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Ranger Al Updates


The latest updates are now found at www.firerecovery.com


Mon,10:30pm- T-Shirts are now available.  Order them on our Ranger Al Gear Page.  More items may come later.  Keep watching out.  Great Christmas Presents.  :)


Sun,11:30pm- If anyone has any video tape of the fires recorded from the TV News Programs, please let me know.  I have a firefighter who would like to use them for training purposes.  Thank you.
Sun, 9:00am- I'm back from my trip out of town.  Sorry I was gone so long. 

Two structures were damaged by fires this morning in the Job's Peak area of Cedar Pines Park today.  I'm not sure all the details on this fire at this point but 8 fire crews were sent in but 4 were called back before they arrived at the fire, so the fires must have been controlled.  More info a little later.  I will update you on everything a little later tonight. 

Thanks for being patient.  T-shirts are available now.  I will have a form up to order them via the website later tonight.  Or, if you happen to see Ranger Al or me on the mountain.  We will have them available.


Wed, 6:00pm- OK, here is the plan.  I am leaving right now to fly out of town.  I will be back for this weekends activities but will be busy at those activities.  So, I might not have any updates for the next couple days.  If anything major happens, I'll find a computer to update you with.  Remember, we need lots of peoples help this weekend. Mountain Friends and Neighbors event Fri-Sun.  Rim High event and parade Saturday Afternoon.  Come help out a neighbor who wasn't as fortunate as you were.  And look out for Ranger Al and I at the events.
Wed, 4:45pm-
For all those affected by the fires: State Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy would like to invite you to join with California State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and a panel of disaster relief experts at a Town Hall Meeting.
      • When: Thursday, November 20, 2003
      • Time: Noon to 2:00 pm
      • Where: Lake Arrowhead Resort

Those in attendance will receive advice on navigating the insurance process, obtaining financial relief, and guidance on working with licensed contractors.

For more information, call the experts at 1-800-HELP

Or visit www.insurance.ca.gov

Wed, 9:30am- There are multiple events this weekend.  The event at Rim High from 1 to 3pm on Saturday includes a parade from Rim High down to the Village.  The parade will pass right by the Mountain Friends and Family event at the Presbyterian church which will be going on all weekend.  These events could use your financial and volunteer support.  I also am looking for some individuals to volunteer to help raise money for victims by selling Ranger Al T-Shirts this weekend.  Anyone interested, please contact Amy at amy-fire@fireupdate.com.
Tues, 8:30pm- The Green Running Bear event that was mentioned earlier has some new details.  Click here for more information.  It will be held on Saturday, November 29, 2003.
Tues, 5:20pm- Remember, we need volunteers for our Mountain Friends and Neighbors Event this weekend.  Please help out if you can.
Tues, 4:00pm- FEMA is opening a "Local Assistance Center" for the Mountain Communities.  They will be located at 415 Club House Way at the Alpine Camp and Conference Center.  The purpose of the center is to assist the survivors of the Old Fire with any problems or issues that they may be facing.  The hours will be:

Monday-Friday 9am-7pm
Saturday- 9am-4pm
Closed Sunday

In addition, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will be in the office to assist business owners.  For further information, contact FEMA at:1-800-462-7538

BTW, on an unrelated topic.  I have received multiple informative emails from one or two people that I have not been successful at replying to because or their email spam software or possibly their email box being too full.  I want these people to know that I have received and do appreciate the information they send but I get an error message back every time I try to reply to them.  Thank you for continuing to send info.  I'm sure you know who you are.  :)

Tues, 2:00am- Fireupdate.com started just 3 weeks ago this morning.  Is it just me or does it seem that It's been a lot longer then that.
Tues, 1:45am- A group of San Bernardino Old Fire victims are starting to meet on a regular basis for mutual emotional support and to share resources and information. They are following the lead of the Fallbrook fire victims of two years ago and several other burnt out communities that have created similar groups over the years.

They will be having representative from some of these groups at the meeting next week and will schedule other appropriate speakers for subsequent meetings.

The Calvary Baptist Church at 3701 Sierra Way, SB CA 92405 has generously donated their facility to host these meetings. Their church burnt down a couple of years ago and they recently finished rebuilding so they understand what the victims go through. Their phone number is 909-882-2564.

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday November 29 at 3PM.  Anyone who has had fire damage are free to join the group. If you know anyone who has had fire damage, please tell them so every victim may benefit from our experiences.

I was amazed at how helpful this first meeting was in answering direct questions about what is happening in these first weeks after the disaster.  Everyone met others in their neighborhood that have the same insurance company and started comparing notes on how their claims are being handled.

Tues, 1:30am- Have you been wanting to help the victims of the fire and wondered how you can get involved?  Help on a personal level with the new Adopt-a-fire-family program.  Find out more about it here.
Tues, 1:00am- Residents of Green Valley Lake, Running Springs and Arrowbear:  There is an event just for you scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2003 at 2:00 pm.  It conveniently called the "Green Running Bear 2003" Event.  Attendees should bring an appetizer, dessert, or beverage to the event, enough for 10 to 15 people at least. (Please be creative and be prepared to share your recipe.) The Planning Committee is working with the local businesses to obtain food, drink, items for the raffles, etc. Paper products (plates, utensils, cups, napkins) have already been graciously donated. More information will be distributed as it becomes available.

Games and special activities for children are being planned in order to keep the children entertained and to allow the adults a chance to meet their neighbors. Crayons, paper, poster board, safety scissors, etc. are needed.  Please send an email to Kathy Barajas at k.barajas@verizon.net if you are able to provide any of these supplies. 

In order to plan for an event of this magnitude, we need to determine an approximate count of attendees. Please email Kathy indicating how many people will be attending. Please provide a separate count of children ages 12 and under.

I'll post more info on this event when I know more.

Photo of home on Valley View Rd in Crestline by John T McIntosh

Mon, 5:00pm- I posted a Fire Story in our News Section that has a before and after picture of a victim's home.  It's worth the read.  If you have a story to tell, please email me at dacy@firerecovery.com.

Help victims of the fire by donating your time or money to the Mountain Friends and Neighbor's Event this weekend.

Mon, 4:30pm- Our Ranger Al Gear is well on its way to being ready.  A special thanks to Travis Hanson for creating the logos and graphics.  He did a great job.  Check out one of his awesome creations on our Ranger Al Gear Page.
Mon, 10:00am- I have a lot to add to the site.  I will be adding it all later this afternoon/evening.  Please be patient.
Sun, 9:00am-
The Mountain Friends and Neighbors Event is going along great!  Thank you so much for your donations and support.  We are no longer accepting clothing for the event, with the exception of winter apparel (snow boots, warm coats, etc.)
We do however, need volunteers desperately to help with organizing, shopping etc.
Volunteers are able to help starting today after 12:00  and Mon-Thurs. 10am-4pm, with the 'big event' being Fri.-Sun. from 9-4.  We will need lots of help tearing down on Monday.

I've had a lot of people ask me to put a current picture up of Ranger Al so they can put a face with the name.  I just so happen to have a picture from an interview that we did to be aired this Thursday.  So, I'll post it.


Sat, 7:30am- The Press-Enterprise has an article in today's paper promoting the Friends and Neighbors event next week. If you haven't heard about the event yet, Please read it.
Sat, 2:30am- OK,  for all those who want to know about the major life event that happens to me today click here.  You'll have to read some history and stuff about me so if you aren't really interested, just click on News and Information and read more about the fires.
Fri, 8:30pm- I am back from the mountain.  Boy did I have a busy day today.  I'll fill you in on the details tomorrow.  I have a major life event happening this weekend.  I will give you all the details tomorrow.  Have a good Friday Night and be ready for a bunch of events coming up in the next week and beyond.
Fri, 10:15pm-

I have to go up the mountain today for an event.  I will update you when I get back.  I'd like to thank everyone who has been sending me pictures and information.  Without you this page wouldn't exist.


