the base of Palomar Mountain, is now being referred to as the "POOMACHO FIRE" by CalFire. It is currently 20,000+ acres.
10-23-07 1:03 p.m. Evacuations in Harmony Grove. Reverse 9-1-1 is being used to issue evacuation orders to 1,095 Harmony Grove households

COUNTY SCHOOLS NOW CLOSED ALL WEEK

I'm getting a report of a mandatory evacuation of Julian, up in the northeastern area of the county, but no link.

UPDATE 6 (1520)
All Schools Closed for the rest of the week

From the County Emergency Site:

10-23-07 2:17 p.m. Evacuation of Rancho San Diego. Reverse 9-1-1 is being used to issue mandatory evacuation orders to Rancho San Diego households. Residents should evacuate to Qualcomm Stadium.
Evacuation of Pine Hills Road and Wynola Road in Julian. Reverse 9-1-1 is being used to issue evacuation orders to residents of Pine Hills Road and Wynola Road in Julian. Residents should evacuate to Borrego Springs High School.

I'm leaving the office, headed home. Probably a couple more updates. Most of the good useful information I'm getting is from various websites, including, to be fair, Channel 8 and Channel 6. I've gotten so tired of listening to talking heads chasing their tails I've turned the radio off.

UPDATE 7 (1730)

10-23-07 3:26 p.m. Mandatory Evacuation Ramona to Lakeside. A mandatory evacuation notice has been issued for the Hwy 67 Corridor from Ramona to Lakeside.

Evacuation Order North Jamul.10-23-07 5:07 p.m. CORRECTION on Evacuation of Some Areas of Rancho San Diego. In Rancho San Diego, the following areas are under mandatory evacuation:
From Del Rio Road EAST to Steele Canyon Road.
From Fury Lane SOUTH to Millar Ranch Road and Millar Anita Road.
Residents should evacuate to Qualcomm Stadium.

Shelter for horses. Rohr Park in Chula Vista has plenty of room for horses. It is a large community ring in Rohr Park, located at the intersection of 4600 block of Sweetwater Road, near Winnetka Dr. They can handle 50-60 horses and have plenty of water. Evacuees with horses can call Dave Braithwaite. 619-203-1640..

Ramona and Lakeside are north and east of my office. Jamul is about twelve miles south.


Some Good News:

10-23-07 4:17 p.m. All Chula Vista evacuation notices lifted. The City of Chula Vista has lifted all evacuation notices within the city. Residents who evacuated are allowed to return to their homes.

All Solana Beach evacuation notices lifted. The City of Solana Beach has lifted all evacuation notices within the city. Residents who evacuated are allowed to return to their homes.

So the Harris Fire has been stopped there

10-23-07 3:33 p.m. Large Animal Shelter. San Diego County Animal Services has opened a shelter for large animals near Gillespie Field, 1960 Joe Crosson Dr. in El Cajon. Directions: Take East on Hwy 67; exit at Bradley Avenue and turn left; right on Cuyamaca; and left on Weld Blvd. The animal evacuation shelter will be on the right hand side of the road.

updated evacuation and burn maps Note some area outside of the evacuation area of the Harris Fire has actually burned.

Google Incident Map. Appears to be missing the Poomacha fire altogether, which last I heard, was up to 23,000 acres.

Road Closures current as of just before 5pm

Witch Creek Fire has now burned 200000 acres, and is expected to join the 23,000 acre Poomacha fire. They're still saying the Harris Fire is 70,000 acres, but they've been saying that since this morning. No updated figures for the Rice fire west of I-15 north of CA 76.

Poomacha fire burning up Palomar Mountain


UPDATE 8 (1955) road closures page (updated). Looks like the heavy action is all in Jamul and West of 15 areound Lake Hodges

6:44 p.m. Mandatory Evacuation For Eagle Peak and Cuyamaca. A mandatory evacuation notice has been issued for Cuyamaca, just north of State Route 79 and Eagle Peak in the Engineers Road area.

This is in east county, along CA 79 north of I-8.

partial report of destroyed homes

Indian Reservations hit hard (San Diego County has 18 reservations).

Into the breach again for insurers

I'll wager under-insurance isn't the problem it was in 2003. People need to keep their policies updated to within 20% of the value of the structure in order to get full replacement, and the market has been down, as you know if you're a regular reader, and the insurance companies have been a lot more diligent after the bad publicity of 2003.

an official list of some destroyed homes, So far, only Escondido and Rancho Bernardo.

more fire maps (lot of good stuff.)

