The high school is being used as a relief center for firefighters. We're feeding them, cleaning them up, and giving them a place to chill and even sack out. (The new wrestling center is fully air conditioned, and comes complete with soft mats on the floor.) I'll go up in the morning to help out.
Ramona is currently out of water. The pumping station that feeds it lost power--it's located between the Blue Sky Preserve and Lake Poway. I saw the generators being delivered this evening, but it will take more than a day to refill their reservoir tanks up the hill and restore system pressure.
The Rice fire in Fallbrook is burning pretty fiercely. We're very concerned it will link up with another fire in Riverside County. They just re-issued the evacuation order for Fallbrook. The Poomacha fire is burning the La Jolla Reservation and Palomar Mountain, and is likely to merge with the Witch Creek fire overnight. Witch Creek is closing in on Julian, which is completely without power, phones, or water.
I'm a little concerned about Julian... every time they have a fire, they lose power and phones. They need some serious improvement to their utility infrastructure. That far out, the cell system will get overwhelmed quickly, assuming it doesn't fail too.
The Harris fire down south is threatening Jamul and Rancho San Diego. There's a lot to worry about down there.
On the up-side, people have been very generous. The Qualcomm Stadium shelter has all the donations it needs. The Poway Community Center shelter put out a call for supplies, and was overwhelmed in hours.
The National Guard has been deployed to help at evacuation centers, and to man street corner checkpoints. This has freed the Sheriff's department to get some sleep, and to patrol the evacuated neighborhoods to prevent looting. Their presence is VERY welcome. (Though I wish they weren't carrying rifles. Pistols would be more than sufficient, but their training might not allow that.)
I think the response to these fires has shown we learned a lot from the mistakes of the Cedar fire. Aerial support is much improved, communication is better, though not without its faults. Evacuation orders were issued earlier, allowing people to leave well ahead of fires, rather than a panicked rush at the last minute. In many cases, the fire never came. Those evacs were still the right call--had the wind not changed at the right time, those areas would have burned too.
My home has not been downwind of the fires, so my sky has been mostly clear. You still smell the smoke, but there isn't the constant overcast haze, and the ash isn't falling as hard as it did during the Cedar Fire of 2003.
I spent most of my time hanging out at Matt and Carolyn's, watching TV coverage and keeping up on the 'net coverage. There just wasn't much else to do.
I-15 is staying consistently open through Escondido. It opens and closes through Fallbrook, depending on smoke conditions. CA-67 also opens and closes. It just closed again at Poway Road.
The shelter at Qualcomm Stadium is really amazing... there's plenty of volunteers. People have showed up just to provide entertainment. There are clowns and bands! The atmosphere is that of a big slumber party. The soccer fields behind the stadium is a big animal shelter. The Louisiana Superdome it is not. (Okay, it helps that conditions allow us to bring in supplies, and the sewers work.)