Friday, October 26, 2007 -  10:01 PM   - SAN DIEGO

The Sheriff’s Department is issuing mandatory evacuations for San Diego Country Estates from Rutherford Road south and west to San Vicente Road and Black Canyon Road in Ramona.



Friday, October 26, 2007 -  8:29 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

The U.S. Forest Service posted the following notice on its web site this evening regarding information on homes destroyed in the Slide and Grass Valley fires near Lake Arrowhead:

“The County of San Bernardino had hoped and planned on releasing information on damaged and destroyed properties this evening. However the ongoing fire activity and the difficulty of assessing properties in the mountains has prevented the county from being able to compile accurate data in time for tonight's briefing.

“The County is sympathetic to the plight of the fire victims which is why the county simply cannot go forward with damage information until officials are 100% certain that the data is accurate and complete.

“Because of the ongoing fire activity the county at this time cannot say when it will be able to release information on damage. Also, the active status of the fires creates the possibility that properties reported as undamaged could be damaged by the end of the incident. Property assessors attempting to compile the data were driven away from their worksites by fire in some instances today.

“The emotional distress that would result from giving our citizens inaccurate information about the status of their homes would be irresponsible, and is unacceptable to the Board of Supervisors and fire officials.

“The county pledges to release the data as soon as it's been compiled and verified.
“The San Bernardino County 211 Disaster Assistance Hotline will still be accepting calls for people seeking disaster assistance information but the phone bank will not have information about specific properties at this time.”

I can see why they wouldn't want to put out inaccurate data BUT I do not understand why the data has to be complete.  That is ridiculous.  I see no reason why they can't release the data in sections.  Release one neighborhood at a time.  The other areas in California have done that.  I would like to hear their reasoning.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  8:23 PM   - SAN DIEGO

The following areas are open to re-entry for people who were evacuated due to the region’s wildfires, according to county officials:
— Bear Valley
— Cuyamaca
— Guejito Ranch
— Julian
— Pala
— Pauma Valley
— Pine Hills
— Rancho Heights
— Wynola


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  7:31 PM

Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 45% contained    Witch Fire Map 10/26/07
Harris Fire – 85,000 acres – 35% contained   
Harris Fire Map 10/26/07
Poomacha Fire – 39,000 acres – 35% contained   
Poomacha Fire Map 10/26/07
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 60% contained    
Rice Fire Map 10/26/07
Horno/Ammo Fire – 19,353 acres – 80% contained    
Horno/Ammo Fire Map 10/26/07
Santiago Fire – 27,600 acres – 35% contained   
Santiago Fire Map 10/26/07
Ranch Fire – 58,401 acres – 94% contained
Slide Fire – 13,378 acres – 20% contained   
Slide Fire Map 10/26/07
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 70% contained  
Grass Valley Fire Map 10/26/07


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  6:14 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Green Valley Lake Residents - There is new information on the Burn Report.  Near the Bottom of the page.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  6:08 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

San Bernardino County officials will not release addresses of homes destroyed in this weeks’ fires, spokesman David Wert said Friday afternoon.

The county had initially planned to release the property information at a meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the National Orange Show Events Center, which is being used to house evacuees.

But county workers who were surveying the burned areas of the San Bernardino Mountains could not get into some areas because of fire. In some cases, they were chased out by flames, Wert said.

Wert said the county did not want to release any information until they complete their assessment.

Why that is?  I have no idea.  I don't understand the reasoning behind "Don't release any information until we release it all."  That's crazy.  It makes no sense. 


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:49 PM

Here is the latest update as well as fire maps of the fires.

Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 45% contained    Witch Fire Map 10/26/07
Harris Fire – 84,300 acres – 20% contained   
Harris Fire Map 10/26/07
Poomacha Fire – 39,000 acres – 35% contained   
Poomacha Fire Map 10/26/07
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 40% contained    
Rice Fire Map 10/26/07
Horno/Ammo Fire – 19,353 acres – 80% contained    
Horno/Ammo Fire Map 10/26/07
Santiago Fire – 27,000 acres – 30% contained   
Santiago Fire Map 10/26/07
Ranch Fire – 58,396 acres – 87% contained
Slide Fire – 13,378 acres – 15% contained   
Slide Fire Map 10/26/07
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 70% contained  
Grass Valley Fire Map 10/26/07


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:08 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

San Bernardino County is running a bank of computers at the National Orange Show Events Center that lets residents from mountain communities plug in the addresses of their homes to determine whether they are in a burned area.

However, the county is not yet giving information about whether specific homes were destroyed.

County officials say that information will be available during a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the carnival lot on the west side of the Orange Show fairgrounds.

KFI News has this interesting video posted on their site.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  3:50 PM   - SAN DIEGO

San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarman said this afternoon there's no long a fire threat to the city of San Diego.

However, Ron Lane, director of the county's Office of Emergency Services, said parts of the county are still very much at risk.

Evacuation notices have been lifted for Spring Valley and Jamacha, and partially lifted for Bonita, Sunnyside and San Vicente. Carveacre is still closed.

All of Spring Valley and Jamacha are open for reentry.

The following areas of Bonita-Sunnyside are open for reentry: north of Chula Vista, east of Chula Vista and San Diego, west of Highway 125, and south of Jamacha Boulevard.

The following areas of San Vincente are open for reentry: north of Interstate 8, east of Poway, west of San Diego Country Estates, and 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.

SD county announces that the following areas of the Dehesa-Harbison region are open for re-entry:

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

Fallbrook Public Utility District issued an advisory Friday afternoon to dispel what they said was inaccurate information being spread about the town's water supply.

"All water being delivered by FPUD is absolutely safe," said spokeswoman Noelle Denke. "There has been no contamination of the water supply and all water is being disinfected following normal procedures."


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  3:44 PM

Southern California Fires at a Glance...

San Diego County
Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 45% contained
Harris Fire – 84,300 acres – 20% contained
Poomacha Fire – 39,000 acres – 35% contained
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 40% contained
Horno/Ammo Fire – 19,353 acres – 80% contained
Wilcox Fire – 100 acres – 100% contained
Cajon Fire – 250 acres – 100% contained
McCoy Fire – 300 acres – 100% contained
Coronado Hills Fire – 300 acres – 100% contained

San Bernardino County
Slide Fire – 13,378 acres – 15% contained
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 70% contained
Martin Fire – 123 acres – 100% contained
Walker Fire – 160 acres 100% contained

Orange County
Santiago Fire – 27,000 acres – 30% contained

Los Angeles County
Ranch Fire – 58,396 acres – 87% contained
Canyon Fire – 4,565 acres – 100% contained
Magic Fire – 2,824 acres – 100% contained
Buckweed Fire – 38,356 acres – 100% contained
Meadowridge Fire – 40 acres - 100% contained

Santa Barbara County
Sedgewick Fire – 710 acres – 100% contained

Riverside County
Rosa Fire – 411 acres – 100% contained
Roca Fire – 270 acres – 100% contained

Ventura County
Nightsky Fire – 35 acres – 100% contained


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  3:04 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Fire victims to learn fate of homes tonight

Residents evacuated from the fire areas in the San Bernardino Mountains will learn the fate of their homes and other property at meetings scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the two San Bernardino County evacuation centers.

The meetings at the National Orange Show fairgrounds and Victorville Evacuation Center will a display of maps of properties damaged or destroyed by the Grass Valley and Slide fires.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  1:18 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Crestline area residents can return home with a re-entry pass, ID and proof or residency.  You can get passes at 40th and Waterman or at the Ranger Station by Silverwood.

Poomacha Fire 3 miles from Riverside County border

With the Rice Canyon Fire no longer considered a threat to southwestern Riverside County, area fire officials were keeping a close watch today on the 39,000-acre Poomacha Fire, which originated on Palomar Mountain.

