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For the near future if you want to send me e-mail you need to use the new address in the sidebar. The dumka.com address is in transition with no clear idea as to when it will be back up because the individual who owns it is dealing with a few problems.

The main problems are the wildfires in San Diego county, as he doesn’t know if he’s going to be forced to evacuate as the fires approach the coast.

CNN has the AP feed, MSNBC has their own reporting, but TBogg’s coverage is more meaningful if you have lived in the county. The San Diego Union-Tribune has a fire blog but their server is swamped.

There are two major fires: the Harris fire on the California-Mexican border that is head for Chula Vista, the the much bigger Witch fire in the north county that has damaged Rancho Bernardo and may be headed to the coast. They are being pushed by Santa Ana winds, which are hot, extremely dry winds with speeds in the 35 to 75 mph range. Because of the winds, fixed winged aircraft like the big retardant tankers can’t fly.

A lot of friends have already been evacuated and are wondering if they will have anything left when this is over.

Further north, Malibu has its own fire problems that are threatening to eliminate a lot of expensive homes of famous people, but also the modest homes of a lot of hardworking, but not famous people.

Breathing is difficult for everyone as the air is filled with smoke and ash all the way to the coast.


1 Jim Bales { 10.22.07 at 8:03 pm }

My not-famous wife grew up in Malibu, and (thanks to the LA Times and Google Earth) gave me the virtual tour of the area and where here various not-famous friends (and a couple of famous friends) live / have lived.

The other issue that part of Malibu faces is that there are essentially three roads leaving town, the pacific coast highway running along the shore and one major road going up and away from the shore.

2 Cookie Jill { 10.22.07 at 8:48 pm }

Bryan, it is truly hell. We’re getting smoke from our own 700 acre fire just over the mountains AND a good portion of smoke from the fires down the coast. It hurts to breathe. The eyes are scratchy. The nose is itchy. The only good thing I can think of is that Santa Barbara might be “well off” as a good portion of our county burned recently in the Zaca Fire.

New fires seem to be popping up due to the Santa Ana’s and the fire’s own little micro wind climate. Gusts have actually been recorded up to 112 mph up near the fire in Castaic. 80mph gusts in Malibu.

Alot of the escape routes for Malibu and parts of San Diego are actually in canyons, which, can turn into a death trap with the sluggish traffic and the mecurial winds gusting the embers every which way.

Everyone one is turned to KNX 1070 AM which is the radio station for disaster information.

250,000+ people evacuated. Countless animals.

The possible depth of this disaster is mindboggling and they say it’s only going to get worse.

3 Bryan { 10.22.07 at 9:16 pm }

I’m worried about all of the animals down in the Del Mar barns because that canyon is a natural path for the fire getting pushed west. This is much worse that the Cedar fire.

It looks headed for Rancho Santa Fe, and then who knows. Until the Santa Anas die off there isn’t much anyone can do.

Roads are few and far between outside of the main urban areas all up and down the coast of California, so evacuation routes are short supply.

The satellites shots show the smoke covering the lower half of the California coast, so anyone with breathing problems is in trouble.

4 Cookie Jill { 10.22.07 at 9:48 pm }

The city of Del Mar is now advising it’s residents to evacuate.

5 Bryan { 10.22.07 at 10:23 pm }

I was expecting it. That’s the area I’ve been watching most closely.

6 Cookie Jill { 10.22.07 at 11:01 pm }

God, this is horrible. 650 homes burned. 200 businesses. Still more to go. They are reporting that they think that 3 of the fires in Los Angeles are going to merge.

7 Bryan { 10.22.07 at 11:46 pm }

It has reached Fairbanks Ranch which in down in the valley north of Del Mar. No prospects for the winds dying until Thursday. This will be the worst fire in San Diego county history.

8 Cookie Jill { 10.23.07 at 12:06 am }

Fallbrook is said to be toasted.

There goes the California Avocado market.

9 Bryan { 10.23.07 at 12:39 am }

And some pretty decent wine, and various plants and flower varieties, and a lot of other things that are grown just in from the coast. The damages will be over a billion dollars easily.

I’m wondering about using the stadium, as it isn’t covered and the air quality has to suck. The city and county pols are going to get a lot of tough questions when this is over, because they didn’t have a coordinated plan in place when this struck and they are winging it. They just had to move the “special needs” people out of the fairgrounds, which is next to the racetrack, and send them north. Del Mar advised people to go to Orange County to a shelter up there.

10 Cookie Jill { 10.23.07 at 12:50 am }

Well…Orange County has it’s own fire problems.

The back country of San Diego is also home to quite a number of farm and breeders of animals, especially of the equine variety.

And…I will slightly agree with you on the wine. Being in Santa Barbara, however, I am VERY biased on my wine! 😉

There will be LOTS of questions and finger pointing after this, but, I think we as a society are to shoulder a good deal of the blame. We want to build big houses out in the middle of nowhere and expect in the times of disaster, the fire department is always going to be there. We build in areas that have limited water and limited access. We build in areas that are known to be fire havens. We have just lost contact with what nature and the environment are all about. I watched one man being asked about his house in Malibu, which he had bought 6 years ago. He was aware of the recent history of big burns in the area but he said “I didn’t think lightning would strike twice in the same area.” I couldn’t freakin’ believe it.

11 whig { 10.23.07 at 3:17 am }

Since lightning generally follows the path of least resistance, where it strikes it is likely to strike again. Just FWIW. 🙂

12 whig { 10.23.07 at 3:20 am }

Not to make light of the situation, though I feel like there isn’t much I can say or do about it except wish everyone that needs to evacuate will be able to do so safely, and wonder how much better it would be if we didn’t have all of our resources overseas.

13 Bryan { 10.23.07 at 2:30 pm }

Malibu has had fires forever. Fires occur there because of the vegetation and topography. One wet year for the vegetation to fill back in and a fire is guaranteed.

The Witch fire is a continuation of the Cedar fire. It is in the same area and burning the vegetation that wasn’t burned in the Cedar fire. It is following the water in north county, burning around all of the little reservoirs on the creeks and rivers where vegetation can get some water, even in a drought.

The fires are going to attack where there are homes, because that is where there is vegetation to burn because of irrigation, and electric lines to spark the fires.

The National Guard is down on the border to protect the country from strawberry pickers.

14 Cookie Jill { 10.23.07 at 8:55 pm }

Strawberry pickers and busboys.

15 Bryan { 10.23.07 at 9:14 pm }

I rare eat at restaurants with busboys and those I ate at in San Diego were so high priced the busboys were from eastern Europe pretending to be French.