Thu, 9:45pm- I have received many an email from people wondering where they can meet Ranger Al.  So I put up a page of events that Ranger Al is planning on attending.
Thu, 9:30pm- If you have a 2nd home or Cabin that you are willing to rent out to a victim at a discounted rate, or if you are a victim that needs a home please visit our housing section.  Furnished homes are especially needed.
Thu, 8:45pm- I have added a legal information section to the site.  For legal information please click here.
Thu, 6:30pm- The Rim of the World Masonic Lodge in collaboration with local non-profit organizations is launching a reforestation project.  Read about it here.
Thu, 9:30am- Forecast:
    High / Low Precip %
Today- Partly Cloudy 52°/37° 10%
Friday- Partly Cloudy 53°/37° 0%
Saturday- Partly Cloudy 53°/35° 10%
Sunday- Mostly Sunny 55°/35° 20%


Thu, 9:00am- Just as the roads are all opening up for travel on the mountain after the fires, we close some again for because of the weather.  Some mountain roads were only open to those with chains and/or 4 wheel drives early this morning. Read about more weather related news in our news section.
Wed, 6:00pm-

Helicopters Loading Up at Rim High School


Wed, 11:30am- I have been adding new articles to the News and Information section. 
Tue, 7:45pm- The Ranger Al Gear (T-shirts and stuff) are looking really good.  I'll have some at our upcoming events.  They'll be available soon.

I've been adding pictures and news stories to the page today.  Browse through the site and e-mail me if you would like to submit your own pictures or articles.

Tue, 5:00pm- Lost Pets.  If you have lost or found a pet, this is the page you need to read.

If you read any good fire or recovery related articles, please send me a link to it so I can post it on our News Page for others to read.  If you would like to write your own articles, please send me one and I'll set you up as a writer on the News Page.

Tue, 2:00pm- I posted some additional pictures from the Crestline / CPP / Cedar Glen area here.
Tue, 11:00am-

Just to give you an update on Website Stats-  We have had over 45,000 unique visitors to the site with over 7,000,000 Server hits.  Just yesterday we got over 75,000 page views.  So I would guess that a lot of people are interested in helping with FireRocovery.  Please visit our event pages and make arrangements to attend.

This car near hook creek wasn't burned but rather got too hot and melted.

The San Bernardino County Health Department still has disposal bins for rotten food disposal in the following areas:

·         Mountain Disposal Yard, 988 Old Waterman Canyon Rd., Crestline

·         Valley of Enchantment Elementary School, 22836 Fir Lane, Valley of Enchantment

·         Lake Gregory Regional Park south shore parking lot on San Moritz Drive at Lake Gregory Drive

·         Lake Gregory Elementary School, 24689 San Moritz, Lake Gregory

·         Crestline Chamber of Commerce, 24385 Lake Drive, east of Lake Gregory Drive

·         Valero gas station in Rim Forest

·         Jensons Blue Jay Market parking lot

·         Lake Arrowhead Village 1: upper parking lot

·         Lake Arrowhead Village 2: lower parking lot

·         Lake Arrowhead Community Hospital

·         Arrowbear Lake on Arrowbear Drive

·         Highway 18 in Running Springs in front of Calvary Chapel

Running Springs Sheriff’s Department Office on Hunsaker Drive

·         Hoffman Elementary School, Running Springs School Road

Tue, 10:15am- The Mountain Friends and Neighbor event is officially scheduled for November 21-23 from 9am-4pm at the Lake Arrowhead Community Presbyterian Church.  They will have a donation station available prior to the event.  For directions or drop off points Click here.
Tue, 8:45am- It was nice to actually sleep on a Monday evening this week.  2 weeks ago on Monday Night I created www.fireupdate.com and last week on Monday Night I created www.firerecovery.com.  I am happy to say that I didn't create any websites last night.  :)  I think I'm busy enough as it is.  But it did make me think about my future a little bit. (Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, I'll be here)  If anyone has a need for a happy, hard-working, honest, and very knowledgeable new recruit for your organization, contact me.  I'd love to have a real job one of these days.  :) (Not that I don't love doing what I'm doing)

San Bernardino and Lake Arrowhead Sign Burned on the Crestline Bridge.

Mon, 8:30pm- I went up the mountain again today and took some more pictures.  I wont be going back anytime soon so I'll keep you updated a little better.

Highway 18 was open today from Cliffhanger East up past Santa's Village.  Santa's Village is now Edison's Central Control Center.

Santa's Village as the Mobile Command Center for Edison

I'll post some pictures first thing in the morning.

I thought I'd share a song that was sent to me by Betsy Cowan:

(To the tune of "Smokey the Bear")

Thanks, Ranger Al

With a Ranger’s heart and GPS and clipboard on his knees,
You can't see him takin’ backroads checkin’ addresses and trees.
But your heart rests so much easier, just knowin’ that he’s there
He’s Ranger Al, the mountain’s pal. We love you ‘cause you care.

Thanks, Ranger Al, You are the best
Posting all the updates, yes, you put our fears to rest.
We will not forget you and what you did each day.
You're forever in our gratitude - three cheers: hip, hip, hooray!

He checked the Old Fire nightly, before he went to sleep
He prayed for God to save our homes, our way of life to keep.
And the Man Upstairs was listening because his heart was pure.
Yes, we are back in action and we know we will endure!

Thanks, Ranger Al, You are the best
Posting all the updates, yes you put our fears to rest.
We will not forget you and what you did each day.
You're forever in our gratitude - three cheers: hip, hip, hooray!

So let's not forget the lessons that we learned these past few days.
And let's not let all the memories just fade into the haze.
Ranger Al has showed us how to live, to care for neighbors, too.
And love one another, it's the right thing to do!

Thanks, Ranger Al, You are the best.
Posting all the updates, yes you put our fears to rest.
We will not forget you and what you did each day.
You're forever in our gratitude - three cheers: hip, hip, hooray!


Mon, 11:15am- I will be adding new fundraising information and more pictures to the site soon.  We are working on a lot of different stuff right now.
Sun, 7:00pm- The "Mountain Friends and Neighbors" Group had their first planning meeting yesterday and started to organize their upcoming activities.  They would be a great organization to donate to.  Read more about them here
Sun, 9:30am-

Good Morning.  I'm going up the mountain again today.  Anyone who has information on fundraisers or other events on the mountain, please email me at dacy@firerecovery.com and I will post the information.

Current Stats

Acre's- 91,281
Containment- 93%
Cost- $35,924,297
Fatalities- 6
Injuries- 6
Buildings Damaged- 35
Homes Destroyed- 993
Business Destroyed- 10
Personnel- 912

Sat, 8:30pm- I sure hope that everyone is planning on helping in one of our upcoming events.  Keep watching here for more information and volunteer sign ups.

By the way, for a report on roads.  I traveled up Highway 18 today to Crestline.  They have long term "cones" blocking the outside lanes so there is only one lane going each way.  Up near the High School, they were putting in new guard rails today.

Mailboxes near homes in Waterman Canyon

Sat, 6:30pm- I've posted some pictures up here.  I'll try to get more up later.
Sat, 6:00pm- I'm Back.  Wow.  First trip up the mountain since the fires.  Incredible!  It's quite interesting to actually see everything that I've been reporting on for the last couple weeks.  I've got some pictures to post, and I will soon.  Wow,  lots of emails from being gone so long.  I'll get back with you in a bit.
Sat, 10:15am- I am going up the mountain today for the first time since the fires.  I will be back later this afternoon with lots of pictures and stories.
Sat, 9:15 am- Highway 330 is now open 24 hours a day but it still under police escort.
Fri, 6:15 pm- Highway 18 is open up to 138 in Crestline as of 7pm tonight.  It is open for the public and not just to residents.  Highway 18 from Highway 138 near Crestline all they way to Running Springs is still closed.  Have a fun drive.  :)

I asked someone on a date tonight.  I hope she remembers me.  :)  I will be spending time with my wife tonight.  I will be back here in the morning.  Thank you for supporting our new events we have scheduled.

I may visit the mountain tomorrow.  I hope they let me up.

Here's another picture from E4485 and Barry Rudolf

Jupiter Road

Willow Road - Sky Forest.

Fri, 4:00 pm- I just wanted to share this recent email with you:

"Just to say THANK YOU for all your effort and sleeplessness during and now after the fire. We came home to our house in Rim Forest still standing. The fire burned up to the foundation of our home. We opened the screen door and found a note that read "Welcome Home! Your house was saved courtesy of the Santa Rosa fire department!!! WOW!!"   -The Lanes

If anyone knows a Silk-screening shop that will help donate their time to produce Charity T-shirts / Hats, please let me know.  dacy@firerecovery.com

Fri, 2:00 pm- The goal for Highway 18 is to have it open by Saturday Morning.  So, it very well could be open sometime before 10am tomorrow.
Fri, 11:00 am- The most asked question I get by email right now is "Is Highway 18 open?" or "When will it open?"  Just to let you all know.  I'm not sure.  But you've got to know me by now.  I'll tell you the minute I know.

