Joseph Urbaszewski, a teacher at Rim of the World High School who has been evacuated from the area, is offering hourly updates on his weblog:
It is hard to get factual data now; like the fire itself, false claims and incorrect information is rampant ... I need to rest for a bit. ... I will update every hour or so through the night; I also have had 3 hours of sleep since Friday.
Citizen Smash, a San Diego County resident, describes the scope of the disaster:
Someone asks me why this fire is such a big story. "After all," he claims, "Nobody outside of California cares about this stuff."
Let me get this straight:
- At one point Sunday afternoon, we had a line of three major fires, stretching over forty miles from north to south, and bearing down on the seventh largest city in the United States (population 1.3 million, 3 million in metro area);
- Over 450 homes have been destroyed, including 160 homes inside the San Diego city limits;
- Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and are overwhelming our emergency shelters;
- The fires are blazing out of control, and at one point had reached to within ten miles of downtown San Diego ...
San Diego resident Mike Davis writes that the disaster was inevitable because of homes encroaching into forests filled with fuel:
... huge plantations of old, highly flammable brush accumulate along the peripheries and in the interstices of new, sprawled-out suburbs. Since the devastating 1993 fires, tens of thousands of new homes have pushed their way into the furthest recesses of Southern California's coastal and inland fire-belts. Each new homeowner, moreover, expects heroic levels of protection from underfunded county and state fire agencies.
Fire, as a result, is politically ironic. Right now, as I watch San Diego's wealthiest new suburb, Scripps Ranch, in flames, I recall the Schwarzenegger fund-raising parties hosted there a few weeks ago. This was an epicenter of the recent recall and gilded voices roared to the skies against the oppression of an out-of-control public sector. Now Arnold's wealthy supporters are screaming for fire engines, and "big government" is the only thing standing between their $3 million homes and the ash pile.
Susan Kitchens, who has a cabin at Green Valley Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, is listening to fire scanners on Live365:
They're canvassing the area, and have one or more people who refuse to leave the premises. Reply: "If they refuse to leave, get their name, date of birth, and the name of their dentist."
A contributor to Hiptop Nation has a home 12 miles from the origin of the Grand Prix fire:
Our house is still standing. A bunch of smoke, ash and overall unhealthy air and some stress is what we have had for the past few days. ... The work the firefighters are doing is in very difficult and dangerous terrain. Major power transmission lines are a concern on this fire because both the DWP and SCE have lines that run through the fire area.
The author of Stennieville is waiting to see if fire near Stevenson Ranch reaches his neighborhood:
I'm not in any danger. The fire has to get through a whole lot of rich people's homes before it reaches me. I'm protected by what Ben at work calls "The Gold Barrier."
The author of To the Barricades lives near the original fire in the San Bernardino Mountains:
The devastation is vast -- more so than the media can show. Mile after mile of burned out suburbia is typical, in many places as far as one can see in any direction. The winds are driving the fires back and forth across the same fronts, with the flames finding new fuel sources higher up the steep slopes each pass.
A relative of the Parallaxative author lost her home in the Scripps Ranch fire in San Diego:
My stepmom's house is on this list of destroyed houses in Scripps Ranch. ... what matters to me most is that we probably lost almost everything my dad owned. Not to mention his ashes, a plaster mold of his hand that my stepmom took after he died, and all the photos and memorabilia that can never be replaced. It feels like losing him a second time ...
Check out Robert Daeleys links at:
Robert lives in San Bernardino...
Not much, but here's a picture of the San Diego fire coming through the Tierrasanta neighborhood and topping the ridge of Mission Gorge. Taken from our second story window on Sunday morning abour 10:30 am...about 2 miles from it.
It illustrates the skies we've been under since Sunday.