Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Woke up to more bad fire news -- 500K Evac'd in San Diego

My friends in San Diego have evacuated and are safe (for now -- the winds keep shifting). One friend has been evacuated twice down there. It's nearly impossible for anyone to get North unless they are already near Interstate 5, so a lot of people have headed south into downtown San Diego, particularly Qualcomm Stadium, which has become a massive evacuation center. The situation is still dynamic, but the Witch fire is making it's unstoppable progress towards the ocean, and the new mandatory evacuation boundaries reflect that. The city is rising to the occasion, the Mayor's call for food for the evacuees at Qualcomm was quickly followed up by a call for refrigerated trucks to store all the excess food.

In Ventura County, Ranch fire, which has been the biggest generator of smoke and ash here (it being the largest fire north of San Diego) is now being joined by a new fire, the Magic fire, which started near Magic Mountain Parkway. This fire has already moved into Ventura County and is heading towards Simi Valley. The town of Piru is being evacuated and the firefighters are trying to keep the Ranch fire on the other side of Highway 126 -- I heard that if it jumps 126, it will burn to Simi Valley. So, right now Simi Valley is the new hot spot in Ventura County. Schools in Simi will be closed today.

The winds have continued to be relentless and made for a restless night. The winds are so fierce they are stripping all the leaves from trees -- it looks like early winter. Bizarre.

San Diego info sites:

http://www.cbs8.com for San Diego updates -- this is a great site, it's been completely converted to fire news only
http://www.signonsandiego.com -- another good San Diego news site, but their server is getting overwhelmed
http://www.sdcountyemergency.com -- the official site for San Diego OES -- info and maps in PDF of burn and evac areas

Ventura County info sites:

http://www.venturacountystar.com -- the local newspaper has coverage on local fires
http://fire.countyofventura.org -- FD of Ventura County -- official updates on both the Ranch and Magic fires
http://www.vcsd.org/oes/fire.html -- VC Sheriff's Dept site for evacuation information

Los Angeles info sites:

http://www.latimes.com -- doing a great job with updates, maps, and evacuation info, and some of the best photos
http://www.knbc.com/index.html -- Local NBC station has info, video, and a large number of viewer supplied photos
http://cbs2.com/firewatch/ -- Local CBS station has a web page for fire coverage -- heavy on video clips
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/front -- More LA fire coverage with a live broadcast feed, too

California Office of Emergency Services
October Fires: http://www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/ALL/876C5DEE11FE66808825737C005B8754?OpenDocument

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