San Bernardino Mountains- October 2003

Fri, 10:45 am- I have put together a "News and Information" page for select people to write stories or news etc.  Anyone interested in writing can submit an article to me at dacy@firerecovery.com and I will help set you up as a writer.
Fri, 10:00 am- Wow!  I slept in for the first time in 2 weeks.  Then I spent some time with my family this morning before I came down here.  We've got some good events being planned.  I received many emails from people about wanting to volunteer.  I'll try to reply to most of them, but in the mean time, Please feel free to visit the events and volunteer for the specific event.  Mountain Friends and Neighbors "Garage Sale" Event - Mountain Kids Dinner / Dance
Fri, 1:07 am- I'm going home early tonight.  Good night.
Thur, 7:15 pm- Good news.  In talking to all our sources we couldn't find any more homes to add to "The List".  So, It's getting to be pretty complete.  If anyone out there finds errors on it, please let me know.  Here is a breakdown by area of our results so far.  Information was gathered from the County Assessors Office, Sheriff's Office and the Joint Information Center.
  Structures Destroyed Structures Damaged
Lytle Creek 12 9
Rancho Cucamonga 2 8
Upland 7 12
San Bernardino 450 240
Crestline 5 7
Cedar Glen 452 0
Cedarpines Park 14 0
Alta Loma 8 9
Waterman Canyon 61 2
Verdemont 3 3
Sawpit Canyon 3 0
Arrowhead Highland 7 4
Fontana 0 3
Skyland 34 5
Summit Valley 2 4
  1060 306


Thur, 6:45 pm- K,  I'm just finishing up with a big project.  I will launch it later tonight.  Thanks for bearing with me.  It will be worth it. 

No News on Highway 18 yet.  I will let you know

Thur, 4:00 pm- Sorry, no update for a while.  Been busy planning events.  Thanks for being patient.  All the post offices are receiving mail now, so the temporarily offices have been closed.

They still have a lot of animals at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville.  Contact (530)622-9313 

Thanks to Barry Rudolph for these Pictures and Stories.

The crews from Engines 4485 and Engine 4471 after the Cliffhanger Restaurant save.

"We arrived on Saturday October 25, 2003 on the Playground Fire on CDF order number BDU-11471. The Old Fire made a run to the top past Highway 18 early Sunday Morning near Great View Drive. We began structure protection along Great View Road, Rock View Rd, Skyland Dr, Saturn Dr, Neptune Dr, and Jupiter Dr. later that day we moved back east along Crest Forest Rd, and worked the Cliffhanger Restaurant.  We worked the next 5 days on the mountain in various areas including Sky Forest, Cedar Glen and Devils Canyon Rd to Sawpit Creek Ranch."   -Barry Rudolph  STL 9442C (Tuolumne Calaveras Unit)


Once we got our engines set up and in position, we lost no houses to the fire. Those that burned in our area were already involved upon our arrival. In one case on Skyland Drive, we (E4475) made a stop on a partially involved structure with assistance from E-91 from San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Thur, 12:45 pm- Note from my wife-

To all of you who have sent a note to the kids and me, thank you for your support.  I must have needed the encouragement because your kind words brought tears to my eyes.  I am grateful that Dacy has been of service to you. All and our children are aware of the good their Daddy and Papa Al are doing.  We are thankful for this opportunity to serve and hope and pray that life for everyone impacted by these fires will be bolstered continually and return to some semblance of normalcy as quickly as possible.  With love and prayers, Amy and the kids

Thur, 12:30 pm- Fire information Meeting in San Bernardino.  The location for this meeting is Calvary Baptist Church, 3701 Sierra Way, San Bernardino, CA 92405 - call 882-2564 or visit www.calvarysbdo.org for more information.
Thur, 12:00 pm- I'm still working on some stuff.  We have a lot of good events planned.  We'll be announcing them real soon as we finalize things.  I've updated some info on the Cedar Glen Area.
Thur, 9:30 am- If you need Insurance Information or contact numbers we have begun building our Insurance Section.  I am still in need of an "expert" in insurances to answer questions.

Also, if you consider yourself knowledgeable on any subject that would help the the victims, please contact me.  Soliciting Business for yourself or for others as an expert is not allowed.

Burned home in Skyland Area.  Photo by John T McIntosh

Thur, 8:45 am- Good Morning.  I'm back.  I'll have info for you shortly.
Thur, 3:00 am- The number of Structures destroyed is now estimated at over 1000 for the old fire.  993 homes and 10 commercial properties.

Done for the night.  Going home.

Thur, 12:00 am- I created some new maps on the map page as well as added 146 new addresses to the Newest List of Damaged homes.  More coming soon.
Wed, 7:45 pm- K,  I didn't ignore you or even leave you.  I just replied to about 200 emails.  As long as I don't get 200 more, I'll be able to get some stuff done that I've been wanting to do.  I may be contacting more of you about volunteering tonight.  We've got some good stuff planed.  I'll be updating the websites tonight.

Another thing-  My wife and kids think I have abandoned them.  I set up an email address so you can tell them thank you for me.  I call them all the time and thank them for understanding that I've been busy this week, but maybe it'll be a nice surprise for a special thank you to come in from one of you.  Please don't expect a response, my wife has a full time job (raising my 3 kids) and doesn't have time to reply to 2500 people like I have this week.  The address is amy-fire@fireupdate.com

Just a repeat of below- The whole mountain is open to residents now including Cedar Glen.

Wed, 3:30 pm- If you own a cabin near a burn zone, you can help out by renting (or donating) your cabin to a family that lost their home while they rebuild.  Contact your real estate agent if this is possible.  Also if you send info to me I can get the word out.
Wed, 3:00 pm- This article was found today.  It's just a tad wrong.  It says that we get 18,000 hits a day.  We get that many hits by 6:30 am, every morning, but, anywho, back to better things.
Wed, 2:45 pm- Updates from Crestline- Goodwin's is open normal hours and is fully staffed. They received their shipment of vegetables, dairy, meat and frozen foods and are restocking, but almost everything is available for purchase..

The 7-11 in town is open and pumping gas. I have no information on Ultramar--er, Valero at this point.

Mountain Disposal is on normal schedule for areas accessible by their trucks. They now pick up 5 cans a week instead of 3. (This change occurred before the fires, but not everybody noticed it on their bill.) I was unable to reach Heap's Peak landfill, so I don't know whether there is any damage there or when they will reopen.

Charter Cable is going section-by-section and repairing lines. They have a lot of damage, and don't have an ETA. From the sound of it, they may be turning it on one neighborhood at a time as they get the lines working. The signal is from down the hill, and the office burned in Rimforest has NO impact on operations.

Crestline Water District has talked to the health department and has confirmed that NO special preparation is needed to drink the water. Rumors that you have to boil the water in Crestline Water District areas are FALSE.

The Crestline Post Office is open normal hours and is processing tons of mail. It looks like they're getting everything for Crestline--with no more being delivered to Norton. They ask that residents check their mail daily for a couple of weeks, since a full mailbox makes it hard for them to stuff mailboxes efficiently.

Photo by John T McIntosh

Wed, 2:30 pm- Cedar Glen is open to residents now.
Wed, 2:25 pm- Many credit card companies and other companies have waived payments for a month or two who lost income due to being evacuated.  It can't hurt to ask.
Wed, 2:15 pm- Charter Communications will be at their same location (in a temporary building due to the fire burning down their old building) to handle their costumers questions and concerns.  They are working on putting up temporary internet access points in different locations around the mountain for residents to use high-speed internet for free.
Wed, 12:15 pm- I just got off the phone with Tim Watkins from Caltrans and he confirmed that Highway 330 will be opening for residents of Running Springs area at certain times of the day.  Those going up the hill open from 5pm-7:30pm by police escort.  Those going down the hill open from 5am-7:30am by police escort.  Additional Traffic is still not allowed.
Wed, 11:45 am- The Pass system is no longer being used for access to the mountain.  You still need proof of residency to get past the checkpoints.  Throw those ugly old passes away!  :)
Wed, 11:00 am- !00% Containment has been achieved this morning!  Total cost: $32,584,000.  It burned 91,281 acres.

Running Springs and areas around (Arrowbear, GVL) can get to their homes by way of Big Bear.

Red Cross and Salvation Army has moved from the Airport to the Orange Show Fairgrounds.  The Temporary Post office is still at the Airport.  Some Post Offices in the Mountains are already open.  Crestline being one of them.

I am still in need of some people to help organize events.  I've got lots of volunteers but not as many people willing to really put some time into it and help organize.  Email me if you can.

By the way, Ranger Al is down the mountain right now.  Can you believe it.  He's up there when everyone's down the mountain,  Now everyone goes up and he comes down!  What a nut.  Is he afraid of everyone or something?  lol, actually he's taken some elderly people down to the hospital.   He'll be back up soon.

