Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Smoky and quiet for now

The situation for my family has not changed - it's smoky outside, there is lots of ash on the ground, we are staying inside, and there is no threat to our safety right now.

It was a rough night for folks in Spring Valley and eastern Bonita - the fire came over Mount San Miguel as I figured it would, and is threatening homes on the northern and western slopes of the mountain.

There is now a voluntary evacuation for the Otay River valley and the Otay Mesa area - south of Main Street and east of I-805. I'm trying to figure out why - did the fire split and go south of Otay Lakes? Or is the fire that burned into Mexico out near Tecate burning around the south side of Otay Mountain and threatening the US side of the border? I've heard nothing about any fires in Mexico, although I fear that there are several there.

Watching the TV for endless hours of fire news, and the constant replays of houses going up in flames, is very depressing. The TV stations don't really know much - they broadcast many items with errors in them. The radio is a little better. I've found a blog at http://sosdfireblog.blogspot.com/ that provides official information. There is still no one spot that tells us where the fires are advancing and burning. Susan Kitchens has a post here that shows a satellite photo of the Southern California fires - from yesterday. She is in the San Gabriel Valley east of LA, and may have fire problems too.

I've spent the morning watching the Disney Channel with Lolo and working on puzzles, playing with blocks, sharing breakfast, tickling and cuddling, and chasing her around the house. It's been a fun morning, although I've gotten nothing else done besides this blog post while Lolo is entertaining her grandma.

UPDATED 11 AM: The mayor of Chula Vista was on the radio a while ago and said that the fire east of Otay Lakes had split and a finger was moving southwest around the the south end of Otay Lakes. That would explain why the area south of Main had an evacuation order.

Someone else out in Rancho San Diego (where my brother lives just off Hillsdale) said on the radio that the wind had shifted there and was starting to come out of the west. This should have the effect of stopping westward movement of the fingers of fire, but then it may force the fingers of fire north and south, or east.

The large National Guard airplanes - 6 of them - are on their way to California. They hope that there will be some working in San Diego County. Right now, Chula Vista police and fire are working the Harris firefighting - there are apparently no CalFire help on this end of the fire.

Up in the Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar area, the fire is slowly progressing westward, and the report is that the winds have picked up again.

UPDATED 3:30 PM: Nothing much has changed here in Chula Vista. Some residents of Poway and Scripps Ranch are going back to their homes. The evacuation order for Rancho San Diego was cancelled. Apparently, the water drops by military helicopters has worked well there. There are evacuation orders for parts of Jamul, parts of Julian, parts of Valley Center, parts of Encinitas and parts of Carlsbad.

There are fingers of fire on the north and west sides of Lake Hodges. There is a new, big fire on Palomar Mountain called the Poomacha Fire. The wind has shifted to the east in the Cuyamaca mountains, the Eagle Fire, and is threatening Julian.

The latest statistics I've heard are about 1,200 homes lost, only 1 death, and over 250,000 acres burned. The Harris fire near Chula Vista has burned about 70,000 acres.


dew said...


We are all praying for you and your family. Stay Safe!

Anonymous said...

Hi Randy.....Was wondering how you and family were doing in this awful storm of fires. Remembered about your blog so now I've read and good to know that for now you're safe. We have been doing the indoors thing with the AC on to avoid breathing the smokey, ashen air outdoors. In San Pedro, the closest fire to us is the Malibu fire and that's 50 miles north but still very smokey here with the wind blowing it everywhere. Maureen Maloney was asking about you as well in an email I had from her. I gave her a link to your blog so maybe she'll contact you. I wasn't sure if the email address I had for you was still OK so thought I'd write a note here. Take care and hope you continue to stay safe. It's just unbelievable how much devastation and loss of homes has occurred.