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Firestorms Ravage Southern California: UPDATE

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Update Day 2: “The worst area is San Diego County. At least 500 homes and 100 businesses have been destroyed in a single San Diego County wildfire, officials announced Monday evening. The news pushed the total destroyed structures in the Southern California wildfires to more than 760 and the numbers was expected to rise Officials in San Diego County had ordered evacuations of 250,000 households in the paths of three fires.”

Fire day 2

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

“Fire officials are trying to stop the fast-moving Witch Fire from racing westward down the San Dieguito River Valley to the ocean. Some of the priciest communities in San Diego County lie in its path: Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar and Solana Beach. The communities include gated communities, country clubs, golf courses and a polo field. From the origin of fire near Ramona, it is 35 miles to the ocean. “It’s already half way there,” said San Diego Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque. “We’re expecting the worst.”

“Piru: Firefighters were aggressively fighting the Ranch Fire at its eastern flank, hoping to keep the flames trapped north of Highway 126. By 6 p.m., the fire had burned 41,000 acres of heavy brush and chaparral, amd was threatening the Ventura County communities of Piru and Fillmore.”

Day 1: Living in Los Angeles for almost 25 years now, I have never really come to grips with the local term “Fire Season”. Yet here we are again as over a dozen wildfires ravage the densely populated areas of Malibu, Canyon Country, Irvine and even San Diego.

“More than a dozen wind-driven firestorms consumed up to 35,000 acres across Southern California today, including a vast expanse of northern Los Angeles County where 10 structures were destroyed, 800 homes were evacuated and additional 3,800 residences were threatened.”

The fires raced through dry growth in hilly terrain stretching from Santa Barbara County to the Mexican border. In San Diego County, one person was killed and at least 14 injured, four of them firefighters.”

“Firefighters were battling the blaze along a 15- to 20-mile fire line. The fire had burned 10,000 acres by evening with no containment in sight. Winds near the fire lines were whipping up to 80 mph, and officials predicted they could intensify overnight. The blaze moved so quickly that fire officials had to relocate their command center five times to keep up with the advancing flames. There will be literally thousands of homes threatened at one time or another,” Freeman said. “We’ve heard the winds are going to increase tonight, and we are very concerned about that.”

I am not threatened by the fires as I live in the middle of Hollywood. All I can do is watch the around the clock coverage on television, walk outside to look at the smokey skies turning blood red at sunset and feel the pain of those who have lost their homes to nature’s ravages.

Posted: 2212PT 10/21/07 Updated: 2209PT 10/22/07


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:05 pm


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