Special thanks to the many firefighters who risked their lives to save many homes like this one.


Wed, 10:30 am- I'm still busy replying to emails.  One email just suggested that cell phone companies allow you do donate your minutes to other people who helped out in an emergency.  Coming from someone that used thousands of minutes on a couple of different phones, I think that would be a great idea.  But something like that would be hard to set up. Oh well,  good idea.

I like to read and I'm sure others do to about your returns home.  Post them in the RIMhigh.com forums, so we can hear about your experiences.

Wed, 8:45 am- I really love the many "thankings" I get but for today, If you could post those in the RIMhigh.com forums, I will still get to read them but they wont add to my inbox problems today.  Thanks
Wed, 8:30 am- Good Morning.  My email box is now at 400 emails.  I know that I will not be able to get these done any time soon.  I need sort through them and start prioritizing the list a bit.  I'm really sorry, I want to answer everyone but It is looking worse and worse at this point. 

Photo by John T. McIntosh

If you haven't checked this out yet, please check it out.


Tues, 11:15 pm- I am extremely beat right now.  Making the new website last night took a long time.  I think I'm going to call it an early night tonight.  I'm sorry but I still have 266 emails in my inbox but I'm not thinking straight at this point so I will need to be going home soon.  Volunteers- I will be contacting you tomorrow.
Tues, 8:55 pm- I have listed here the latest FIREupdate list of homes that were destroyed or damaged in the fires.  Ranger Al sends his deepest sympathies to those who were effected.



Tues, 8:30 pm- I will be posting the most up to date list of homes destroyed momentarily.  Give me a couple seconds to finalize it.
Tues, 4:45 pm- I am really busy answering emails.  I will try to get to you all tonight.  I have over 350 right now still in my box.  Please be patient.
Tues, 4:45 pm- I'm back.  I told you it'd be quick.  Here's a press release from our friends at Edison. Click here


Tues, 3:30 pm-

I have to leave really quick to go get my buddy from the airport.  I feel so bad about it.  I think this is the first time in a week that I'm leaving my computer (other then at night).  Hmmm.  I guess I didn't leave it last night. :(  I promise I'll be back.  It's only 20 minutes away so it'll be less then an hour and I'll be back informing you of the latest.  And remember to definitely check back tonight for my burn report updates.  -I'm thinking between 7-9pm or so.

Tues, 3:15 pm- Electricity reported on on Lassen Dr. and on Crown drive but not on 1200 Yosemite.

Here's another Web cam of the Crestline area

Tues, 1:15 pm- Burn Reports-  I will have a whole bunch of new and accurate information to report to you later tonight.  For those of you who have been asking for information about your properties, I will have a more complete list and hopefully will be able to confirm the status of your homes.  I thought I would have it sooner but it will take a little longer than I thought.  More information to come.

For all of you volunteers.  I will be contacting you either tonight or tomorrow morning.  If you are able to start tomorrow with some stuff to do, that would be great.  More info to come.

Did you vote yet?  Remember today is Election day.  Go Vote!!!  Call 1-800-881-8683 for more info.

Tues, 12:00pm- Electricity was restored to at least one home on Golden Rule (by the Elementary School) about 10am today.

Remember that today is Election day.  Mountain voters can vote at 777 East Rialto or at the Norton Evacuation center.  Call these numbers for more info  800-881-8683  387-8300

There's no snow or anything on Hwy 138 up the backside to Crestline.  Clouds are gently rolling in.  Might rain tomorrow.

Tues, 11:35am- Here is a link to a web cam that is up in the Top Town area of Crestline.  There is also some other information if you are interested.
Tues, 10:35am- We are getting an astounding amount of response from everyone about the Recover Effort.  I thought I had a lot of emails before!  :)  This is going to be really nice.  We are discussing our first major event now.  When we have some details hammered out, we'll post them.
Tues, 10:30am- Power Report

We have had contact with people spread over the mountain, some with power and others without.

Some homes in Valley of Enchantment, Top Town Crestline, Lake Gregory, Twin Peaks, and the Lower homes in Cedar Pines Park have reported power on.  I'm getting lots of emails from the Running Springs and Lake Arrowhead areas about power still being out. 

Ron Ferree, the Southern California Edison director of grid operations said, "Our crews will be replacing everything: poles, wire, cable, transformers, switches, circuit breakers.  They’ll be doing this in areas with limited access though rough terrain while working in very cold conditions.  At the same time, they’ll need to watch out for smoldering trees, which could split and fall on them or our equipment."

"We’ll work as quickly as we can to get them energized,” said Ferree.  “We appreciate their patience while we perform a difficult task under trying conditions.”

Tues, 9:00am- The LA times had a good article in it today.  :)  Check for the article called "For Fire News, It's Ranger Al"
Tues, 8:45am- I've had a couple questions come up.  Someone asked if we won't be doing regular posts now that we are in recovery mode.  We will definitely keep doing these posts.  I have over 20,000 friends that I need to keep updated.  :)  The new Recovery Structure will keep us more organized.  It's going to take a bunch of us to make this work. 
Tues, 6:30am-

Good Morning.

Current Stats

Acre's- 91,281
Containment- 93%
Cost- $28,900,000
Deaths- 6
Injuries- 6
Buildings Damaged- 35
Homes Destroyed- 993
Business Destroyed- 10
Personnel- 2,998

As I went through your hundreds of emails yesterday and saw your reaction to my Sunday 9pm post I was very happy to see how many people were willing to help out in different ways for the recovery.  There were tons of ideas and obvious experience in what I was reading.  I thought of this large group of neighbors so willing to help each other out.  Then I thought of all the different charitable organizations out there that help out as well.  But there's just something about neighbors helping neighbors.  So I decided to change my thinking a bit and start thinking about Recovery instead of just Updates on Fires.  After all, the fires are almost gone.  I think we can make a huge difference in this recovery process and maybe even in this world if we get back to the neighbor help neighbor ideals.

There are plenty of organizations out there that accept donations and distribute those donations. I don't want to mess with having to deal with that sort of thing.  Let's let the experts in money handling take care of that.  But we can decide what our neighbors need and then aim our donations accordingly to those existing charities.  We have over 20,000 unique visitors regularly to this site.  Let's all make a huge difference and act in this time to help our neighbors along side of those organizations that are set up for that type of thing.  Let's not sit back and do nothing while others do the work.  I want to get my shoes dirty. 

I created a new website last night. My last website (and my first real website) lasted a wild wild week, but it's time to move on.  Please provide ideas and suggestions these are just some of my ideas.  It's a lot work but it's worth it.  Let's go to Fire Recovery Mode.

Photo by Mike Bates


Tues, 12:30am-

Everyone have a good night.  I'll have some stuff for you in the morning.

Mon, 9:30pm- I am redesigning the site from a fire status page to more of a fire recovery page.  But I will keep all the old information on the site for reference. 

If you have pictures that you would like to share, please send them to me and I'll try to find somewhere to share them.

I'm also looking for some individuals to donate some time and help me write articles on the clean up effort. If you are serious in wanting to spend time doing this, contact me

Mon, 9:15pm- If you are planning on lighting a fire in your fire place tonight the authorities would like to remind you to only burn wood.  Also, check your fireplace before you start your fire.

Burned- Burnt mill road, north of Mojave River Road- 1 small cabin burned - south, all ok

Weather in Crestline- Heavy Fog, Light drizzle,  36° F

Current Stats

Acre's- 91,281
Containment- 93%
Cost- $28,900,000
Deaths- 6
Injuries- 6
Buildings Damaged- 35
Homes Destroyed- 993
Business Destroyed- 10
Personnel- 2,998

Growth potential of the fire is very low

The Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman visited the Command Post today.

Mon, 9:00pm- It has been a crazy week.  I just realized it was Monday today.  I'm going to go on a quick rant for a second.  It has nothing to do with the fires so if you are looking for news go ahead and scroll down to the next post. 

Last Monday, The fires were very active and burning everywhere it seems.  Evacuations had been going on for a while already.  My dad, who's always been a great example of service to others had begun his job of keeping people informed of the fires.  He kept hundreds of friends and family informed by phone.  The problem, I wanted to talk to him and the phone was busy all day long!  So I thought, why don't we set up a system where instead of him having to repeat himself to everyone he knows, he informs one person and that person distributes it.  I thought it was a brilliant innovative idea until I realized that that concept dated back to the stone age.  But, back on point, later that evening I decided to start a webpage to get that information out to family and friends.  Thus I registered the name FIREupdate.com.

