San Diego "Cedar" Fire

On October 25, 2003 many areas of San Diego County suffered a
day of 3% relative humidity. That evening the desert-fed Santa Ana winds
continued to blow and several brush fires erupted in the region.
The "Cedar" fire began in Ramona, started apparently by a lost hunter who foolishly
launched a flare to attract attention to his plight. Others place blame on Bill Clinton
and Gov. Gray Davis, which are the more logical choices.
The flare ignited the dry brush, and the Cedar fire began burning south towards Lakeside,
crossed State Highway 67 into southeast Poway, and blazed west towards Miramar Marine
Corps Air Station.

Fingers of fire travelled further south to State Highway 52, burning some homes in Tierra Santa.

By noon October 26 the fire had travelled west to Interstate 15, and jumped the freeway
at the Miramar Way offramp, spreading into the main fields of the air station.

Before crossing the I-15, it branched north and dealt its rageful damage in hopscotch fashion.
Playing leap frog into the Scripps Ranch residential area of San Diego City, it schorched over
a hundred homes. This morning I witnessed the unfathomable design of its path:
homes razed in seemingly crazy-quilt random patterns.

As the western front burned along the lower portion of the MCAS airstrip (former home of
USN Top Gun F-14's), the fire threatened businesses and homes south of State Hwy 52 near
Kearny Villa & Clairemont Mesa Boulevards.

We live in southwest Poway. Because several hotspots approached within a half mile of our
neighborhood, on Sunday afternoon we were advised to prepare to evacuate.
Fortunately by late evening the danger in our immediate area had subsided.
Although several neighbors had evacuated, we chose to stay through the night.
The winds did not change direction on Monday, and today Tuesday is relatively calm.
Our neighborhood is probably over the worst of it.

Others areas have not been so lucky.

Here are some images we've gathered.

Our home's vicinity:  
sky of smoke          typical sky the past two days utility pole near home
pole & cars nearby plumes
ridge half mile away nearby ridge
While the news announcer read details of those who had burned to death,
part of the screen was comfortingly devoted to an NFL game
footage & football
hillside one ridge north of main fire near our home    backing off I've seen enough
Scripps Ranch area:
Avenida Magnifica, Scripps Ranch: single home an isolated target another random burnout
Homes directly across from a friend's in Scripps Ranch:    shell1    shell2
Garbell Home Page Updated 28 Oc 03