Images of the fire today (Witch Fire and Harris Fire) They were right up against where the dense and solidly built up areas in Chula Vista are.

Some good news:

As of 8pm 72,000 acres burned. No homes lost in Eastlake, Spring Valley, Bonita, Sunnyside and Jamul

I think this is likely to be the last update tonight. Figures indicate approximately 300,000 acres burned in San Diego County thus far. That's about 470 square miles. Somewhere in the range of 2000-3000 homes destroyed. Poomacha fire is in a fresh zone with lots of fuel, Harris Fire also except where it's been stopped east of Chula Vista. If the wind shifts tomorrow, both of those could be big trouble. I haven't been able to find out anything about the Rice fire since early this afternoon, so I suspect a large degree of containment. Witch Creek, burning through Rancho Santa Fe is likely to mostly shoot its bolt, because all of the areas around there are more densely populated - less brush, more concrete and asphalt. We'll see tomorrow. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Station. New post. Consumer Oriented Carnival of Real Estate will be here tomorrow, but it's going to be very basic.

(Updates below. you can email me at danmelson (at) the domain name. I am at the office working on some client files, so I might not get it and respond right away, but I will get to it as quick as I can)

In case you hadn't heard, San Diego county is experiencing a rash of wildfires. My home is safe, and so is my office, for now, but a lot of folks aren't so lucky. At least one person was killed by the Potrero fire, in a very rugged area of East County (to get there quick, you don't drive CA 94 - you drive I-8 and then go south 10 miles on a county road, and come back. It amounts to twenty extra miles, and twenty minutes saved. Other fires threaten Ramona, where I have some friends, San Marcos, Fallbrook, and Escondido. Here's a list of evacuations and evactuation sites, and there's even a graphic there for where the fires are. Evidently a couple of fires merged earlier today.

here's a list of road closures.

The 14,000 acres that one of the fires has burned as of the last report is 22 square miles.

This has already eclipsed the 2003 fires as the worst fire in recent memory. It's even starting to look like 1970 all over again. More than one family I know lost their homes then. Ashes were falling all over the county, and the sky was grey and brown from smoke for 2 weeks. San Diego didn't have nearly so many people then, and other than those threatened by fire, life went on pretty much normally. In one famous incident, the football team was playing a home game and the blimp panned the area with the cameras - and switchboards lit up as everyone in the country called their friends in San Diego.

Most of the burned area is in wilderness areas, intentionally set aside with building either prohibited or strictly curtailed. There's going to be a lot of breast beating about this, but fire is a normal part of the California ecosystem. Evidence says it was far more regular before the advent of civilization. Many plant seeds don't germinate until they've been through a fire. One hopes you get the idea. Civilization has actually had the effect of limiting all but the worst fires, with the unfortunate dark lining that once things do get out of control, they tend to get worse than they might have because of all the brush that burns that would have otherwise burned in lesser fires.

The fires are being driven by hot dry Santa Ana winds from the northeast, pretty much directly opposite the predominant wind direction here, which is west to southwest. If the winds change, things will likely settle down fairly quickly, but there will be an extremely interesting few hours (in the chinese curse sense). The wind change is what killed at least one firefighter four years ago.
I'll make updates as I get them. In the meantime, here's the Local dog target's main news page.

here's their blog on the fire. It appears that Pomerado Hospital has been evacutated, and Palomar Hospital may become threatened. That's both of the hospitals in the region close to the north county inland fires. Tri City (near the Vista-Oceanside border) and especially Grossmont Hospital near me in La Mesa are likely to pick up a lot of the load. In 1970, there were actually more hospitals, if smaller, but lots of them have closed. And Air-Evacs are likely to have to go all the way to Sharp or UCSD Medical Center.

One more thing: If the Ramona area in particular wasn't threatened, they'd probably open a temporary control tower at the Ramona Airport. Look for it to happen if it looks like the Ramona area has become safe enough.

UPDATE: Upscale Rancho Santa Fe has been ordered evacuated. Furthermore, the San Diego Wild Animal Park is threatened, and in case it wasn't obvious, is closed.
UPDATE 2:San Diego makes national news. I'd rather that didn't happen.

