Friday Morning Fire News Round Up – 0630 PDT

| October 26, 2007

The fires is San Diego are not yet out, but they are now burning mostly in the back country. There is still some threat to populated areas by the Harris Fire, Witch Creek eastern front and the Poomacha Fire. During this phase of the even information about the location and direction of the burn will be nearly impossible to come by, as the media has largely “moved on” and will be focusing on the recovery and the emerging round of finger pointing.

First up the current map of the Fires, this shows the extent of the effected areas in San Diego County

SD Fire Overview2.gif

As show fires still burn in some areas of San Diego County, but by in large the major population centers are no longer under threat. There will still be “mopping up” operations for several days to come, and many of these fires will not be contained until next week. When you look at the sheer size of the effected areas in relation to the total land mass of the county, this was a major event. I cannot begin to praise the work the fire crews and their support elements have done here.

Harris Fire (from Cal Fire)


This fire has burned 84,000 acres and is 20 percent contained. The fire started October 21 and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County. There have been 21 civilian and 12 firefighter injuries, as well as one death on this fire. 97 homes, 2 commercial properties and 17 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 250 additional structures are damaged. Damage assessments are still being conducted. 1,500 homes are still threatened.

Evacuation orders remain in effect. Re-entry for residents only was allowed in the Thousand Trails, Potrero and Tecate neighborhoods. The communities of San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1,341 firefighters are assigned under a unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $5.4 million.

Witch Creek / Poomacha Fire

Witch Creek.gif

Witch Creek has burned 197,990 acres and is 30 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest. Residents are being allowed to return to portions of Poway, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego and Rancho Bernardo. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

1,061 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 175 outbuildings have been destroyed. 62 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 1,000 residences, 100 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are still threatened.

2,883 firefighters are assigned to this incident under unified command. 22 firefighters have been injured on this fire. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $7 million.

Poomacha Fire started October 23 as a structure fire on the Lajolla Indian Reservation. It has burned 38,500 acres and is 30 percent contained. 60 homes and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed. 2,000 homes remain threatened.

Evacuations are in progress in Valley Center. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Hidden Meadows, Deer Springs, Vista and Palomar are threatened. This fire has resulted in 12 firefighter injuries. 1,406 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command with CAL FIRE and the Cleveland National Forest. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $1.6 million.

Horno / Rice Canyon Fire


The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 17,000 acres since October 23. It is currently 50 percent contained. The Horno Fire has two heads, one north bound tied into Basilone Road and the other south bound tied into Aliso Canyon Road. Firing Operations are being conducted on the northern head from San Onofre to Camp Horno and along Canyon Road to Basilone Road.

This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 40 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 200 homes are threatened currently. Evacuation orders are in effect for Fallbrook and outlying areas. Portions of Fallbrook have been reopened to residents. Three firefighters injuries have been reported. 1,073 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire is $1.9 million. Full containment is expected on October 28.

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Category: Main, Maps, SAN DIEGO EMERGENCIES, San Diego Fires

About the Author ()

Bruce Henderson is a former Marine who focuses custom data mining and visualization technologies on the economy and other disasters.

Comments (1)

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  1. katbaloo says:

    I really want to thank you for all the work you have done on reporting the fires. Your site was the only place where I could get coverage of the Rice Canyon Fire. I live in Colorado and my mother stayed in Fallbrook during the fires. I couldn’t get any information at first until I found you site. It’s been a tough few days awaiting to see if my elderly mother made the wrong decision. Thank you again for all your coverage. I remember all the fires growing up in Southern California around 40+ years ago. The chaparral still likes to burn, it’s just that houses now are in the way.