At noon, the fire was continuing its northward path and was three miles from the Riverside County line, according to Jody Hagemann, information officer for Cal Fire in Riverside County.
She said the agency is prepared for any contingency and is optimistic the blaze can be kept at bay because of favorable weather conditions.
"We have everything we need available," Hagemann said.

Shortly before noon, the DC-10 air tanker carrying fire retardant was sent up about three miles south of the Riverside County line, fire officials said.

Double-digit humidity and moist, lighter winds from the west have contributed to halting the spread of the fires, officials said.

Santiago blaze a half-mile from county line

The fire is about one-half mile from the Riverside County line and moving at a moderate rate, said Fire Information Officer Rick Vogt.

The blaze is about 30 percent contained and the main front of the fire is moving north and east. The winds are generally calm in the area, but pushing between eight and 16 mph along some of the ridge lines. Vogt said the fire could reach Santiago Peak sometime today or Saturday.

Vogt said the main effort will focus on keeping the fire from reaching the downhill side into the area south of Corona, where they could be pushed by the afternoon breeze, known as the Elsinore Wind.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  1:15 PM   - SAN DIEGO

Although many residents have been let back into their homes as the fire danger subsides, county officials say there are still an estimated 45,650 residents under mandatory evacuation throughout San Diego County.

The Rincon Indian Reservation has reopened and tribal members are returning to their homes, according to a spokeswoman for the tribe

The evacuation center at Harrah's Rincon casino has transferred to Valley Center High School, but the casino remains closed for normal business, according to a casino spokeswoman.

Tribal members from the Rincon and La Jolla reservations who lost their homes can remain at Harrah's.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  1:05 PM

Sorry I had to run down to Orange County today.  I'll update things in just a second.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  9:00 AM   - INLAND EMPIRE

About 36,844 customers were still without power this morning in western Riverside County and southern San Bernardino County after a power lines were collapsed across Interstate 215.

The power outage that occurred shortly after 6:40 a.m. sent a blackout through the entire city of Riverside, northern Moreno Valley, southern San Bernardino, Rubidoux, Fontana, Rialto and Muscoy.

Power lines were draped across southbound Interstate 215 shutting down the freeway in both directions for about an hour, said Southern California Edison spokesman Paul Klein. Edison officials are investigating possible fires at possible substations in the city of Riverside and San Bernardino County. It is till unclear where the fires occurred and there is no estimate time when power will be restored.

Power has been restored to parts of downtown riverside and the Canyon Crest area. Interstate 215 is now reopened, though traffic is snarled to Interstate 10. Traffic is also backed up on westbound Interstate 10 to the southbound Interstate 15.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  8:36 AM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Riverside County Supervisors John Tavaglione and Bob Buster will hold a public meeting at 4 p.m. tonight at Temescal Valley Elementary School, 22950 Claystone Ave. in Corona to discuss the Santiago Fire.

Fire officials will also attend to share information about the fire and preparations being taken in Riverside County.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  7:55 AM

Wow.  Shocker.  Power went out all over Riverside this morning for an hour or two.  I know this because my alarm clock didn't go off.  Doh!

Like was reported late last night, reports say that Crestline should open up only to residents with ID this morning.  More info to come.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:50 AM

Hi.  Sorry I have not posted in a while.  I updated all the stats to current figures.  I'm just now going to bed.  I'll post more in the morning.

I had the opportunity to tell 3 people today that their home had burned down.  I send them the photos along with it.  It's a horrible thing.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  I was uplifted by the responses of the people.  They didn't so much care about finding out for sure that it burned as much as they cared about finally knowing for sure.  They each thanked me for letting them know and moved on with their day.  There were some tears.  There was a lot of silence.  But knowing was better than not knowing.  I'm not sure why the new County assessors list put together by the Fire District is being kept secret at this time.  I think it's cruel to keep people in suspense.  The list should be released sometime today (Friday)  I'll post is as soon as I get it.

Good Night.  I'll be back in the morning.



Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:26 AM  - LOS ANGELES

The only wildfire left burning in Los Angeles County was about 80 percent contained tonight, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Ranch fire, which started Saturday night northwest of Castaic, has destroyed at least seven homes and 14 boats, and charred more than 56,000 acres.

