Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fires in San Diego...

Fires in San Diego...  Several people wrote to ask if we were ok, after they heard the news reports about wildfires in San Diego County.  Debbie (who is currently at our home in Jamul) got phone calls from concerned relatives and friends.

Short answer: we're fine.  As best I can tell, there have been no major fires anywhere near Jamul, despite news reports to the contrary.  There were several minor fires, including one quite close to our home (that one was started, we're told, by a power line downed by the high winds on Wednesday morning).  These minor fires were all controlled, contained, and put out in short order by very fast and well-coordinated response from fire agencies – in marked contrast to the situation during the 2007 fires.

There are three major fires still uncontrolled in the northern part of the County, near the cities of Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and Carlsbad.  All of these have the potential to cause enormous damage.  As I write, just over 30 homes have been burned already.

The high winds (the “Santa Anas”) that are the primary driver for these fires have died down, and no more are in the forecast.  If past experience is a guide, that means that firefighters will now be able to control and contain these fires within a few days, and their structure protection efforts will be largely successful.  Fires roaring up canyons will be the biggest challenge for them.  That's not the voice of an expert you hear; it's the voice of experience.  We're very familiar with this pattern.

Our fire season appears to have arrived five months early – the weather that is at the root of these fires is what we would normally experience in October.  I have no idea what the next five months will bring, but I sure hope it's not one giant fire season!

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