UPDATE 3: (1120 local) Radio coverage on 87.7

Parts of Lakeside and Olivenhain (about 30 miles apart as the crow flies) have been added to the evacuation list. Penasquitos also (about halfway between, likely from the same fire that's threatening Olivenhain.

San Diego Police are putting their detectives in uniform and calling them in.

Afterthought: hope the Bergs are okay. As I recall, they live in one of the newly threatened areas.

UPDATE 4: (1200) Dulzura annd Barrett Junction have been added to the evacuation list in the 94 fire.

parts of Poway and Rancho Bernardo were evacuated earlier (I'm behind the curve on this one)

some pictures here. I know folks who live in most of these neighborhoods.

Looks like the evacuation area has been extended from CA 56 to Del Dios Highway, between I-5 and I-15. That fire that crossed I-15 could burn all the way to the ocean.

UPDATE 5: (13:00) Solana Beach residents are being advised to prepare for mandatory evacuations, with the strong suggestion it might be good to get out now. Valley Center and eastern Fallbrook, too.

Up to 30,000 acres burned now. That's roughly 47 square miles. The good news is that a couple of the fires have lessened in intensity (but they're not out).

UPDATE 6: (14:00) Personally, just got a call to pick my oldest daughter up. San Diego City Schools are canceling classes both today and tomorrow. Her school is nowhere near any of the fires, but I'd be surprised if none of the teachers had some urgent personal business to attend to, and there's also the issue that fire is threatening parts of the district.

AAA is apparently getting out in front of what they need to do on this one. I have to say, I don't think I've ever had a client who got mad at them for failure to cover damage. In the fire four years ago, they treated coverage limits as being a failure in their underwriting.

UPDATE 7: (14:45) New report I just found has the County saying over 100,000 acres burned, as well as some satellite imagery. 100k acres is over 150 square miles. Some video accompanies, slow loading so I didn't play it.

Recorded wind speeds (from the article):


* Whitaker Peak: 108 mph
* Malibu Peak: 101 mph
* Laguna Peak: 96 mph
* Warm Springs: 91 mph
* Fremont Canyon: 85 mph
* Rancho Cucamonga: 74 mph

From what I can find, the Laguna fire of 1970 burned 175000 acres all by itself (and was one of several), and they're saying that the Cedar Fire of 2003 burned 280,000 acres (and was one of two). But neither of them went through areas quite so densely populated as what they're calling the Witch Fire has already done.


UPDATE 8: (15:30) And Still I persist is in Escondido, with a good diagram and some pictures of what's been going on with the Witch Fire.

I'm trying to dig up more on the east county Harris Fire, which has supposedly burned almost as far west as Otay Lakes, but I'm not getting much. Until it gets past the lakes, it's still pretty sparsely populated area, but a whole bunch of newer developments as well as the Olympic Training Center are just the other side. Now here's a link with news on the Harris Fire, which is evidently approaching settled area.

Looks like they're also evacuating Scripps Ranch (Zip 92131, east of I-15 in the central county, for those following on maps), which was hard-hit four years ago, there's a Fire in San Ysidro (Zip 92173, down near the mexican border) and military offers route through Camp Pendleton (in the northwest end of the county), which except for I-5 is the only way to or from Orange County.

No Kidding Deparment: Air Quality is getting worse, despite winds up to 70 mph. Don't exert yourself if you don't have to. Take care if you've got respiratory problems, like I do.

That's Nice of Them Department: U-Haul is offering 30 days free storage for evacuees

here's another smoke plume map that gives you an idea as to where fires are burning now.

confirmation that all San Diego Unified School Districts will remain closed tomorrow


UPDATE 9: (1630) Just drove home. From Grossmont Summit (8 and 125), I could see two plumes of smoke from the Harris Fire, one the other side of Lyon's Peak, maybe 20 miles or so east-southeast, and the other just south of Mt. San Miguel. That's maybe 10 miles or so straight south. The thing is HUGE. The smoke from the Witch Fire to the north is just too diffuse to make anything out directly. I thought about driving up onto Mt Helix or Eastridge, just to see what I could see, but decided against it.

Also, the La Mesa Police had the Fletcher Parkway offramp from 125 blocked off. Evidently, some flaming material from the Harris fire was blown all the way to La Mesa touched down and set off a fire at Fletcher Parkway and Amaya, quickly contained but they were waiting an official all clear.

