October 22nd, 2007

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Yellow Alert

Eric just called and woke me up, they've ordered an evacuation of northern Poway--his mom's house. It's mandatory, not advisory. A transformer exploded at CA-78 and Bandy Canyon Rd and started another fire in the San Pasqual Valley, which Eric says has already jumped I-15, but I'm not finding confirmation yet. I think I'm going to stop at Home Depot here for a respirator mask and refills, then catch the next flight home.

[Update 5:00am] The Union-Tribune says the fire hasn't jumped I-15, but they closed it from RB Road to Via Rancho Parkway so they can take measures to keep that from happening.
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Jesus mother of fuck...

According to the U-T:
18K acres on fire, 0% (zero percent) contained
Courts closed
Residents advised to stay off highways and cell phones
Mandatory evac of everything north of CA-56, south of Del Dios Highway, east of I-5, west of I-15. This is a huge area, 100 square miles, that includes Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley, much of Encinitas, 4S Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, half of Rancho Bernardo. Both of Eric's parents houses are now under mandatory evacs
Qualcomm Stadium is open as a shelter. (Also Escondido, Santana, Mira Mesa, and Steele Canyon HSs. The Poway Community Center was open, dunno if it still is.)
The county emergency website is overwhelmed.
Six houses in southern Escondido have burned.
The fire jumped I-15 near the Pomerado Rd/West Bernardo Dr exit, just south of Lake Hodges.
Large animals are being sheltered at the Lakeside and Poway rodeos and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

In the '03 Cedar Fire, the fires stopped spreading into Poway and the regions north and west of it because the winds died down. If the winds continue over the next few days, we're going to lose a tremendous piece of north county.
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Down safe

I'm on the ground in San Diego. The paper says I-15 is open again, but the offramps are closed. I'm probably going to have to back-door through Scripps Ranch to get home. Everything north of Twin Peaks Rd is under an evac order.

Matt and Carolyn Dharm have offered to put me up, so that's likely where I'll be.
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I'm home

The house is still standing. I'm packing things up. I am NOT yet under an evac order. The other side of Community Park is, but I'm not yet. I'll go when the call comes, if not sooner.

The SD Polo Club and Del Mar Fair are full of animals, they aren't taking any more. The Poway Rodeo is within the new evac area, but people are being told not to remove their animals from there. They don't expect it to burn, just for a lot of smoke.
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Latest news

Over 100K acres burned
Fires burning in northern and eastern Poway. My cousin lives in The Heritage, the other side of Maderas Country Club, and their neighbor's house is burning, and people are looting the neighborhood. There's also fires down in the valley near Poway and Espola Roads, and along Highland Valley Road in the far north.
I-15 is closed from CA-79 in Temecula to CA-163 in Kearney Mesa.
I am still not under an evac order, but all of Poway north of Twin Peaks Road is, as is everything east of Midland, west of the San Diego Aqueduct, and north of Rattlesnake creek. The city just posted a last call for evacuation for the High Valley area.
The northeast edges of Scripps Ranch are beginning to burn.
Poway Unified has closed all its schools through Wednesday.

The Poway Community Center shelter is full. Our evacuees are being sent to Santana HS in Santee. I'll be going to Matt Dharm's house in Mira Mesa.

I'm backing up data on my server and taking that disk with me. I'll check there for mail as long as my system holds out. If the power fails or, God forbid, the house burns down, I'll be reachable at gmail.com with the username jalindquist
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The Union reports that at least four houses in the gated Bridlewood community a half mile north of Poway HS are burning.
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Yeah, I'm out safe

I'm staying with Matt & Carolyn Dharm over in Mira Mesa, which appears to be well out of the way of the fires. My neighborhood is still not under an evacuation order. Everyone north of Twin Peaks, and everything north of Poway Rd, east of Community has to leave. I didn't, but I left anyways. It strikes me as wise. I'd rather be out and get a good night's sleep, rather than be anxious that someone's going to knock on the door at 3am with the flames cresting the next hill.

I got past the blockade on Espola and took a look at the high school before I left. It's in pretty good shape. Lots of wind damage to screens on fences. And most of the new trees planted this year were blown over, hopefully they can be replanted. The hills east of the school are on fire, going north around Lake Poway and into the Blue Sky Preserve. There's houses destroyed in the Maderas area, I'm worried about my cousin's house in the Heritage. She told my aunt she'd heard from a neighbor that stayed behind that another neighbor was on fire, and people were looting other houses. The fire may also be threatening Karen and Marty's house. There are reports of houses destroyed in Eric's dad's neighborhood.

All I can really do is hope for the best. And that I keep getting an answer from home.

It's really dry here. 6% in many places, as low as 4% in a few.