Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
A CDF firefighter is dwarfed by flames along East Grade Road on Palomar Mountain




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 25, 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 25, 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.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:25 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

HWY 138 is open to VOE and Cedar Pines residents with ID. As of this time some Crestline residents have been allowed in. Business owners may be able to be escorted to Crestline at this time. The rest of Crestline will open up soon.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 6:01 PM -      SAN DIEGO

Qualcomm evacuees will move to fairgrounds

The Del Mar Fairgrounds will become the official American Red Cross shelter for any evacuees still at Qualcomm Stadium, fairgrounds spokeswoman Kina Paegert said.




Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  5:58 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Slide Fire 15 % Contained!   Firefighters battling the Slide Fire near Running Springs made slow but steady progress today and now have the 11,675-acre blaze 15 percent contained, authorities said.

The Slide Fire started near Green Valley Lake and so far has destroyed 200 homes and three outbuildings, fire officials said. So far, it has cost $3 million to fight.

Riverside County sheriff’s officials are refuting rumors that evacuations have been ordered in and around Corona due to the hard-charging Santiago Fire in Orange County.

A department statement issued this afternoon states that various reports of evacuations due to the 23,000-acre fire are inaccurate, and that despite the fire’s movement to the east, they are not bracing for immediate evacuations.

“The Santiago Fire does not pose an immediate threat in Riverside County, where plans are in the works to stage resources in response to any shift the fire might present,” the statement reads.

The blaze, started by arson, is 30 percent contained and has displaced 43,000 Orange County residents.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  5:48 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

One of my contacts on the hill just called and reported on the Grass Valley Fire.  It's been pretty quiet  on the Twin Peaks side of things but today after 3:00 PM they had some flare ups in the Miller Canyon area.  They've been moving things around with a few bulldozers down there but they had 8-10 MPH winds coming up the canyon from the Silverwood area.  Right now the area is being watched and guarded. 

All the roads into Crestline are still blocked off.  There is a plan to open the area back up being tossed around.  Stay tuned for more information.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  5:38 PM

Southern California Fires at a Glance...

San Diego County
Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 20% contained
Harris Fire – 81,100 acres – 10% contained
Poomacha Fire – 35,000 acres – 20% contained
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 30% contained
Horno/Ammo Fire – 10,000 acres – 40-50% 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 – 11,675 acres – 15% contained
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 40% contained
Martin Fire – 123 acres – 100% contained
Walker Fire – 160 acres 100% contained

Orange County
Santiago Fire – 23,000 acres – 30% contained

Los Angeles County
Ranch Fire – 55,756 acres – 70% 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



Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 5:35 PM -      SAN DIEGO

County officials say they've called for the mandatory evacuation of Lake Henshaw, Mesa Grande and the La Jolla Indian Reservation because of fire danger.

Residents who are west of Hellhole Canyon, north of Palomar Mountain to Warner Springs, south of Bear Valley and Rancho Santa Ysabel and east of Montezuma Valley are under a mandatory evacuation notice.

Evacuees should take state Route 79 to S-2 to S-22 to Borrego High School.

Whether the Chargers host the Houston Texans this weekend at Qualcomm Stadium is up to them, Mayor Jerry Sanders said this afternoon.

"Should they decide to play in San Diego, the stadium will be ready on Sunday," said Fred Sainz, the mayor's spokesman. "It's their decision to play in San Diego or not."


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  5:27 PM

So a friend sent me this photo today.  I was like geez, that pool is dirty.  I hadn't even thought about what the condition of pools.  Even if you weren't right in the path of the fire, everyone's homes and pools must be filthy.  I have a friend, Gabe in the pool tile cleaning business so I called him and asked him what someone should do if their pool looked like that when they got back to their house.  He said it is really important to act quickly.  Don't drain your pool and turn off all your equipment!  If you don't do that then the soot and ash can clog your drain and/or ruin your equipment.  Then we started talking about sandwiches but I wont bore you with those details.  Make sure you turn off your equipment!

I guess I'll give him a plug for helping me out.  Gabe at PoolRehab.  Ya have to ask him about the sandwiches.  :)



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  4:36 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Firefighters are reporting improved conditions this afternoon are aiding their battle against the Grass Valley Fire north of Lake Arrowhead.