Alpine, Crest, and Harbison Canyon have now joined the list of evacuated areas. I expect that's from a wing of the Witch Fire. Alpine has its own Zip (91901), and Harbison Canyon runs south from there on between Alpine and El Cajon, while Crest is a hill community just a little further west. Crest was burned out in 2003, and Harbison Canyon aslo, to a lesser degree.

Here are some newly reported animal care and boarding options, as Lakeside Rodeo Grounds has filled.

Updated Shelter Information (for humans). Ones that are full and ones that still have some room:


Shelters that still have capacity
Qualcomm Stadium
Santana High School
Poway Community Park
Poway Girls & Boys Club
Campo Community Center
Mission Hills High School
Escondido High School - 1535 North Broadway
Santana High School - 9915 Magnolia Avenue (in Santee)
Ramona High School

Full Shelters
Del Mar Fairgrounds
Steele Canyon High School - 12440 Campo Road in Spring Valley
Escondido High School
Mira Mesa High School - 10510 Reagan Road (off Mira Mesa Boulevard)
San Marcos High School (temporary shelter).


UPDATE 10: (1715) Here's a State Map of the Fires, expandable.

More state of California information.

Smaller Area maps, all on one page.

I'm getting a headline saying "flames in east Chula Vista" but the link gives a 404 error. From the maps in the previous link, it looks like the fires are in western Jamul (Zip 91935), or just south of there - probably one set of smoke plumes I saw on the way home.

Witch Creek Fire Burn Area, from the North County TImes.

NEW: NORTH COUNTY EVACUATIONS LIFTED: Mandatory Evacuations have been LIFTED in San Marcos for San Elijo Hills and Coronado Hills. NEW: FIESTA ISLAND SHELTER OPENED: As of 4 p.m. on October 22, 2007, Fiesta Island has been opened to accept up to 500 owners and animals (livestock). This location will be staffed by Park and Recreation employees and Park Rangers. NEW: SOUTH SHORES SHELTERS OPENED: South Shores and Ski Beach are open for individuals with motorhomes. Park and recreation employees along with lifeguards will be staffing these areas. NEW: SOUTH BAY VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS: Voluntary Evacuations are underway in the following Chula Vista neighborhoods: All of Bellalago, all of the Woods at Eastlake, areas of San Miguel Ranch and areas of Rolling Hills Ranch. Information Hotline for Chula Vista and Bonita area: (619) 397-6399. Evacuation center is located at Chula Vista High School.

Older news, but just found it: Animals Moved At Wild Animal Park

According to the California Department of Transportation, the closure of Interstate 15 south of SR-56 has been canceled. However, Interstate 15 remains closed from SR-56 to lower SR-79 in both directions. Click here for additional road closures:

* Please also be advised of these additional closures throughout the county:
* SR-67 northbound and southbound from Vigilante Road to Highland Valley Road
* SR-76 eastbound and westbound from East Vista Way
* SR-78 eastbound and westbound from SR-79 in Santa Ysabel to Haverford Road in Ramona
* SR-79 northbound and southbound from SR-78 to SR-76
* SR-94 eastbound and westbound from Steele Canyon to two miles east of Harris Ranch Road

Thus far, where I am is fairly clear. There's a thin layer of particles on the pool. North and South, though, are very smoky. South and east seems denser than north, but more wealthy people live where the Witch Creek Fire is going to hit, not to mention more news anchors. It's going to start getting dark in about an hour, so this is likely the last good visual check for tonight.
UPDATE 11: (2030) buildings destroyed: (thus far)

Escondido: 70
Poway 50
Rancho Santa Fe: 6
Rancho Bernardo: Unknown but "dozens"
Fallbrook: 50 destroyed, 30 damaged
East County I saw one report that said 130 destroyed, 500 threatened

Advisory evacuations have been ordered for five neighborhoods in DelMar: the east side of Crest Road, Oribia Road, San Dieguito Road, Avenida Primavera and Serpentine Drive, a county official announced about 6:20 p.m.

Residents in all other neighborhoods within Del Mar are encouraged to prepare to evacuate to Qualcomm Stadium.Residents in areas where firefighting helicopters and air tankers are working are asked to stay indoors, to avoid being in the way when huge amounts of water or retardant are dropped.