I never imagined that one decision would effect so many people.  Here are some stats for the last week:

Server Hits- 5,568,790
Server changes to handle the load- 4
Emails Received and returned- 2,118
Emails Received Yet to be Returned- 183
Minutes used on my cell phone- 2,218
Interviews with Newspapers- 6
Interviews with Magazines- 2
Interviews with Radio Stations- 4
Anonymous pizzas delivered to me- 1
(I still have no idea how they knew where I was)
Times I thought I should get into the Media business- 2
Times I kicked myself for thinking that- 2
Emails I received saying that I stink at being a reporter- 15
Times I thought I should get into the Web design business- 3
Emails I received from someone who thought I was the fire chief- 3
Friends I didn't know I had- 22,312 
(unique visitors to the site)
Sleep- Sleep?  What's that?

Thank you everyone for a really good week!




Mon, 6:45pm- New updates in the Burn Reports for Cedar Glen- 180 Glen Avon had a tree fall on it but didn't burn, 299 Alder is ok, 296 was destroyed but there is a green vehicle in front of it that is ok., 522 Maple is ok.
Mon, 5:45pm- You can pick up your pass for the mountain at the San Bernardino Airport, at the park at the base of the mountain or you can drive right up to hwy 138 and they will give you one on the road near the 138 / 173 intersection.  You will need proof of residency such as a drivers license or utility bill.

Remember, we evacuated the entire mountain with absolutely no accidents or injuries.  Let's try to do the same thing in going back.  Drive Safely.

Mon, 4:45pm- If you are planning on going up the mountain, Remember to fill your tank before you come.  Bring some Groceries.  Gas Stations and Grocery stores, if they are open, could be busy and have limited supply.

Expect the power to be out.  Although in Some areas of Crestline and VOE I have reports that power is on.  Job's Peak area has no power.  Again expect power to be off.  It is very foggy and cold.  You may want to wait until it is daylight. 

Those of you who find your home still standing when you get there, think of the others who aren't so lucky.  I am going to have some fundraising information up on the site later tonight.  Let's make a difference.

Mon, 4:15pm- Remember, you need to get a mountain area pass from a local evacuation center in order to enter the mountain area.  Highways 18 and 330 is closed, you must go up Highway 138 to get to the Crestline Area.

Mandatory Evacuations- Cedar Glen, East of 173, North of Hook Creek Road is still closed.

Voluntary Evacuations- Waterman Canyon, Lake Gregory, Crestline, Valley of Enchantment, Cedar Pines Park, Crest Forest, Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Green Valley Lake, Arrowbear, Twin Peaks, Rim Forest, Blue Jay and surrounding areas.  Passes needed in these areas.

Open to the public- Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Fawnskin, Moonridge, Woodlands, Angelus Oaks, Forest Falls.

Ranger Al standing with Malt Shop owners Bob and Peggy Magurean, their daughter Tammy Ramsey and grandchildren David and Patrick.  The malt shop will be open later this week.


Mon, 3:55pm- The mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for the whole mountain area except for the burn areas in Cedar Glen listed in the last post.   Parts of Crestline have electricity.

This includes:  Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Twin peaks, Rim Forest, Blue Jay and surrounding areas.

You need to still have a pass.  Get it from any evacuations center.

Highways 18 and 330 down to the San Bernardino area are still closed.

It is very cold.  Actively snowing in some areas and very foggy in others.

Mon, 3:15pm- The entire area is now open except for parts of the Cedar Glen area.  East of 173, North of Hook Creek Road is still closed.  More info in a second.  Highway 138 is open or Hwy 18 from Lucerne Valley.  Highway 18 from San Bernardino is still closed.
Mon, 2:00pm- It's amazing what a press pass does.  The CHP officers just waved Ranger Al past the road block.  How did he get through?  Geoffrey Mohan of the Los Angeles Times while driving Ranger Al around flashed his press pass to the officers.  (Nobody tell Ranger Al, he thinks the CHP let him through because they like him.)

Contacting the LA TIMES to thank them would be appreciated.  At this time of day, we wont be able to get too much done before dark but we will try, we have a ton of addresses to check. 

Another note- This is only for today.  He will not be able to get trough again.  Any other members of the press who want to hang out with Ranger Al for the day tomorrow can contact me.  He will give you the story of his life if you get him through the road blocks.

The owners of the ever so famous malt shop in Cedar Glen say they will be ready to open as early as Thursday.

Mon, 1:30pm- I've got a lot of responses about the fundraising events.  I am putting all those emails in my stack of fundraiser stuff and will get back to you later.  It sounds like we have an army of great fundraisers.  This can turn into a huge thing if we pull all together on this.

I'm getting an unusually large amount of email today.  I might not be able to get back to everyone but I will try.  Don't think I'm rude if I just answer with a quick yes or no or another brief answer.  I'll chit chat with you all another time.  Well......  I don't know about you all.  Over 25,000 unique visitors so far.  That would be quite a feat!

Putting a brief summary in the subject line of your email would help me organize a bit too.

Mon, 1:15pm- I've been on the phone trying to find charities that are able to handle the volume of donations that they could get if I make them the official charity of Fireupdate.com.  Just so you know what I am looking for, I will only support a charity that 100% of the donations will help the cause.  I don't want to pay administration costs, etc.  I think we have 2 different needs.  The first being immediate attention.  This is supporting the families with temporary needs right now.  Offering food, shelter information and toys for the kids.  Then the longer term needs like helping with clean up and rebuilding their lives.  If you have suggestions on specific charities, please contact me and put CHARITY SUGGESTION in the subject line of your email.  I have also heard suggestions that we create a "Ranger Al" foundation so we can oversee the support ourselves.  I don't know anything about that so that is a long shot at this point

Ranger Al has teamed up with Geoffrey Mohan of the Los Angeles Times and is attempting to get into burn areas.  We will keep you informed.

Mon, 12:05pm- Cedar Fire is 99% Contained.  I'm so glad most of the fires are under control.
Mon, 12:00pm- School will start again on Monday November 17 for the Rim School District, not November 12 which has been listed on the school website.  Ya get good and fast info here.  :)  Counseling will be available.

Teachers should contact their administrative staff leader.  Contact numbers on the school website at http://www.rimsd.k12.ca.us/

All staff meeting for teachers, counselors, and other staff at Rim High November 12-14 at 8am.

District Administration Staff met today and will meet again on Wed and Friday this week planning the openings including new bus routes for burn areas.  Watch here for more info.

SAT's will be rescheduled.  More information coming.

Elections will still be held on Tuesday.  Some of the Evacuation centers will be set up as voting areas.  Other areas will be posted here soon. School Board, Park and Recreation, Crest forest Fire District and Community college district items are some of the items on the ballet.

Mon, 11:47am- Big Bear area now open to the general public.

Remember, you need to get a mountain area pass from a local evacuation center in order to enter the mountain area.  Highway 18 is closed, you must go up Highway 138 to get to the Crestline Area.

Mandatory Evacuations- Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Green Valley Lake, Arrowbear, Twin Peaks, Rim Forest, Blue Jay and surrounding areas.

Voluntary Evacuations- Waterman Canyon, Lake Gregory and Parts of Crestline, (West of 189 at North Road extending along Highway 189 to Highway 18 at Lake Gregory Dr.) Valley of Enchantment, Cedar Pines Park and the Crest Forest Area.   Passes needed in these areas.

Expected to be lowered to Voluntary soon-  Twin Peaks, Rim Forest & Blue Jay

Open to the public-
Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Fawnskin, Moonridge, Woodlands, Angelus Oaks, Forest Falls.

Mon, 11:30am- Highway 18 is in pretty bad shape.  No official word as to when it will open.  but it will be a while still.
Mon, 10:30am- The SAT's that were scheduled for Mountain students will be rescheduled in the same location.  More info to come.  The District is meeting right now and will inform me of School District Information as soon they they are done.  :)  No worries I will immediately inform you.  See how that works.  :)
Mon, 9:45am- I've got this link sent to me a bunch to times today.  I finally clicked on it to see what it was.  Hey that's me!  :)  You may have to sign up in order to see it.
Mon, 9:38am- Ranger Al is still trying to get access to the closed areas.  Please contact the authorities, the media or your politicians to help get our services started back up.

Edison Reports that they still have 24,000 customers in the Crestline/Lake Arrowhead area still without electricity.  They have Damage Assessment teams driving around checking the whole network for downed poles or trees that would cause hazardous conditions.  They figure it will take at least another couple days to start the process of returning power to everyone.  They also say that it could be well over a week before power is restored to the whole network.