According to a U.S. Forest Service report, the 1,100-acre blaze’s behavior “has lessened during the day due to a decrease in winds combined with increasing relative humidity and effective perimeter control.” Fire movement has been limited to “creeping and backing fire” with “short uphill runs,” the report said.

Current winds are reported at only 10 mph, with humidity up to 19 percent.

The fire remains 40 percent contained, with an estimated full containment some time Sunday. Roughly 100 homes have been destroyed from the Grass Valley Fire.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  4:18 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE


The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help out at the evacuation center at the National Orange Show.

The charity is asking for volunteers scheduled every 4 hours. The shifts are: 6 a.m. -10 a.m., 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., 2 p.m.-6 p.m., 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 8 p.m. to midnight.

A few volunteers are needed to help out through the night shift (midnight – 8 a.m.)

Those interested can call 909-884-9441.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 4:05 PM -      SAN DIEGO

Four badly burned bodies have been found in a burned out rocky canyon near state Route 94 and Highway 188 just west of Potrero.
Law enforcement officials are at the scene and are trying to figure out the logistics of how to get down a very steep canyon wall.
The bodies are about 75 to 100 yards down into a deep canyon. Three of the bodies are in the canyon and one is one the opposite canyon slope.


Who can tell me something interesting between these two photos?  Answer at the bottom of the page.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  3:37 PM

Southern California Fires at a Glance...

San Diego County
Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 20% contained
Harris Fire – 81,100 acres – 10% contained
Poomacha Fire – 35,000 acres – 20% contained
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 30% contained
Horno/Ammo Fire – 10,000 acres – 40-50% 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 – 11,600 acres – 10% contained
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 40% contained
Martin Fire – 123 acres – 100% contained
Walker Fire – 160 acres 100% contained

Orange County
Santiago Fire – 23,00 acres – 30% contained

Los Angeles County
Ranch Fire – 55,756 acres – 70% contained
Canyon Fire – 4,500 acres – 85% 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



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  3:27 PM

As of yesterday, AT&T's call centers have fielded approximately 380 calls from customers for their free temporary voicemail and call forwarding phone services. Residential customers displaced by the fires can call 1-877-722-6787 and small business customers can call 1-800-750-2355 to set up the services.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  3:16 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Corona - Citizens with concerns and questions about the Santiago Fire, burning in Orange County and sending smoke and ash into the south Corona area, may call 951-817-5800.

The City of Corona established the hotline this afternoon in response to citizen inquiries, city spokesman Jerry Pawluczenko said.

Operators manning the hotline are currently telling callers that the fire poses no immediate threat to Corona, and no evacuations have been ordered.

Corona and county firefighters authorities are in constant contact with Orange County and Forest Service firefighters monitoring the progress of the Santiago fire, Pawluczenko said. So far the fire has not entered Riverside County, Cal Fire spokeswomn Jody Hagemann said.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 3:09 PM -      SAN DIEGO

Tempers are flaring along state Route 67 at Poway Road, where a line of cars is backed up as far as the eye can see.
Ramona residents are being denied re-entry to the community. Around noon, 100 or so residents got so impatient with the roadblock that they ran to their cars and blew past CHP authorities.
CHP called in extra help, and about 10 armed members of the National Guard are now stationed there, said CHP spokesman Brian Pennings.
There is no word on when Ramona residents will be allowed back in.

While I don't suggest that behavior, I understand the frustration these residents feel.

The evacuation order was lifted after 1 p.m. today in parts of Rancho Santa Fe, allowing some residents to return to their homes.
Access is limited to residents on the following streets: Las Colinas, El Mirador, La Valle Plateada, El Vuelo, El Sicomoro, and Zumaque Street.
Homes along Del Dios Highway and the community of Del Dios remain off-limits.

The Harris fire has shifted back toward Potrero, so authorities have rescinded any clearance for residents to return home.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Lawson Valley and Carveacre in the Harris Fire.   The fire is burning around Barrett Lake and firefighters want people out of this area, in the backcountry east of Jamul, in case the fire heads that way, said Cal Fire spokesman Martin Johnson.   Residents can take shelter at Qualcomm Stadium or Faith Chapel at 9400 Campo Road in Spring Valley



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:59 PM

I've been busy answering emails.  If you have questions on a specific location please read the Unofficial Burn Report on the Left.   <----- That way.     Not that way.  ----->

All the reports I get are posted there.  I am working on expanding that list before we get a hold of the official list.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:51 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

All San Bernardino City Unified School District schools are scheduled to reopen Monday, after being closed since Tuesday because of unhealthful air and unsafe road conditions.

