Patterico's Pontifications

10/22/2007

California Wildfires force Evacuation of 250,000 in San Diego

Filed under: Real Life — DRJ @ 11:15 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Over 7 fires are burning in California including fires in San Diego County that have forced 250,000 people to evacuate. Officials have urged people to evacuate when they see fire, whether or not they’ve been told to evacuate:

Unrestrained fires stoked by gale-force winds raged across San Diego County today, forcing more than 250,000 people from their homes and scorching 100,000 acres, a county official said, in the worst of more than a dozen blazes racing across Southern California.

“If you see a fire, please evacuate immediately. Don’t wait to be told to leave,” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said at a news conference this morning. Among those evacuated were hundreds of patients at Pomerado Hospital and a nursing home in suburban Poway, officials said.”

Officials are doing what they can but battling fires on so many fronts has put a severe strain on area fire departments:

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. At least one blaze, the Santiago Fire in Orange County, was believed to be arson, officials said this morning. Two other fires might have been caused by downed power lines.”

In addition, there are fears that the Malibu fire (2400 acres burned, 10% contained) could spread to area trigger points and jeopardize 12,000 to 14,000 more people living in the surrounding area.

— DRJ

18 Responses to “California Wildfires force Evacuation of 250,000 in San Diego”

  1. Why don’t they just cut firelines in the trees? Or are the winds just that strong?

    Techie (c003f1)

  2. Why don’t they just cut firelines in the trees? Or are the winds just that strong?

    From the reports I hear, the wind is very strong.

    dave (0606c0)

  3. When the wind is strong, the wind pushes millions of sparks forward, sometimes miles forward, jumping roads, fire lines, fields, etc.

    In the ’94 Malibu fire and ’94 Laguna Beach fire, the only the Pacific )cean stopped the fire’s advance.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  4. I have relatives in the Poway area who were forced to evacuate. From my understanding, there were homes in their neighborhood already on fire as they left. It’s an awful situation.

    Andy (09ab51)

  5. At times the ’94 Malibu fire move so fast that, people in cars and fireman in their trucks could not outrun the fire and were killed.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  6. I left California in 1994. But before I moved here (to the D.C. area – clearly I’m a fan of lunacy), I was driving home from work one evening and the fire absolutely hopped right across the 210 freeway in front of me – a freeway that is 4 lanes each direction – of considerable width. Santa Ana winds are not only dangerous but also prone to make normally sane and sensible people behave in extremely bizarre ways.

    Gayle Miller (aa26f3)

  7. Not to mention the area is so rugged that lines would have to be cut by hand which is dangerous even in the best of times, but much more so in tinder dry overhead brush, 8% humidity and 50mph gusts of dry wind while packing gas for the chainsaw. Hard to ask the convict crews to commit suicide

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  8. One of the San Diego fires jumped I-15, one of the San Bernardino fires jumped I-215.

    Fire lines just aren’t gonna cut it if the fires are jumping interstates.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  9. I pray for your safety people of California. I can’t really do much else, but it’s the wet season here in my province (British Columbia) and I hope you request and we assist you with fire fighting crews as we have done in the past. Whether this will be done or makes sense this time I don’t really know, but it makes sense to me.

    And by all means, take proper safety steps yourselves.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  10. gusts have been ranging from 50-80 mph

    fire jumping the freeways happened in Oct 2003; indeed, this is many ways reminiscent of 2003 when fires raged through San Berdo mountains, crossing the 15 and racing towards Mt. Baldy – burned No. San Diego County (through Ramona and Fallbrook) and even came close to Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.

    At the time I was living in Rancho Cucamonga and was just a couple blocks south of the mandatory evacuation area (when picking up daughter from a friend’s house in that area, we could look north on Carnelian St. and see 40′ – 50′ flames racing down the mountain). Ash fell like snow on the local streets and the sky burned black and orange, giving a surreal feeling like one was an extra in a post-apolocalptic sci-fi flick.

    There’s very few So Cal areas not getting at least some smoke. Standing outside it smells like a dense campfire blowing right in your face making your chest hurt and eyes sting.

    The winds have died down some, but are expected to pick back up after sunset.

    Darleen (187edc)

  11. My mom is trying to get a hold of her mother now – she’s in Acton, which is reportedly threatened by the Buckweed fire. And my grandmother just finished rebuilding after losing her home a couple of years ago to a fire (although I don’t believe that loss was wildfire related – I found out about that after the fact, so I’m not sure).

    Alia (725d36)

  12. oh, here’s a pretty good interactive map of the fires

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=local&id=5720745

    GEEZ, I didn’t even know of the Ontario one …

    I have a feeling the arson idiots are out tonight.

    Darleen (187edc)

  13. Not only is there smoke everywhere, but there is also a lot of dirt/dust flying in the air. SoCal just had the driest winter in recorded history this past year, and what we all feared might happen over the summer has hit us now. Most construction was closed down because of winds, which were hurricane force in most areas all day. Plus, the terrain here is very hilly or mountainous, depending on where you are, with no roads or narrow roads leading into some of these areas! Plus California, whether north or south is just a darn big place! All these fires are really spaced out away from each other, even though those TV maps make them look close together. It’s bad out here!

    Gayle S. (3147b8)

  14. Well, as a resident of Los Angeles County, I guess now would be the time to file a claim with FEMA. Can’t wait to use my FEMA card at the local nudie bar. Or, I could recover from the stress of this situation on the beach in Kona.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  15. People really shouldn’t be living out in the fire areas. In a fallen world, arson is something to expect, it’s not preventable, it’s never going away unfortunately.

    jack (f08c5d)

  16. Well, according to Glenn Beck it might be for the best:

    I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

    Transcript, via MMFA

    Itsme (19b0dd)

  17. What the hell are you talking about? I’m a suburbanite but I’ve lived in the country and met the people who live in “outlying” areas. They are not whiners. They are self-reliant and strong. They help each other. They form the backbone of this country. If we don’t have “country people” then we don’t have enough America. I’ve never met more patriotic people than the salt of the earth living out in canyons and the country.
    My prayers are with the victims of these fires.

    Dorothy (d021a3)

  18. http://whenthechurchprays.blogspot.com/

    Please click the link to access a website for the Christian Church to pray for a miracle to end the California wildfires.

    When the Church Prays (67cb8b)


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