Fire, Fire everywhere....

Well, it’s been hotter than a 2 pecker billy goat here in my little corner of Southern California the last couple of days. Dry heat with wind and now fires. Lots of fires.
One, about 10 miles north (Camp Pendleton fire). One about 11 miles northeast. Another 9 miles east (San Marcos fire). Yet another 6 miles south (Carlsbad - Poinsettia fire). And now, I hear there’s a small one burning about 4 miles west of here. I walk outside, and there’s smoke on the horizon, and it looks much closer than it really is. I’m safe, there’s no way it will get to me without going through a gazillion homes and I can’t see that happening.
Now the news, (It’s full time fire coverage on all three stations here) tell me there’s a fifth fire burning, but it’s about 15 miles east. The problem is that the winds are out of the east, blowing west. That explains the smoke in the air.
It just seems really strange that the god of fire picked this little area to have all these fires. Really strange.
Yeah, I checked, my fire insurance is up to date, my dog is here in the house laying on the cool tile floor, and we have quick access to what’s important. I seriously doubt I’ll have a problem though.

If you’re in the fire area, please log off and pack your important items. Listen to the authorities, and if and when they tell you to head out, do so.

My aunt and uncle were evacuated earlier today. My mom and step-dad aren’t in danger at the moment but are very nervous. This is scary.

Students in one of my college history classes were due to take their final exam today. I made the 32-mile drive to campus from my place in San Diego, and printed out the exams. Just as I was about to head from my office to the exam room, an announcement came over all the emergency systems (text, computers, loudspeakers, etc.) that the university was closing and evacuating due to a fire close to campus.

I went outside, and from the parking lot could see massive flames shooting into the air in the hills above the campus. The wind was blowing at 20 or 30 mph, and there was black smoke everywhere.

I actually thought that the evacuation was a bad decision. The university consists mainly of new, concrete buildings, and is surrounded on all sides by massive concrete parking lots. Evacuating did nothing but choke up every single road for miles around, and really didn’t make anyone much safer, IMO.

The whole thing was a giant clusterfuck. In light traffic, i can be door-to-door in under 35 minutes. Today it took me 55 minutes just to get off campus. Now i have to work out what to do about my students and their final exam, because they’ve just announced that campus will be closed tomorrow as well.

I have friends in Encinitas and Carlsbad who have had to evacuate, and are now in hotels.

Most of my friends down there have checked in Ok. Two are prepared to evacuate if necessary because the fire is that close. One is near the San Marcos fire and one near Encinitas.

It’s very scary.

My parents are in Escondido. There’s a fire to the west, cutting them off from the coast. There are fires to the north and the south, cutting off I-15. There’s even a fire a little to the east. Fire map.

My mom and I have been texting back and forth this evening. The car is gassed up. I strongly recommended that she have it packed up and ready to go. She said the roads were already packed. I’ve been texting reminders to pack up important documents and two weeks’ worth of meds and just going. She mentioned staying in a shelter, but I told her that most shelters won’t take pets, and there’s no way she’s leaving the dog in the car.

The worst problem is that my dad is 86, weak, and has dementia. Moving him is a difficult chore under the best of circumstances. I’m hoping if they do have to evacuate, she has the presence of mind to give him a sedative and then prop him up in the passenger seat.

Daughter #1 got the “you’ve got 5 minutes to load up and leave” order. She has a home behind Cal State San Marcos. She complied. Daughter #2 lives 2 miles outside the evac. zone and is already packed just in case.

It’s suppose to be 97 and windy here tomorrow. I hope these things burn out overnight.

It’s going to be a long summer guys; get a bug out kit together, including important documents.

The car park shown in this video is my workplace car park.

Damn, I went to school there for a year to get my teaching credential. I used to park there abouts.

I remember when I student taught at San Marcos High School, one of the teachers pointed out the burn line on the hills above the school, and I thought “well, at least they’re not due for another fire for twenty years or so.”

Okay, so, I finally found a map of the evacuation zone. My parents live, literally, less than a mile outside it.

Having a quiet panic attack just now.

Oh man, and here I am on the other side of the country with a basement full of extra water :frowning:

All I have ever seen of California was from two different airports and a million throw-away shots in movies and TV.

Now a large swath near San Diego seems to be just Gone, and I don’t know how to feel anything but loss for the people who have lived there and for the place which I will never ever get to see…

I hate being so selfish.

Well, i don’t want to minimize the trouble and grief that this fire has caused, but it’s not like the whole county is a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

So far, a total of about 20 buildings have been destroyed, and that’s horrible for those affected. About 20,000 or so have been evacuated, although many of those (including some people i know) have now been allowed to return home. Others have been inconvenienced by things like clogged roads, power outages, and the closure of businesses, schools and universities.

But San Diego is the fifth most populated county in the United States, with a population of over 3 million, so it’s actually a very small percentage of the population that has suffered anything more than some temporary inconvenience as a result of these fires.

Again, that’s not to suggest that the situation isn’t serious. But from the news, especially with their tendency to focus on the losses, it’s possible to get a rather exaggerated sense of the total impact.

I hope i don’t sound blase or lacking in empathy. I have a tendency, during situations like this, to be rather pragmatic. I grew up in Australia, and as a kid had to evacuate our house a couple of times when bushfires came close. The fact is, if you build houses next to a whole bunch of flammable material, in a climate that typically gets less than 10 inches of rain a year, this sort of thing is going to happen once in a while.

Not sure what you’re looking at. The fires are very serious and some of them are in unusually populated areas, but as mhendo said, most of the County is okay. Maybe you are looking at Camp Pendleton? It is indeed a large swath of open ground and parts of it are on fire.

Didn’t these same areas burn just a few years ago? And weren’t these supposed to be the once-in-10-years fires that supposedly rid the wilds of all the fuel once its been burnt off? Why’s it happening again so quick?

Actually, the bad fires here were in 2003 and 2008. None of those were really in northern SD county like these are. The fire a area is a patch of land probably 100 to 150 square miles in area. That area suffered 5 fires in the last couple of days. Fortunately, there was only one death so far, but that’s one too many.

Even the military sent helicopters in to fight the fires. There’s a DC10 dropping retardant as well as other aircraft working the fire. Fire crews from as far as the northern part of the state are here helping out. The multi-agency cooperation and sharing of assets is unprecedented the news claims.

I think it was 2007, not 2008.

I arrived in 2008, and the fires were not that year.

I feel for you folks, I really do.

BUT–speaking as somebody whose region has gone through two major fires in two years, one of which destroyed almost 350 homes within Colorado Springs city limits–I can’t help feeling that it’s somebody else’s turn this year.

What the hell is a “2 pecker billy go…” Er, … never mind.

Parents evacuated yesterday afternoon. They’re now staying with my sister in Oceanside, which is a relief. There’s a video interview of a man whose home, two streets away from my parents’ place, is threatened by the fire.

Two teenagers were arrested for setting fires Thursday evening, but there’s no indication if they were involved in the Coco fire.

A body was found where the Carlsbad fire was. It was most likely a homeless person, since it was near a “transient encampment”.

My nerves are wracked and wrecked. I’m having a hard time focusing on work.