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Old 10-24-2007, 07:11 PM   #61
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After a quick check on wikipedia I wouldn't be planting eucalyptus as a fire break if I were rebuilding in Rancho Bernardo:
Eh, bummer, another local legend bites the dust...

We planted our firebreak zone in yellow oleander and bougainvillea. But that's just because they're drought tolerant and not as invasive as haole koa.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:35 PM   #62
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Yesterday and today here in Michigan, we had the most spectacular sunsets...really brilliant purple, red and orange right at the horizon -- colors enhanced, I imagine, by all the particulate matter blowing eastward from the Cali fires.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:57 AM   #63
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My wife and I live in a section of East San Diego County known as Rancho San Diego.

Fires have been in and around us since Sunday, but today we were permitted to return to our homes. Compared to the aftermath of Katrina, which impacted one of the businesses in which I am involved, I am struck by how much more competent relief services have been in Southern California after this fire than they were in Louisiana and Mississippi after Katrina. (I concede though that a fully impacted area is not a fair comparison to one that is only impacted partially, even if a half million persons are involved).

My wife and I were in another state when the firestorm began, and I can assure you that it is disconcerting to see your neighborhood on CNN silhouetted against a wall of fire (coming down Mt. Miguel if anyone knows the area). Returning to San Diego at night, the view from the airplane of the fire lines was both shocking and amazing, awful and beautiful at the same time ... strange to have such mixed feelings.

The dying down of the winds and the rise in humidities augurs well for the fires to end soon. I certainly hope so. Smoke in the air remains an irritant, however. Perhaps that will move on soon, though, as the wind patterns return to an origination from the west.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:12 AM   #64
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oh, i will be happy when we get a whif of some fresh air, maybe after a rain?

are there any dangers this ash can pose - like on playground equipment or sand? i often wonder, even the affect of rain in this area given all the smog/pollutants on playground sand, ick.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:26 AM   #65
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Aunt from Lake Arrowhead safely in Joshua tree. Friend back in Poway with intact house. Other friend in Temecula safe. CNN still running celebrity reactions to the fire in the breakroom.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:53 AM   #66
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I'm back at work in Rancho Bernardo. I was expecting to see it look like "Saving Private Ryan" but the fire's damage is almost invisible. Every once in a while you will see some blackened trees or charred earth, but it seems 99% of structures are still here. Nightly news made it sound like total devastation.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:00 AM   #67
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Very glad to hear things in your neck of the woods are better than expected. Not surprised that the news folks overdid it. But then if it was your house that burned, you'd no doubt think the reports of total devastation were spot on.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:11 AM   #68
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Yeah - talked to my sister night before last - oldest nephew is dropping chemicals(Navy heliocopters) and niece with two dogs has evacuated to friends - no word on their house yet.

Fun fun fun - after Katrina Mother Nature doesn't amaze me that much anymore.

heh heh heh - I don't think there are any 'quiet' places to live - except Texas is looking better all the time.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:13 PM   #69
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Wish we could send you some of our rain!! ....
And we would send our fog, but oops its clear today. But apparently we are sending firefighters. I'm relieved SO's nephew (an engine #8 firefighter) is getting older and is mostly on lecture duty to the office buildings, at least I hope that's what he's doing this week.

This disaster is so bad I've been keeping my head in the sand but wish you all well.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:19 PM   #70
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but the fire's damage is almost invisible. Every once in a while you will see some blackened trees or charred earth, but it seems 99% of structures are still here. Nightly news made it sound like total devastation.
I know that this was a big deal, and could have been worse. But the news networks really made it seem much worse. A lot of "it could burn to the ocean" talk.

Now tourism will suffer, as people think there's nothing left to visit.

It's interesting to watch the news coverage. After the Oakland fire, we were one of those people being interviewed in front of our burned home, so I can relate in a way that non-fire-victims cannot.

A funny thing, you're standing there in a pile of ash that used to be your house, with nothing but the clothes on your back (we were away when the evacuation was ordered), and still, you can't help but think "Hey, I'm going to be on TV!"

