I have lived here in San Diego County for 43 of my 48yrs. and I can tell you that this is a very seasonal problem. The first fires that started near
Ramona, Ca. were caused by downed power lines, another started on Harris ranch near Tecate and no one is really saying for sure about the other 2 or 3
fires that are going right now. The Harris Ranch fire burned within 1000 yards of my house and the neighborhood was evacuated 36 hrs. ago. they have
now let us back into the neighborhood. Some 500,000 people plus livestock were evacuated county wide because of the threat. That's supposedly more
people than were displaced by Katrina, although this is a much different scenario. So far we are looking at over 300,000 acres burned and up to around
1500-2000 homes and businesses lost.
4 yrs. ago we had another pretty bad one, the worst in 50 yrs., but smaller than this one, and it caused several hundred homes to be lost and killed
several people. Because of that last incident the local politicos took a severe lashing by the voters and many changes were made to prevent the same
potential loss of life. The new system has worked very well and many lives have been saved. They instituted a reverse 911 calling system that informed
threatened areas of the fires and allowed people time to evacuate.
There is an ongoing pissing match between the CALFIRE(Formerly CDF) and the other local authorities about using military firefighters. Several
county, state and federal authorities have ripped CALFIRE a new one because they were stonewalling the use of military firefighting helos. The
Governator, Sen. Boxer and DHS Sec Chertoff along with Congressional Reps were chewing CALFIRES collective @SS yesterday and today to back-off their
bureaucratic BS and let the military help. They finally relented but personally I would be firing those losers right now for procrastinating. The
first day the winds were so bad they couldn't fly but yesterday and today they were flying.
We did have some high school kids start a fire day before yesterday right outside 1 of the high schools in San Ysidro right near the border. But they
got it put out pretty quick. The authorities have said they will investigate the origins of all these fires after the dust settles.
As far as it being contractors starting the fires, I really doubt it, but a few years ago they did bust an Fire official up in the LA area for
starting fires, I believe he was an investigator on top of it all. Also they busted a seasonal firefighter here in San Diego a few years ago also for
doing the same thing. The last big fire we had 4 yrs. ago got started by a lost hunter who shot a flare off because he thought his buddy's would be
able to find him easier.
For those of you who don't know, if you're lost in the woods, you shoot off 3 quick rounds to let folks know you're lost or in trouble, you
don't shoot off flares where there is nothing but kindling. What a moron!
My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and their homes. This is really horrible to watch. The big worry now is that as soon
as the Santana winds back off and we get an on-shore wind pattern that the fire will turn around and start burning to the east instead of the west
like it has for the last 3-4 days. The thing that makes this Santana so bad is the fact that it's lasting for 4-5 days instead of the usual 2-3 days.
Haven't seen one this strong in a long time.
I did here that the fire they are calling the "Poochanga fire " started on the La Jolla Indian Reservation and was originally a structural fire and
that it moved up the slopes toward Mnt. Palomar. They are afraid that it will link up with another fire in the area.
[edit on 25-10-2007 by sharkman]