Before- and after-school programs, extra-curricular and athletic events are expected to resume Monday as well.

Updated information on school closures for the San Bernardino City Unified School District is available by calling 909-888-KIDS (5437).


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:26 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

According to CAL Fire Chief Tom O'Keefe in a television interview with KNBC, two remote homes were lost near Lakeview Point between Snow Valley and Big Bear Dam. The homes were lost overnight and were in an area that was very difficult to access for firefighters. O'Keefe indicated that the Slide Fire is now the highest priority for the state, and is receiving resources accordingly.

The Slide fire still has no containment. Officials are waiting for "critical resource needs" to be met before containment steps can begin, according to CAL Fire. The communities of Live Oak, Smiley Park, Running Spring, Arrowbear Lake, Snow Valley, and Deer Lick are all threatened, as well as The Cavalry Chapel Camp, The National Children's Forest, The Forest Service Visitor's Center, and The Nordic Rim Ski Areas.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 1:24 PM -      SAN DIEGO

San Diego County residents directly affected by the wildfires may be eligible for emergency food stamps, county officials said.  People can apply for them at county family resource centers and the four local assistance centers set up to help wildfire victims.

The stamps are available on a one-time-only basis if people meet specific requirements, such as losing a home or income because of the fires.  Families who currently receive food stamps may be eligible for increased levels if they were affected by the fires.  Complete instructions and guidelines are available by calling (866) 262-9881.

Mail delivery is returning to normal in most areas, except where mandatory evacuations are in place or where air quality is unhealthful, according to a Postal Service spokesman.

Residents whose homes or businesses have been burned should contact their local post office to make alternative arrangements.

Mail for the following evacuated communities has been relocated for customer pick-up (be advised that a proper photo identification is required):

º‚Julian 92036 moved to the Borrego Springs Post Office, 2599 Country Club Road. Pick-up time is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

º‚Santa Ysabel 92070 moved to the Warner Springs Post Office, 31650 Highway 79. Pick-up time is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

º Dulzura 91917, Jamul 91935, Potrero 91963 and Tecate 91980 moved to the El Cajon Main Post Office, 401 W. Lexington. Pick-up time is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

º Ramona 92065 moved to the Carmel Mountain Post Office, 11251 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, near the flagpole at the south end of the processing center. Pick-up time is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

º Bonsall 92003 and Fallbrook 92028 moved to the Murrieta Carrier Annex, 39571 Los Alamos, just off the I-215 in Murrieta. That facility is at the west end of a shopping center. Pick-up time is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Contact the consumer affairs office at (858) 674-2670 for assistance with issues resulting from fire-related mail delays or damage. That office has extended its hours and will be open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:20 PM

I know there are lots of people who need assistance.  I also know there are lots of people who are willing to help out.  Some areas are getting way too many volunteers and donations and others are not getting enough.  If you know of anyone or anywhere that needs assistance will you please contact me and I will post information so volunteers will know where they can help.

And please don't be the guy who gets called on the phone and donates $20K to some fake made up charity.  Be wise in your donations.  The Red Cross is always a good option if you don't have other places in mind. 


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:15 PM

I've updated all the stats pages.  I've added some photos and some videos and stuff like that.  I can't remember all the stuff I added. 

Fire evacuees seeking a place to camp out are being offered free use of a Temecula-area recreational facility, where they can pitch a tent or park a motor home, with full access to water, sewer and electrical outlets.

Until further notice, Riverside County has opened the Lake Skinner Recreation Area at 37701 Warren Road as an evacuation site, making the campground’s 300 developed spaces available to individuals forced from their homes in neighboring Orange and San Diego counties.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:01 PM

Southern California Fires at a Glance...

San Diego County
Witch Fire – 197,990 acres – 20% contained
Harris Fire – 81,100 acres – 10% contained
Poomacha Fire – 35,000 acres – 20% contained
Rice Fire – 9,000 acres – 30% contained
Horno/Ammo Fire – 10,000 acres – 40-50% 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 – 11,366 acres – 0% contained
Grass Valley Fire - 1,100 acres – 40% contained
Martin Fire – 123 acres – 100% contained
Walker Fire – 160 acres 100% contained

Orange County
Santiago Fire – 23,00 acres – 30% contained

Los Angeles County
Ranch Fire – 55,756 acres – 70% contained
Canyon Fire – 4,500 acres – 85% 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



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  12:54 PM  - ORANGE COUNTY

Santiago Fire reward climbs to $150,000

The reward now totals $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and convictions of the person or persons responsible for setting the Santiago Fire that began early Sunday evening at Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon roads in Orange County.

