B(r)ushfires - SoCal Dopers All OK?

It’s front page news here in Sydney. We tend to have an empathy with those parts of America that deal with bushfires every year, and we’re currently preparing for our own fire season which may be another bad one.

I’ve heard up to five hundred homes have been lost so far. This makes it worse than our Canberra fires of last (Southern) summer. It’s looking pretty bad. It also seems strangely late in the year for this.

Have any dopers been affected? Any close calls or evacuations? I think I speak for most of the Aussies on these boards when I say that I do worry about the annual US fires, and I follow the news of them closely.

You lot take care now.

I just found out a few minutes ago that my grandmother’s mobile home park in San Diego has been evacuated.

Apparently it’s more from fear of smoke than fire, but even so. It’s not nice thinking about your 87-year-old granny having to sleep in an American Legion hall :frowning:

My mom and five of her sisters live in Crestline. They were able to evacuate to the desert town of Victorville but I doubt their houses will make it.

I’m pretty sure two of my aunt’s houses are gone already but it hasn’t reached my mom’s yet as far as I know. Hard to find up to date information.

Bloody hell. :frowning:

Good luck all of you who are in the path of this fire. :frowning:

Stay safe, and remember what is truly important and irreplaceable.

I hope I didn’t pick the wrong day to reposition my Willys. I knew about the fires east of L.A., but I didn’t know there were fires in San Diego until I got to MCAS Miramar. Very smokey around my sister’s house, but no fires especially close. [knock on wood]

On the way home I saw a small fire at an onramp to the southbound 805 at Clairmont Mesa Blvd. I also heard that a Moony went down while trying to land at Montgomery Field. A witness, a radio newsman, said he saw the Mooney coming in obviously fast. He hexpected him to go around, but the aircraft ended up crashing on a nearby freeway. It is assumed that the plane was forced down by the high winds. I heard the pilot walked away.

Others were not so lucky. At last count, 10 people are known dead. Four were found incinerated in their car as they were trying to evacuate.

Cause of the fire is said to be an aerial flare fired by a lost hunter.

I’m about 2 miles from the forced evacuation line right now. Everyone here at school is pretty nervous about it.

The Simi Valley fire is burning a few miles to the northeast. Black smoke has blotted out the sky. They say on the news that if they can’t keep it north of the 118 freeway, the fire will likely burn all the way to Malibu.

My house is right in the path. Ooh, fun.

No evacuations have been announced yet, but I’m already taking stock of what CDs & things are most important to save…

Hope the power stays on.

We can see smoke from almost any angle in the sky. We’re about 15 miles from Simi Valley (where one of the major fires is), and we live near a fire-prone area ourselves. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that we’ve seen the worst of it. :frowning:

Watching the news - oh my! Run, do not walk. I’m crossing my fingers for all those in the fire’s path.

Ack! The natural barriers just aren’t there. Multiple fire storms, with the Santa Ana winds expected to continue through tomorrow. I heard a report that the fire jumped a 10 lane freeway!

Good luck and best hopes to all of you. To echo Goo, remember what’s important.

This is much worse than I thought.

Here is an Australian site on bushfire safety and survival. I couldn’t find a US one handy (even googling brushfire), but this one should be mostly relevant. Lors of advice on house preparation, car safety, evacuation, etc.

Remember RADIANT HEAT is the single most dangerous thing (even worse than the flames):

I know most of you Californians would know this stuff, but it can’t hurt to put it here.

Excellent point, TheLoadedDog - I would imagine there’s always a few who dare to stay behind. It’s not worth it - get your family and animals out and far away.

I’m married to a firefighter, so I get a really bad feeling in my heart when I hear about wildfires. Good luck, y’all.

I called my sister, and she told me that about five minutes after I phoned her to tell her about the little fire at Clairmont Mesa Blvd., they closed the 805 at the 8. Looks like I got out of there just in time.

I heard that the L.A. area fires (at least the largest one) were caused by arson. There’s a murder case if they catch the guy. I’ll bet the hunter in San Diego (or Poway) will be charged with 10 counts of manslaughter at least.

Following up on TheLoadedDog’s safety information, the radio news was talking about houses that were lost earlier today. They said that the houses that were lost (these ones in particular) had shake shingle rooves. Houses near them, which had ceramic tile rooves, were spared. If you live in a dry, brushy area, shake shingles are not a good thing to have on your house; in spite of how nice they look.

So far, so good here… though I was starting to think about evacuating earlier. Most of the highways here are closed right now, so it would be a hellacious drive trying to get out!

It was pretty smoky here earlier, but now that the wind has died down it the air has cleared up for the most part.

The on-ramp to the 805 that Johnny L.A. mentioned is only a short distance from our apartment complex (perhaps a mile or so), and the wind was blowing this way… Looks like we’ve dodged the bullet for now, but I’ll be sleeping lightly this evening!:wink:

I live in a nice suburban area far far away from the fires but the air is none too nice around here. I hadn’t been keeping up with the news and was confused yesterday (having come from Long Beach to the LA area) at smelling a very strong barbecue-y smell (my dad loved wood burning barbecues) and ash drifting lazily through the air.
Does anyone know of an up-to-date map of where the fire is and how it’s spreading?


We live in the Ba Ho area of Clairmont in San Diego it has been snowing ash from the fires all day long here. It was pretty hazy here for a while we could not see mission bay or La Jolla. It has cleared up pretty well but there is still settling ash.

My sister is in the process of buying a house in Rancho Penasquitos (Eastern San Diego near the 15 and the 56. The house is right along the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It has a shake shingle roof. They have not been able to get insurance for the house so part of the deal is that they have to replace the roof within a few months of buying the house. When they were house hunting they found that a lot of companies would not write new policies for shake shingle roofed houses. A few would not write policies for houses on cayons. Most of the insurance companies wanted the brush cleared to at least 150 feet from the house.

Our neighborhood, Scripps Ranch, was evacuated this morning. I gathered as much stuff as I could fit in the back of my truck and left around 9:45 this morning. There’s a large reservior between the main body of the fire and our house, but the thing is jumping all over the place. We’re all hanging out at my roommate’s brother’s house, watching the news…no definitive announcenment about our street …pretty awesome display of “nature’s fury”!

I am East of San Bernardino, the fires are visible from parts of my little town but we are in no danger. We are also blessed to be out of the smoke also.

As I posted (in part) in the 'Pit thread about this, we’re in South Redondo Beach, at least 60 miles from the fires and I’ve been unable to breathe all day. My nose and eyes are burning like mad. You can see ashes swirling around in the air and everything even this far away is covered with a blanket of ash and soot. It’s hotter than hell, and the smell is unbelievable! I can’t begin to imagine how bad it is closer to where the fires are actually burning.

The latest report has 14 people dead – 12 in San Diego and 2 in L.A. 700 houses gone.

At least the Malibu fire is out now (only 25 acres burned). The rest aren’t even close to being contained. It’s truly frightening.

Anyone who wants up-to-the-minute reports can tune in to L.A. radio station KFI online at http://www.kfi640.com/interactive/streaming.html