Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fire in Lawson Valley...

...and way too close to home!  But there were several pieces of good news in this experience...

Our neighbors Jim and Michelle B. called me around 3:15 pm with the news that there was a fire directly across the valley from us.  At right (click to enlarge) you can see the scene from our front yard.  The mountain in the distance is Viejas Mountain; the fire is almost due north of us.  The wind was blowing toward the northeast, away from us and up onto a small peak that's in Cleveland National Forest.  The reddish color is from the retardant dropped just before I snapped this photo, by the tanker plan exiting stage left.

Forty-five minutes later, the fire appeared to be out, with just smoldering embers remaining.  As I write this, the command plane is still circling but there's no other aerial activity.  At the peak of the battle, there were at least two helicopters and two tanker planes fighting the fire, a ground crew on the scene, and a command plane circling overhead.  It was a very impressive demonstration of our firefighting capability, and a far cry from what we saw four years ago.  As you might imagine, we find this quite comforting.  Loveland Reservoir has more water in it than it has had for years, and it's right over that ridge that sits in front of Viejas Mountain.  The helicopters and planes were cycling back and forth between the reservoir and the fire quite quickly.  Another comforting factor!

The black bordered area on the map below shows my best estimate of where the fire was located.


  1. We saw the fire and the air command get this one under control VERY quickly from our house in Lawson Valley (we are only about 2 miles in).
    Do you happen to know how it started?

  2. I don't know how it started. It appeared to originate near some buildings, just on the edge of the National Forest. So I could speculate that some sort of human activity ignited it, but that is just speculation, nothing more...