In addition to $50,000 pledged by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms have each offered a like sum, according to Orange County Fire Authority Fire Chief Chip Prather.

He also says that investigators have determined there were two points of origin for the 25,000-acre blaze instead of three.

The Santiago Fire burning in Orange County may cross into Riverside County by tonight, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The arson blaze grew another 1,000 acres overnight to 23,000 acres, spreading into the Cleveland National Forest, near Silverado and Modjeska off Santiago Canyon Road, southwest of Corona.

If the fire continues its same path, it may creep into Riverside County through the Temescal Canyon between Lake Elsinore and Corona.

All indoor and outdoor athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular activities have been canceled in Orange County schools countywide.

The cancellations will be in effect through the weekend because of poor air quality due to the wildfires. The districts will monitor and reassess the situation early next week.

The decision was made in conjunction with county Superintendent of Schools William M. Habermehl and 15 Orange County unified and high school district superintendents.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  12:42 PM   - INLAND EMPIRE

Here is a first hand account of the fire damage in Running Springs and GVL

RotW.net is reporting:  Sheriff's officers responded to a possible burglary at 565 Forest Shade Road in Crestline. A window was found open at Roundtable Pizza. There have been multiple calls for security checks at residences in the evacuated areas. Unauthorized residents driving into the evacuation area are hampering deputy efforts at securing property.

According to the CHP, passes are only for residents in the Valley of Enchantment and Cedarpines Park areas via the 173 and 138. Passes do not provide access through hard closures. If residents need to leave, it will be via the 138 to I-15. The CHP has established roadblocks to keep residents out of the mandatory evacuation areas of Crestline. Roads blocked include the area of Knapps Cutoff at Manzanita, Knapps Cutoff at Lake Drive, the 7-11, Old Mill Road, and Crest Forest Drive at Cedarpines Park.

There are reports of 8 or 9 people trapped in the Crab Flats area. The fire is reported to be crowning in the trees near Forestry Road 3N16.

According to scanner reports at 10:50 am, the Slide Fire is making an active run in the Crab Flats area. Structures are threatened at this time.

Water Bomber Waits at Lake Elsinore


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  11:24 AM

I have to run for a bit again.  More info in an hour or so.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  11:11 AM  - INLAND EMPIRE

InstantRiverside.com has new updates this morning:  Their Fire update is worth the watch.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 10:58 AM -      SAN DIEGO

-A SDG&E helicopter crashed in an unincorporated area east of Poway, Sheriff's officials said.  The chopper went down around 10:20 a.m. near Sunrise Vista and Rancho Del Sol.  No injuries have been reported.

-Two deaths add to toll in San Diego County

Two bodies were found in a burned home in Poway, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender said today.

The deaths bring to three the number of deaths directly related to the firestorm.

Thomas James Varshock, 52, of Tecate died on his property during the Harris Fire on Sunday. His son was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center to be treated for burns.

Kolender said investigators at county Medical Examiner’s Office were working to confirm the identities of the two bodies found in Poway.

All together, about 1,470 homes have been lost countywide, Supervisor Ron Roberts said at a 7 a.m. briefing. Damage from the fires is estimated to be around $1 billion.


-The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is ready to reopen to the public after three days of closures, but the roads to it aren't yet clear, officials said.

Park officials hope Caltrans will open the roads today or tomorrow.

The park sustained minimal wind and fire damage. More than 600 acres burned, but they were largely in open buffer zone areas and not exhibit space.

A California condor enclosure was destroyed, but the endangered birds had already been moved to safety. Only one bird, a clapper rail, and one mammal, a kiang, were lost due to complications from the fire, officials said.


-Fire officials have ruled that a downed power line sparked the 9,000-acre Rice Fire in Fallbrook, according to Dave Shew, spokesman for Cal Fire.

The line touched off the wildfire Monday afternoon, which led to the destruction of more than 200 homes and the evacuation of 35,000 people from Fallbrook and DeLuz Canyon.