Favorable weather yesterday helped county-led fire crews surround two other major fires in the Santa Clarita area that have blackened a combined 95,000 acres.

The Ranch fire was last reported moving into Ventura County. Forest Service firefighters had predicted it would be contained or surrounded by Wednesday.


Friday, October 26, 2007 - 4:25 AM -      SAN DIEGO

One of the symbols of this week’s Southern California wildfires, Qualcomm Stadium, where thousands of displaced residents sought refuge, is closing Friday as an evacuation center.

A group of trial lawyers announced today it will offer free legal services for San Diego County residents whose homes and property have been destroyed or damaged by the wildfires.

Consumer Attorneys of California are also able to help with insurance issues, according to the group’s Jordan Traverso.

More information is available by calling the group’s San Diego office at (619) 696-1166 or online at www.caoc.com/SoCalFireLegalHelp.


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:22 AM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Members of the Riverside branch of the U.S. Army California National Guard are awaiting orders on what fire they will be sent to respond.

The group of 63 soldiers from the Bravo Co. 1st Battalion 185th Armor Division was called up to assist with the fires Tuesday under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s emergency order.

Now the group of civilians who work normal day jobs, such as police officers to real estate brokers may soon be fighting fires, helping in evacuation centers or working security in the mountains in San Bernardino or San Diego counties.

Before their mission, both Stater Bros. and Ralph’s supermarkets donated supplies to the unit. The two grocery stores donated, about $400 each worth of water, toiletries, razors, energy drinks and baked chicken.

“This is what we’re supposed to do. We’ll do anything to get normalcy back in these people’s lives,” said Specialist Bryan Stavis, 39, of Riverside.


Friday, October 26, 2007 - 4:13 AM -      SAN DIEGO

Fires down, not out
Death toll rises to 7; President Bush offers aid, sympathy
San Diego County began its recovery Thursday as thousands of evacuees returned home and firefighters made momentous progress against this week's wildfires. But in an irrepressible image of the inferno's ferocity, officials found six more charred bodies. President Bush toured the embattled region, comforting victims and promising help from his administration.

Some homeowners risk it all to stay and fight
Results vary when refusing to evacuate
It is a conflict that is replayed during every wildfire season, and especially in the past week: Time and again, authorities warn people to evacuate their houses when told to do so. And time and again, a handful of homeowners find it impossible to resist that most human of impulses: the urge to fight to save your own home.

Scripps Ranch veterans of '03 fire ready to help
Four years and one day ago, the Cedar fire began its destructive march through San Diego County, charring hillsides and leaving blocks of smoldering rubble behind. But from the ashes of the most destructive fire in state history, something else emerged: a possible blueprint for rebuilding houses and neighborhoods.

New Fire Map for San Diego


Friday, October 26, 2007 -  4:09 AM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Firefighters have made significant progress with both mountain fires. At 8 PM, the Grass Fire was reported to be 70% contained. "Firefighters continue to make good progress on line construction in the Miller Canyon drainage as well as mop up in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire," said fire officials. "Damage assessment teams were able to enter the area yesterday, reporting no additional structures burned, details to be released soon. Large scale evacuations and road closures remain in effect surrounding the entire perimeter of the fire area." Containment has begun on the Slide Fire with 15% of the 11,675 acre fire contained. "Firefighters report moderate fire intensity surface fire, backing, occasional torching, and short-range spotting," said fire officials. "Additional structures were reported lost yesterday, with structure protection continuing along Highway 18 and Green Valley. Damage assessment teams are starting to work in the area to provide details on structures destroyed, with dangerous access due to continued fire activity. Fire perimeter containment efforts slow due to rough terrain, heavy vegetation and high density residential properties intermixed with bug killed timber.

Firefighters responded to a call of a possible spot fire near Dart Canyon in Crestline. Units from Crest Forest Fire District were unable to locate any spot fire. According to scanner reports, there may have been some backfiring operations being performed in the area that the reporting party saw.



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