But it was an incredible hassle and experience putting everything back together again.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:21 PM   #71
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but it seems 99% of structures are still here. Nightly news made it sound like total devastation.
Thank God it wasn't total devastation. If it weren't for those fire crews that fire, pushed by 50-90MPH hot winds would have swept to the sea along with thousands upon thousands of homes. The outcome wasn't so predictable as some armchair commentators suggest.

I know that I am grateful for those fire crews as I certainly felt uneasy while the fires raged nearby my house. Those crews were stretched mighty thin. The outcome of relatively few homes burning was not at all certain.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:10 PM   #72
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Now tourism will suffer, as people think there's nothing left to visit.
There's still a fire burning in Santiago canyon, but Orange County is largely intact. I wouldn't recommend the place to any tourists right now, though. The entire area smells like a cheap downtown Vegas casino.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:06 PM   #73
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There's still a fire burning in Santiago canyon, but Orange County is largely intact. I wouldn't recommend the place to any tourists right now, though. The entire area smells like a cheap downtown Vegas casino.
Hey, I have a lot of good memories involving cheap downtown Vegas casinos..er..

What I meant to say was I'll be sending a gift basket to the local fire crew, I hear they were up 40 hours straight or more. We learned a lot from the fires of 2003, but there were still some technical and paperwork glitches ( like not letting some tankers fly the first day because they didn't have a rep from the forest service on board), but overall, kudos to the entire emergency response team, local, city and state!
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:28 PM   #74
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I'm back at work in Rancho Bernardo. I was expecting to see it look like "Saving Private Ryan" but the fire's damage is almost invisible. Every once in a while you will see some blackened trees or charred earth, but it seems 99% of structures are still here. Nightly news made it sound like total devastation.
My in-laws went back to their home in RB yesterday night. All is OK on their end. RB had 380 homes destroyed. That is a small amounts in % of RB.
But... RB had about 25% of all the homes destroyed in S.Cal. which not insignificant. Looking at it this way.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #75
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The gal said that smoke caused last night's full moon in 29 Palms to be beautiful, ringed in red. Relative in Santee on the edge of the Witch fire was ok - stayed inside running the AC to help w/ his badly diminished lung capacity. Today the smoke has hit the air quality in 29, they can't see the town 5 miles away and there is a burn smell. Told her to soak up some of the heat to bring back north on Monday - 50 degrees here.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:28 PM   #76
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There's still a fire burning in Santiago canyon, but Orange County is largely intact. I wouldn't recommend the place to any tourists right now, though. The entire area smells like a cheap downtown Vegas casino.
The Orange County fire is still burning, except now it's changed directions is moving east towards Cleveland National Forest. Fortunately, it looks like the homes in south Orange County should be out of danger. Whiting Ranch, one of my favorite mountain biking wilderness areas, had a good portion of it scorched. With the winds dying down, it should be under control in a few days. Here's a pretty good map if anyone's interested:

News: Perimeter map of the Santiago Fire, Orange Co. - OCRegister.com

I saw one of the most amazing videos of the fire crossing the 5 Fwy near Camp Pendleton. There were flames on both sides of the freeway and there was burning brush that was breaking off trees and going across the freeway. Pretty wild stuff.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:52 PM   #77
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One other note: This last summer I camped at Malibu Creek State Park, which is in the canyon that burned near Pepperdine U. Although the place was tinder-dry, and there were plenty of signs forbidding it, I saw at least three open campfires.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:18 PM   #78
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Glad to hear everybody is safe ! I guess it's a good time for us all to review our exit plans.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #79
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Just returned from being exiled since Monday. Glad to hear your home did not burn Laurence!. I went to work on Monday and could not get back up the hill until today. We had to prove that we live up here to get a pass today. I'm glad to be home and hope that we get more rains, for sure there is going to be more Santa Ana's. (as always). Some people are really ticked because they were not allowed back up the mountain to retrieve their children! One man hiked up the mountain to get his school age children, leaving his car down at the bottom. Another 16 year old who did not have a CDL had to pack the car left at the house and drive down the mountain! I mean is that insane or what? My neighbors brought down my cat and diabetic dog. But what about those parents who drive down the hill to work (like a lot of us) and can't get back up to get their kids? I don't get it.
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