About 2,000 firefighters are working to surround the inferno, which is about 30 percent contained. Firefighters hope to have the fire contained by Sunday.

Mission Road at Highway 76 is jammed with residents trying to get back to their homes.

-A late-blooming wildfire continued to burn at Camp Pendleton today.

Two of three fires that broke out early yesterday were contained, but the largest of the three, dubbed the Horno Fire, was continuing to gobble up chaparral on the sprawling Marine Base bordering Orange County.

Cpl. Alec Kleinsmith, a base spokesman, said the blaze was nearly 50 percent contained this morning after it denuded about 10,000 acres.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  10:51 AM

Marine One arrived at Andrews AFB at 7:43 a.m. EDT today in a nasty rain and wind. POTUS (President of the United States) emerged in a navy suit.

Air Force One took off at about 7:45 a.m.

Five members of Congress accompanied the President on Air Force One: Representatives Ken Calvert, Elton Gallegly, David Dreier and Bob Filner, and Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Gov. Schwarzenegger was to meet the Presidential party on the ground in San Diego. Others there include Reps. Brian Bilbray, Darrelll Issa and Duncan Hunter.

Shortly before landing, the Air Force One crew distributed masks and tiny hand towels - wet in plastic baggies - to the press contingent.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  10:49 AM  - INLAND EMPIRE

Press Enterprise is reporting this story: 

In the San Bernardino Mountain community of Green Valley Lake, Marc Palozzi recalled the harrowing experience as he stayed behind earlier this week to protect his home from the Slide Fire.

Standing in the middle of the downtown area, where several businesses and homes were lost, Palozzi spoke on a speaker phone simultaneously to a visitor and his wife on the other end of the call.

Palozzi, 54, said the winds began picking up late Monday night, the first day of the fire, and he watched as the small army of fire trucks stationed in Green Valley Lake left.

Officials said at the time the situation was too dangerous for firefighters, so the decision was made to withdraw them.

“I knew if I’d left I’d lose my house,” said Palozzi who has lived in the area since 1979.

“Two of my children were born in the house. I wasn’t about to leave and see it go up in flames.”

He estimated the winds topped 70 mph as the fire roared off the east side of the lake towards the community. Palozzi said he soaked his clothes and placed a wet towel over his face before going outside into a storm of smoke and burning embers.

Over the next few hours, he said, it rained hot embers as the fire moved across the neighborhood. Palozzi used a garden hose to put out hot spots around his home. He then decided to see how many homes he could save throughout the area.

As he walked through the neighborhood, Palozzi said he used the hose to extinguish hot spots creeping up to several residences.

“It was hard to breathe and I couldn’t see very well.” The fire destroyed several homes in the area, but Palozzi estimated he was able to save some of the residences.
Palozzi said he was worried at times but had a backup plan.

If things got really bad, he planned to jump into the lake to save himself.

As he spoke, Palozzi’s wife Ciparana, interrupted his take describing the anguish she went through as her husband stayed behind.

She said she watched news accounts of the fire to keep tabs on what was happening. She knew he would stay behind and be careful, but that didn’t matter because she had never seen mountain fires this bad before.

Marc Palozzi said he was glad he stayed behind and was able to help some of his neighbors.

“I do feel bad though because people did lose their homes.”

Fires Update

Cooler weather and higher humidity have firefighters talking about getting a line around the Grass Valley Fire by early next week. The blaze has burned more than 1,100 acres of brush and timber and destroyed more than 100 structures.

“It’s not running, but it’s still active on half the perimeter,” said chief fire planner Patrick Farrell. “And it’s very rugged terrain back here on the whole western flank.”

So far, crews and bulldozers have dug a fire line around roughly half the blaze, fire maps show. Flames have destroyed more than 100 homes, officials say.

The Grass Valley Fire is west of Lake Arrowhead. Last night, the fire did little damage, officials said.

“Very little heat was threatening any of the homes that still remain,” briefing officer Mike Beckett told crews this morning. “Things should be looking pretty decent for you to button it up today.”

At the Slide Fire, burning in the vicinity of Green Valley Lake and the town of Running Springs, firefighters are focusing attention on keeping the blaze north of Highway 18 and are using the roadway as a firebreak, according to Bob Poole, U.S. Forest spokesman.