(later) Looks like some of those orders have become mandatory

DEL MAR MANDATORY EVACUATIONS
Evacuations have been ordered for the following areas: South of Del Dios Highway, north of Sorrento Valley Road and west of Black Mountain Road to the ocean. Evacuees are being advised to go to centers at Carlsbad High School, Encinitas Senior and Community Center and Qualcomm Stadium.

I suppose any time there's opportunity, there will be scams

Governor Calls Up Guard, Asks Bush For Military Support

He's also asked President Bush to authorize San Diego-area military forces to work with local officials to provide cots, first-aid equipment and possibly personnel to aid evacuees and firefighters.

another fire map (updated), and another (multiple maps)

Updated evacuation help in El Cajon As a sub note, looks like instead of trying to establish a temporary tower at Ramona, they're bringing the fire-fighting planes and their logistic support to Gillespie Field, which already has one, and is easier logistically to work with.

http://www.sdcaa.com/ is asking landlords to list their available rentals for emergency housing, but I'm not seeing anything about fees being waived. We'll see how it shakes out.

The Harris Fire has now jumped Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista/Bonita. I'm not certain there's another good line of defense shy of the 54 and 805. Should be somewhat sheltered from the wind by San Miguel Mountain, but I'd seriously consider exiting that whole area, even though I'm not finding any kind of evacuation order. I'm also thinking it's going to stay south of Sweetwater Reservoir.

Harris Fire at 22,000 acres and Witch Fire at 145,000. That's 260 square miles, just for the two of them, and they're saying both could easily burn to the ocean. I'm having trouble running down information on the Descanso Fire, the Fallbrook Fire, and a couple of others.

Finally, Road Closures (It was a busy link, so in the interests of public information I'm printing the entire list)

Interstate 15 closed in both directions from state Route 56 to state Route 78

Interstate 8 closed to big-rig trucks and other high-profile vehicles from Alpine to Ocotillo in Imperial County

State Route 94 between Harris Ranch Road and state Route 188

State Routes 78 and 79 from Julian to Ramona

State Route 79 from Ramona to Sutherland Dam Road

State Route 94 between Otay Lakes Road and Forest Gate Road

State Route 67 closed to northbound traffic at Mapleview Dr. in Lakeside

Other closures:

All Campo roads west of Forest Gate Road and east of Otay Lakes Road

Honey Springs Road in Jamul at Lyons Valley Road

East of Victoria Drive in Alpine between Otto Road and Overland Passage Road

Buckman Springs Road at eastbound Interstate 8.

El Montevideo at Paseo Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe

Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista

Among the roads reported affected Monday by fallen trees, downed power lines and other debris:

State Route 67 just south of Vigilante Road

Engineers Road at state Route 79

State Route 76 at Red Gate

La Bajada at Rancho Santa Fe Road

Santa Margarita Road at Calle de Luz Road

State Route 78 at Wynola Road

Southbound lanes of Valley Center Road at north Lake Wohlford Road

West Bernardo Drive south of Rancho Bernardo Road

Country Club Lane in Elfin Forest

Willow Glen Drive at Hillsdale Road in Rancho San Diego

For more information on freeway closures call Caltrans at (619) 688-6670 or (800) 427-7623 or check www.dot.ca.gov/dist11. County road closures are posted on www.co.san-diego.ca.us.{ATTR:1}

Status Report from the state of California, and about the only information on the smaller fires I've found.

This is going to be the last update for this post and for tonight. Assuming I'm still here (No known reason why I wouldn't be), I'll start another post tomorrow.

To my readers: I've got the vast majority of important pages redirected. I'm still checking the error logs once or twice a day for more, but I only had one such error yesterday. The Hot Bargain Properties, and the Real Loans for Real People, I'm not worried about - there's not much that's as useless as non-current loans or listings. Pretty much all of the still relevant ones seem to be fixed.


To the owners of other websites: I did away with automated trackbacks due to the levels of spam. But that doesn't mean I won't put one in manually if you say more about the same subject. Email me the URL of your post and request me to put in a trackback manually. You do have to link the post you'd like a trackback on, as is standard courtesy. And of course, if your page is just spam, don't bother. The idea is trackbacks share traffic because both of us believe that the other's article is worth reading.

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This page is a archive of entries in the X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin category from October 2007.

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