Bear Valley Electric in Big Bear had no fire related problems.  Everyone should have power.

Mon, 9:20am- Sometimes as we go through tragedies like this we forget to think about the people behind the scenes that help in the recovery.  Hundreds and Hundreds of men and women working for the companies like the gas and electric companies have worked non stop to get our services back up on the mountain.  Don't forget to thank them for their hard work and service. 
Mon, 9:15am- Gas is selling for $1.59 at the 7-11 in Crestline.
Mon, 8:45am- New Information discovered by FIREupdate.com- I've been hearing that the areas of Twin Peaks, Rim Forest and Blue Jay may open up soon.  Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs are still going to be a while.  I will keep you informed on this information.  Please do not Email me concerning the openings.  Believe me I will post it here the minute I know something.

Current Stats

Acre's- 91,281
Containment- 83%
Cost- $24,800,000
Deaths- 4
Buildings Damages
Homes Destroyed- 976
Business Destroyed- 10
Personnel- 4133

Homes was changed from 850 to 976 not because of newly burned homes but rather a re-assessment of the homes that were previously burned.  This according to Bernie Pineda, Fire Information Officer from the Joint Information Center.

Mon, 8:15am- Good Morning. New update momentarily.
Mon, 2:45am- K, I'm done.  I'm going home.  G'nite.
Mon, 2:00am- I'm going to call this the Law Enforcement Post

One of the questions I get asked most often is the question about looting.  I just wanted to post some information here to inform you about the preventative measures that are being taken to prevent it.  There are 30 active law enforcement vehicles patrolling the mountain areas.  Any vehicle seen traveling in a mandatory evacuation area is immediately pulled over and searched.  There has been 1 arrest so far and it had harsh punishment- Instant Remand - $500,000 Bail  Ouch!

Great Job everyone!  Just a little known fact about the evacuation.  We successfully evacuated the whole mountain last week without 1 injury or accident.

A couple more arrests were made on Sunday Night.  LOL.  Sorry I'm laughing but you'll see why in a second. 

One person was arrested after trying to run the barricade on Highway 18 at Waterman Canyon.  Comment- Where did this guy think he was going?  Its not like he would be hard to find if he would have made it through the barricade.  The only car on the highway!  LOL.

Another person was arrested stealing fire equipment.  This is the funny part.  He brought his own personal fire truck up the mountain and proceeded to fill the truck with any fire equipment he could find.  LOL.  I hope the cops that arrested him weren't normal guys driving around in their own personal police cars. 

It's 2 in the morning and I'm sitting in a quiet room by myself laughing my head off.  I hope this is as funny for you as it was for me.

Ranger Al should just drive his personal fire truck around.  There we go!  :)

Mon, 12:00am- I only have about 50 emails left for the night.  I'm going to finish those, give a final update for the night and then go to bed.  I am extremely tired.


Thank you to the hard working people of ESRI and the USDA Forest Service for this image.


Sun, 10:20pm- Wow, thank you everyone, the last hour I have receive many emails for people wanting to be involved in the project.  I can tell this will be a great thing.  I am going to put up a whole new fundraising section in the next few days.  Thank you for your support in this idea.
Sun, 9:00pm- I've been thinking of ways I can help these families as I get email after email from people needing confirmation of their homes in the Cedar Glen area.  I have had to personally tell a dozen or so people just today that they lost their homes and then mail them the photo proof.  I want to have a fund raiser.  I want to find what these people need the most and help supply them with it.  There are over 15,000 of you who get your news from this webpage.  Let's all join together and have a giant fund raising dinner.  Maybe we can organize service projects to help with the clean up.  I'm not sure exactly how to go about such an endeavor but we need to do it.  I am going to be thinking about how to organize such projects.  If any of you have any experience in this, please let me know.  Let's make a difference.

I'm hoping Ranger Al can go about his business tomorrow without being stopped again.  How many people had to live another 24 hours without knowing their fate because of the restrictions?

Sun, 7:30pm- I'm sitting here thinking about what it must feel like to be one of the thousands of people who don't have a home tonight because it burned down.  I'm imagining driving up to my street with my kids in my car and seeing for the first time the hole that used to be my families house.  I can't imagine how that must feel.  I read something today of some renters that lost their home.  Being renters they had no insurance to cover the loss of all their furniture and personal belongings.  Another family emailed me. They were out of town when the evacuation was ordered.  They didn't have a chance to pack up any special items, pictures or memories.

All over Southern California there are newly homeless people.  Well over 3000 homes.  That could be well over 10,000 people figuring that each home could have some children.  The thought saddens my heart that you can lose your whole life like that.  I am very sorry for everyone's losses tonight.

Sun, 7:00pm- Current Old Fire Stats:

Total area: 91,281 acres
Containment: 78% contained
Expected Containment- 11/8/03  6:00pm 
Total Cost to date- $24,036,743 
Total Homes Lost- 810
Total Homes Damages- 35
Commercial Properties Lost- 10

Lake Arrowhead and surrounding communities are still threatened.


Sun, 6:45pm- I just got off the phone with George Jubile from the Running Springs Fire Department and he reports that the fire continues to burn in the area but is still being kept low due to really low temperatures.  He suggests that residents might be able to come back into the area sometime in the next few days if things go well.

More info in a bit.

Sun, 4:45pm- About a 1 hour wait at the bottom of 138 right now.  Too bad we didn't have fireupdate radio.  Hey, that's an idea.  :)

Reports say that if you don't have a pass you can be issued one on the spot, but it takes more time and slows up the line.  So, go get a pass from an evacuation center so the rest of the mountain doesn't have to wait behind you.

Thanks to whoever just delivered me a pizza.  As soon as I saw it I realized I haven't eaten all day and I'm starving.  Good timing.  hey wait, who knows where I am?  hmmm.  Interesting.

Sun, 4:25pm- By the way it is very cold in Crestline 30° and if you have no lights and no heat you'll want warm clothes or bring someone to cuddle with.  :)

7-11 is open for gas at this point

Sun, 3:55pm- It doesn't look like Ranger Al will be reporting on any news today in Lake Arrowhead Area or RS, GVL or Arrowbear like we had planned.  We only have a couple hours of light left and he is still stuck.

Status of the Road Block- (The Sheriff's at the Road Block have been really cooperative and nice.)  But, they can't let us through without permission.  When calling in, they were first told that we needed to get that permission from the CHP who actually closed the road, but when we gave them the name and number of the responsible CHP office to call for approval they wouldn't make the call and denied us at the Sheriff's Level.  Multiple calls to the command posts have turned up nothing.  We cannot get through from the operators to the people who make the decisions.

We've been told there is a lot of "politics" happening from people who don't like our site for some reason.  We are not "official" and therefore shouldn't have any special rights.  Again we are asking if there is anyone out there who can help us.  We have well over 10,000 unique visitors to our site every day, they call me to give me information to post because they know it is a good way to communicate with the evacuees, but they are stopping our ability to gather our own information.

Help is needed.  Give a call to someone and let them know that we are doing good stuff. Is there any media out there that can help us?

Sun, 2:55pm- I'm getting hundreds of emails again.  Please read this info first.  If you don't see any evacuation status change info about your area its because I don't have any info on that.  Please don't ask me.  I will post it when I do know.

I have not heard anything about opening any more of the mountain for now.  For now it looks like from the Cliffhanger to the west.

We have some information about the slop-over that was mentioned in my post at noon.  It only burned about 1-2 acres.

A firefighter was injured today by a falling tree and was evacuated to a hospital.  Extent of the injuries are unknown at this point but he was conscious and stable.

New pictures were posted of the Cedar Pines Park area were posted in our pictures area.

Sun, 2:10pm- Crestline Area Residents- Goodwin's Market is now open for business.  Limited product such as dry groceries, wood and good cheer!
Sun, 2:00pm- I just realized that the week is over.  Everything's been a big blur this week.  A quick note to my friends and acquaintances that I may have flaked on this week.  I had a lunch appointment with someone, a couple other appointments and lots of things on my to do list that I completely missed.  Sorry about that I will get to it soon.

We are still trying to get Ranger Al through the road blocks.  We are actively working with one new friend that might have some pull in this area.

Those who are going back home-  If you have a way to get pictures of damaged areas or homes to me (dacy@fireupdate.com) please send them to me and I will post them.  There are still thousands of people who need information about their homes who wont be able to get there today.

Sun, 1:45pm- I'd like to thank the information agencies that have been cooperating with me and my drive to get information out to the evacuees.  They have been really cooperative with me recently. 