A lot of energy this morning is focused on an area called 13 Curves, just outside Arrowbear where fire is burning mostly underbrush on steep slopes.” We’re pretty much letting it burn down to the highway and just making sure it doesn’t go any further,” Poole said.

The blaze did not make any substantial runs last night and most activity is on the eastern side of the fire toward last month’s burn area of the Butler 2 Fire, near Crafts Peak and Butler Peak.

As the morning overcast dissipated, a large column of smoke could be seen in the vicinity north of Highway 18 near Snow Valley.




Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  10:37 AM

Sorry that took a little longer than expected.  I am back now.  I just attended a meeting with 3-4 Mayors of the local area.  I have a lot of stuff to update.  I will start...... Now!

Wait.........  OK  Now!

President Bush touched down at San Pasqual High School in Escondido shortly after 10 a.m. following an aerial tour of the fire danger surrounding Lake Hodges.

Outside the windows of the helicopter convoy, you could see patches of scorched earth below, but you could also see rolling green golfcourses and houses that escaped the damage.

The president's motorcade took him toward neighborhoods where he will tour more damage. A couple dozen people lined the road near the high school with cameras.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:37 AM

I have to run for an hour or two.  I'll be back with more morning updates soon.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:35 AM  - LOS ANGELES

FIRE UPDATE: Today's look at Los Angeles County

The only wildfire burning in Los Angeles County was about 70 percent contained today, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Ranch Fire, which started Saturday northwest of Castaic, has destroyed at least seven homes and 14 boats, and charred about 55,000 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 predicted it would be contained or surrounded by Wednesday.

All evacuations in the Santa Clarita area were lifted yesterday.

The Buckweed fire, fully contained last night, scorched 38,356 acres. The estimated cost of the firefight was put at $5.8 million, said German Aguilar of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A total of 32 structures, including 15 homes and 17 outbuildings, were destroyed, along with 40 vehicles, according to county officials.

Fire officials believe the Buckweed fire may have been started by downed power lines.

According to the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, five people were injured in the blaze, including two firefighters. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

The Magic fire, scorched about 1,750 acres before being percent contained yesterday.

The fire broke out Monday near The Old Road and Magic Mountain Parkway in the Stevenson Ranch area and has been determined as accidental, caused by construction workers doing welding work, said Deputy Ed Hernandez of the Office of Emergency Management. No structures were damaged, and no one was hurt, Hernandez added.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:33 AM


"Good morning. I'm on my way out to California. I'm looking forward to seeing Governor Schwarzenegger, to thank him for all the good work that the state and local authorities are doing to help the good people of Southern California battle these wildfires.

"I will assure the people of California that the federal government will be deploying resources, assets, and manpower necessary to help fight these fires. As well, I will assure them that there's a -- because of the declaration I signed yesterday, there will be help for the people of California. Evidently the winds are more favorable today, which should be encouraging to the firefighters.

"I'm also looking forward to spending some time with some of the firefighters. We've got some incredibly brave citizens who are risking their lives to protect people and property in California, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to our nation's firefighters.

"It's a sad situation out there in Southern California. I fully understand that the people have got a lot of anguish in their hearts. They just need to know a lot of folks care about them. Looking forward to my trip out there.

"Thank you."

—President George W. Bush



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:32 AM

What's open and closed today

Interstate 5 between San Diego and San Clemente is open after firefighters have fought back flames from the freeway along Camp Pendleton, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Interstate 15 is open between San Diego and Temecula. All routes to Fallbrook are still closed. Highway 76 is open between Interstate 15 and Interstate 5 in Oceanside.

All state highways west of the Big Bear Dam are closed due to the wildfires in Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs. Highway 330 is closed from Highland to Running Springs, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Access to Big Bear is available through Hwy 38 from Interstate 10 in Redlands or from Highway 18 through the high desert in Lucerne Valley.


Inland traffic conditions

A big rig is stalled on northbound Interstate 215 this morning, after a hit-and-run collision near University Avenue in Riverside, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Two vehicles collided on Interstate 10 at Mt. Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino.

Traffic is stalled on westbound Highway 91 at the Interstate 15 interchange in Corona due to the rush hour's high volume.

Traffic is moving at slower speeds on westbound Highway 60 through Rancho Ontario.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:30 AM  - ORANGE COUNTY

$70,000 reward offered in Santiago Fire investigation

A $70,000 reward for information leading to the firebug who set the Santiago Fire in Orange County was up for grabs today, as the federal agents helped local law enforcement investigate the still-burning wildfire.