Still trying to get Ranger Al through the road blocks.

Sun, 1:30pm- Reports that Answering Machines are working in areas of Crestline and even one in Angelus Oaks.  Thank you Edison!
Sun, 1:15pm- Restrictions Lifted-  Mandatory Evacuation status changed to Voluntary in Lake Gregory and Parts of Crestline, (West of 189 at North Road extending along Highway 189 to Highway 18 at Lake Gregory Dr.)  - Residents Only

No fuel stations are available.  Come with a full tank of Gas.

Grocery services not available or limited.  Bring your own food.

You still need to get a pass from any Evacuation Center and go up the back side of the Mountain on Highway 138.

Food Disposal Centers -
Mountain Disposal Yard- 988 Old Waterman Canyon Rd in Crestline.
VOE Elementary School- 22836 Fir Lane in Valley of Enchantment.  
South shore Lake Gregory parking lot- Lake Gregory Dr and San Moritz
Lake Gregory Elementary- 24689 San Moritz.

Sun, 1:00pm- Emails are piling in.  Wow.  Just to let you know our status.  I am really excited right now.  I have been that way since my 3am post when I announced that there was a high probability that areas would start opening up on the west side of the mountain.  I could hardly sleep thinking about it.  I know its not over.  There are still thousands and thousands of people that can't go home.  But this is a great start.

I got some interesting comments when I posted the 3am post and was told by some that I shouldn't have posted it that early, but It was exciting to me and I wanted to share the news with you at that time.  I'm not used to how all this "Press" stuff works.  I've had a crash course in a lot of things during the last few days.  If you would have asked me last week if I thought I'd be running a website with over a million server hits per day and acting as a Press-type reporter, I'd say you were crazy.

To all those who I told that we'd be visiting your area today: Ranger Al is still stuck West of all the Road Blocks.  If anyone knows any body who can approve his movement into the Eastern areas, it would be helpful to many if we can make it happen.

Sun, 12:30pm- Nearly 261,000 Edison customers have had their power interrupted during the fires.  Approximately 28,000 customers are still without electricity with nearly 90% of those in Lake Arrowhead.  First Priority for power goes to "essential customers," who provide critical public health and safety services. (which undoubtedly is not me, its never me)  200 crews are working to replace 1,270 felled poles, rewire 330 locations and replace 200 failed transformers.

Message from Edison

Sun, 12:00pm- Be Prepared to not have electricity when you arrive in the mountains.  I am trying to get word on when it will be restored.  I will post information here.  Note:  There may be electricity in some locations either now or soon.  More info to come.

Maybe a small slop over (fire jumps over a fire break) in the fire NNE of Arrowhead.  We are told it is nothing major.

Sun, 11:45am- Ranger Al were stopped at the corner of Lake Gregory and North Rd and told they couldn't enter the Lake Arrowhead Area by the Deputy Sheriffs at the road block.  Since they are opening up the area to select residents the road blocks getting into Lake Arrowhead area are very strict.  Anyone that can help Ranger Al get through, please contact me.  Ranger Al was going to get more info on areas in Rim Forest, Cedar Glen and Running Springs, GVL and AB this afternoon.
Sun, 11:20am- We heard that a greater area of Crestline may be opening very soon.  Keep watching.

Highway 18 is still closed.  You must use Highway 138 only to get to any VOE, CPP and Crestline Areas that have mandatory evacuation orders lifted.

Data: Acres 91,281,  72% Contained.  Expected Containment- Nov 8.  4,211 firefighters currently on incident.

Sun, 10:35am- Good news for Residents of the Western part of the mountain.  Reduced from Mandatory to voluntary evacuation- Valley of Enchantment, Cedar Pines Park and the Crest Forest Area. West of state highway 138, West of Old Mill road and the Western portion of Lake Dr that is south of Knapps Cuttoff.  Residents only.  You need a pass issued by the SB county Sheriff's Dept.  Obtain them at any Evacuation center. 

They are checking your address's with maps so only go if you are really in those areas.

Sun, 10:30am- K,  I may have said some confusing things in my emails and I've had some replies about it.  I am actually not Ranger Al.  I am his son.  I am not making tours of the mountain.  I am stuck down the mountain like most of you.  I am  gathering information, answering emails and updating the website.  Ranger Al only uses the computer to send me information and pictures, he doesn't reply.  Sometimes I answer your questions and say "I will visit a certain place today" or something like that.  I basically am talking for my dad in these cases.  A lot of times I am on the phone with him when I ask him a question and I just type what he says.  Sorry if this is confusing. 

There is no new information about when areas like Crestline and Lake Arrowhead will be open.  The information that was posted that it might not be 4-7 days before some areas can return to their homes is all that I have on the subject.  Please do not contact the Authorities about when it might be.  They are busy trying to help us return.  We will post it when the decision is made.  They are actively cutting dangerously burnt trees, rebuilding guard rails and preparing the mountain for our return.  Returning too early before these precautions are finished could result in injuries or hazardous conditions.  Keep watching, we will notify you as soon as we know.

Sun, 10:00am- I just got an email from someone that said they have been logging onto the site, closing the window and retyping in "http://fireupdate.com."  I just had to come on here and tell people that they can just press F5 on your windows keyboard and the page will automatically refresh.  :) Helping out when I can.
Sun, 9:15am- It sounds like the OES will be trying to issue Ranger Al a Pass today.  It still needs approved by a few individuals.  I will let you know more when I have it.  By the way, thank you all who acted on that issue and contacted the authorities.  We have had positive reassurances from a lot of agencies that Ranger Al will have their support.  Thanks again.

I have some emails saying that I didn't reply to them.  The only ones I didn't reply to were the ones that didn't seem like they needed it at the time. (ie, thank you for your information emails)  I do have an anti spam program running and I have not checked my Junk Email folder for Spam errors.  I've answered 1567 emails since Thursday.  and my wrists know it.

The status on the fires remains similar to what was posted in the 3 am post.

Sun, 9:00am- I'm back.  I had to take my sister to the airport this morning and thus couldn't be here too early.  She came down to spend a week with my parents.  What a week to be here!  By the way- Ontario Airport looked Normal so flights must be not backed up anymore.

Wow,  you people have been busy, My inbox that was empty just a few hours ago has now 150 messages.  I'll begin reading through them as soon as I check for updates to the status of the area.

Sun, 4:30am- Email is sent out, maps are updated, big news is below.  I'm going home to bed.  Be back in a while.
Sun, 3:00am- Yes I'm working into the night again.  I'm trying to get the latest information for you. How's this for some good info?   FIREupdate has learned that there is talk of opening the gates (Highways 138 and 18) to residents of the communities of Crestline, Cedar Pines Park, and Valley of Enchantment Sometime Sunday and possibly other communities as well.  The details are still being discussed but there is talking going on in the Command Posts of some of the responsible agencies.  I will be here through the night to gather information and make the push for this to happen.  At this point there has been no official announcement.  Watch FIREupdate.com for additional information on this subject.  More info to come.

The active fires are in the following areas.  All these fires are small and slow moving due to the weather:

  • About 1 mile South of Running Springs - Very Small Crawling fire, less then 1 foot high.
  • 3 miles North of Lake Arrowhead at a sewer disposal pond
  • East of Arrowhead in the Crab Flats area  About 7 miles from Big Bear.  This is the fire that has been called the "Sleeping Giant"  It is on very steep and rugged terrain but is also very small in size due to the weather.

The total structure count for the old fire is 851 and the last reported structure that burned was the property that FIREupdate.com reported that was burned by itself in the Twin Peaks area on Friday October 31.  That means that no homes or structures have burned in the last 2 days in any area of the old fire.  Let me repeat: According to Jerry Snyder of the Join Information Center for the Old fire, no structures have burned in any of these communities since that Single Family Home in Twin Peaks burned.

I will be updating the maps on this site soon.

Sun, 1:00am- Finished all my emails.  Got done early tonight.  I must be getting quicker.  :)  I've got some exciting new info.  I'll post in a bit, I just have to verify some information with my sources.
Sat, 11:00pm- I am sad to say that FIREupdate.com has received word that 2 mountain residents who were moved from Mountains Community Hospital have died since they were evacuated.  Our hearts go out to them.

Over 700 animals have been rescued from the mountain communities.  These animals are being housed down at the fairgrounds in Victorville.  Understandably trying to answer questions about specific animals in such a large group is extremely hard.  The best thing to do is to go visit and look for your missing animals.