The fire, started in three separate places near Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon roads about 5:55 p.m. Sunday, has destroyed 14 homes and damaged at least eight others, according the Orange County Fire Authority.

About 22,000 acres in the mostly rural horse country east of Irvine has been blackened. Virtually every canyon community, including Trabuco, Modjeska and Blackstar canyons, was evacuated.

"The Orange County Fire Authority is offering a $70,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the arsonist," OCFA Capt. Stephen Miller said.



Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  7:22 AM -      SAN DIEGO

Many make a run from Qualcomm Stadium

San Diego TV station KUSI is reporting that there are about 800 evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium this morning.

The station reports that many people left the stadium after police announced they would be checking identification and addresses to verify those at the shelter were really evacuees.

Separately, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Border Patrol agents arrested six illegal immigrants for allegedly trying to steal relief supplies at the Q.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  6:55 AM  - INLAND EMPIRE

Santiago Fire moves toward Riverside County

The 22,000-acre Santiago Fire has grown somewhat overnight, shifting from 50 percent containment to 30 percent.

At present, the fire is burning into an area of homes in Trabuco Canyon, however, no structures are in immediate danger. The fire could cross into uninhabited areas of Riverside County this morning.

At 6 a.m., a thick blanket of smoke is covering Running Springs, making it difficult to maneuver for emergency vehicles and others.

The downtown area is deserted except for the occasional emergency vehicle slowly passing through on Highway 18. The first evidence of the blaze is small pockets of fire south of Highway 18 just outside Running Springs.

Outside of Arrowbear, the flames have reached Highway 18, near Green Valley Lake Road where small groups of firefighters stationed themselves in the darkness.

There is a slight breeze which is blowing the smoke into the wilderness. There appears to be no line of fire, only small pockets of flames torching trees and small clumps of brush.

Firefighters are working in 40-degree temperatures this morning.


 Thanks to Gale for this map of the Twin Peaks area.  It's based mostly on Scanner Reports and other info.

View Larger Map


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  6:45 AM

Good Morning.  I'm feeling much better this morning.   So let's get to work.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  2:13 AM

It's not over yet!  While the news reports in some areas start to report that the fires are coming to an end, I get uneasy thinking that some people are going to go back to their everyday life.  There are still out of control fires going on!  There are still thousands of people who lost their homes!  There are still tens of thousands if not hundreds that cant go home!  There are still are risks of more homes burning!  The attention span of the media now days is nonexistent.  I couldn't believe that in the evenings the last couple days, the networks would broadcast their normal scheduled programs. 

Right now there are fires ravaging through our neighborhoods.  There are people trying to sleep on the floor of strange places wondering if they have any belongings anymore and looking through the internet, none of the big news sites have new news.  Did the fires go to sleep for the evening?  Is everyone asleep?  I know everyone isn't because I see that I still have server hits going through the roof even at this time at night.

I wish I could do more.  You don't know how it feels to answer email after email stating that I don't have the information they need.  I don't know why we are left in the dark. Didn't we learn anything from the last round of fires.  We had the same situation.  No answers.  No access.  No detailed information.  I am just one guy.  I am tired.  I am going to sleep for a couple hours. 

Sorry about the boring monologue.  I just had to get it off my chest.  I'll be back in the morning.


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  1:34 AM -      INLAND EMPIRE

Thanks to Jerry B for these great Google Earth Shots of the GVL/RS Burn Area


Thursday, October 25, 2007 -  12:51 AM -      SAN DIEGO

Lakeside residents getting mixed messages about evacuations have this current word from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department:

You can stay home if you are there; you can return home if you had evacuated.

Sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust said there have been no evacuation orders for Lakeside.

Residents near state Route 67 in Ramona and northeast Poway were ordered to leave Tuesday, an order still in effect as far south as 67 and Slaughterhouse Canyon Road and San Vicente Reservoir.

San Diego


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What are you doing way down here at the bottom of this page?  Bored with nothing to do?  Wondering what Dacy does when he isn't tracking fire information?  Here's a few outside links to Dacy's world:



Answer to the Question which was posted somewhere ^up^ there:

They were taken almost exactly 4 years apart.  Just a week or so off.



All information put on this site is gathered for the purpose of helping those affected by the fires find information.
 Information is gathered by word of mouth, and from other media sources.




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