[Graphic]: Map graphic of Old Fire.
Thank you to the hard working people of ESRI and the USDA Forest Servie for this image.

Sat, 10:30pm- The CHP has agreed to let Ranger Al go directly home and not leave the mountain.   I got many emails of support.  Thank you very much.  I hope we can still get a pass sometime so this doesn't happen any more.
Sat, 9:52pm- Breaking News-  Ranger Al  has been stopped by the CHP.  While the Sheriff's Department and the Fire Departments have been supportive of Ranger Al and even assisting him on occasion the CHP is not cooperating right now.  He is demanding Ranger Al leave the mountain.  The officer hasn't heard about FIREupdate.com and we haven't been able to get a Press Pass because we are not considered "Real Press!"  We need to get Ranger Al a pass for the mountain if we can continue the services we are trying to provide.

Why are we not press?  How many of the evacuees have been helped by us so far.  This is not cool!  If anyone out there has any power to help us.  Please let me know ASAP!  The CHP is following Ranger Al's car as he leaves the area.

Sat, 9:00pm- One Earthquake measured a 3.3 a couple miles south of Devore.  A second measuring 3.4 a couple miles NW of Devore.  Still no reports of Damage.  3.4?  That's nothing for Residents in this area.  We are a tough people!
Sat, 8:45pm- I have listed quite a few church information bulletins on the evacuation page.  Please visit there for this type of information.
Sat, 8:30pm- Maybe we should be called Earthquake Update.  2 minor earthquakes near Devore. No damage reported yet.
Sat, 7:15pm- I'm getting a lot of emails about when they can go up into the Crestline, Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs areas.  Right now they are issuing no passes to visit the area.  No exceptions.  I've heard anywhere from 3-7 days.  There are mud slides and tree branches are still falling and have caused some injuries.  I will update this site as soon as I know more.  Please don't ask me by email.
Sat, 6:47pm- Updated information on Cedar Glen in the Burn Reports.
Sat, 4:30pm- New Information and Pictures have been added to our Burn Reports for the areas of CCP and Playground areas.  Lake Arrowhead area pictures are coming soon.

Sorry I didn't update for a bit, I have been being interviewed by some newspapers and stuff.  I'm sorry.  I'm back on it.

Sat, 4:04pm- 8:00 am Tomorrow.  Hwy 18 through the Lucerne Valley and Hwy 38 in Redlands will be open for residents of Big Bear City,  Big Bear Lake, MoonRidge, Fawnskin, Sugar Loaf & Woodlands.  Residents only.  The mandatory evacuation has been changed to voluntary.  Absolutely No travel west of damn.  ID's Required
Sat, 1:50pm- Quick report on FIREupdate status.  Tens of thousands of page hits just today.  I have returned 1266 emails since Thursday. I am trying to keep up with it. 200 in my in box now.  It might take me a while to get back to you.  please read throught the site first before you ask me anything and also keep your emails to a minimum, it takes me a really long time to read 3-4 paragraphs.

Ranger Al is traveling the mountain.  he spent the morning in Crestline, CCP areas.  I will be updating CCP info shortly.  I will post pictures of individual homes soon as well.  Ranger Al is on his way to update Rim Forest and Lake Arrowhead areas.  Hope to have more info to all of you soon.  I wish I could get up there to get him supplies.  His 50 Lb bag of Dog food is almost gone.  He's been feeding them when he can.

Sat, 1:45pm-
San Bernardino Sheriff has opened up
Angeles Oaks
Silverwood Lake
Waterman Canyon
Seven Oaks
Barton Flats
Forest Falls
All these places are going to need a vehicle pass that can be picked up at sheriff sub stations.
Sat, 12:55pm-
We just got this update from a reader-  For people around the malt shop area.  I was told by a sheriff friend of the area, that the homes are o.k.  He also checked my home on 29725 Redwood and it is still standing without fire damage...it came up to 12 feet around the home AMAZING...there are still miracles to be had.  He said most of the homes east of me are gone.  He also checked 29169 Silverspruce and that whole area seems to be fine.  
Sat, 12:45pm- The Old Fire has burned over 91,281 acres and is 45 percent contained. Firefighters still needed to cut 47 ½ miles of brush in order to fully contain the blaze.

Residents of Mountain Home Village, between Mentone and Forest Falls can return home.  Silverwood and Hesperia areas evacuations have been lifted.

A lot of Firefighters are suffering from exhaustion. Officials are releasing almost 1000 firefighters from the area.

President Bush is coming to visit the area on Tuesday.  Maybe I should call him and see if he can get Ranger Al a press pass.

Firefighters defended the Rimwood Ranch are of Running Springs succussfully.  Fire is now in between RS and Arrowbear.  Reports say that it may take up to a couple days to reach Arrowbear with this weather.  Hopefully they can stomp it out before then.

Rim High is still the staging area for the battle.

Sat, 11:55am- Waterman Canyon Report- Only the Fire Station and 8 residences remain above the highway of approximately 50 that were there.  Addresses of those homes will be posted as soon we can, please do not ask.  I will post them when I have them.

I have updated the Playground area list.  Ranger Al wrote down all the homes he saw in the area that were burned.  Pictures of these sites will be added soon.

Weather in the Playground area right now is - Very Foggy- Visibility 50 feet.

Sat, 11:25am- Check the Evacuee page for information on the Post Office, Church Services and other information.
Sat, 11:00am- Raccoons, Bears and Coyotes are enjoying their run of the mountain.  Lots of wildlife have been seen wondering the area getting into peoples trash cans.  At least they have some food.  :)

There are over 6500 unique people surfing this site just this morning.  Over 15,000 yesterday.  I am trying to keep information updated.  You'd think that with this many people they would consider us press and give Ranger Al a press pass.  Oh well

Sat, 10:00am- The Sleeping Giant near big bear is still endangers the area.

At least 4-7 days before we can go home.

Sat, 9:45am-
All available administrators of Rim of the World Unified will be meeting at the County Schools office on Monday, Nov. 3rd, to continue their planning for restarting our schools, hopefully November 12. Plans are in effect to have general staff meetings prior to the start date to allow for debriefing (hugging and crying and assuring) and to decide how best to assist students with the transition from this tragedy and disruption in their lives to the day-to-day school activities that are so critical for healing. District personnel have been manning the school district transportation area to provide assistance to fire personnel, evacuation as necessary, and updates to district officials.
Sat, 9:30am- Fire is active in Crab Flats area

Falling limbs have injured more people.  It is a very dangerous area. 

Mud slides in the narrows area (18 & 138)

All Evacuations remain in place.  Passes are not being issued.  No Exceptions.

Sat, 8:45am- Wow, <YAWN>  Good morning.  Again, thank you to all those who needed information early this morning and called me to find out if Lake Gregory had burned at all.  It hasn't!  I'll be adding the latest as soon as possible.

Mountain Residents woke up to a layer of snow this morning.

Dang 120 emails. 

Sat, 4:30am- It's getting really muddy and hard to fight the fire but the snow is definitely helping in other ways.  Mud slides are a big concern.
Sat, 4:00am- Actively snowing in the mountains.  Some Fire trucks without snow tires are leaving the mountain.  2-3 inches in big bear.  28°  That's gotta hurt the fire.  :)

I'm too tired to update my maps tonight.  I'll work on it in the morning as long as you all (15,000 Unique Visitors yesterday) don't email me tomorrow.

Sat, 3:30am- I'm done,  My inbox is empty.  A lot of the emails were only quick 3-5 word replies but that works.  Now I'll update some stuff on the site before retiring for the night.

I have reports that pieces of the fire have worked their way toward Arrowbear.  I will try to get as much info as possible and post it.  No need to email me and ask me about it.  I will post it here as soon as I know more.

Sat, 2:36am- I've got them down to 100!

All the mountain area schools are safe as far as I hear.

Sat, 2:00am- I've got my email down to 150!  Almost done.
  The Sheriff has actively looked for looters this whole time.  I haven't heard any reports on catching anyone but know that they are watching out as best they can.

Highway 38 to Forest Falls is open for residents only.



Fri, 11:25pm- There was a small flare up in the North Shore Area of Lake Arrowhead tonight.  As far as I can tell it is not threatening to anybody.

It is lightly snowing in Twin Peaks.

Fri, 10:00pm- National Weather service is reporting:




Fri, 10:00pm- We have a new look.  The other page got way too long, so I had to remake some things really quick.  I'm hoping the new structure will make information easier to read.  If you want to read the old information page just click here.
For informational purposes only.  Not responsible for any errors or omissions. 

Picture taken early in the week from Lake Gregory Area by John McIntosh




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