Friday, October 26, 2007

Tuesday late afternooon Update

We've been watching the skies all day, praying and hoping. Around noon, the winds turned back to the east, and aircraft were able to come in and dump water and fire retardant on Mt Miguel. Within a few hours, the fire had been turned back to the east, and was no longer creeping westward towards us. About 1 hour ago, all mandatory and voluntary evacuations for Chula Vista (immediately to our south) were been lifted. While we are safe, and it looks like we will not have to evacuate, I'm staying packed till Thursday when the Santa Ana winds are expected to stop. Authorities expect containment of the Harris fire (that was most threatening us) by Oct 31.

It seems really odd to be relieved, while at the same time remembering that at least 8 fires are still burning in San Diego County, will continue to burn for another week, and people are still being evacuated from other areas. At this time, there are almost 550,000 people who have been evacuated around the county, and over 1000 homes destroyed. Yet people remain upbeat, and volunteers and supplies continue to be offered at the various shelters around the county. This is such a great community of people - I'm really encouraged to see so much community spirit and cohesion.

Someone asked me WHY so many fires started at once. Good question. It's a combination of things, but mainly has to do with the extremely dry conditions, the humidity being down around 6% in places, and the hot Santa Ana winds blowing from the east. Those conditions make the atmosphere so volatile, it doesn't really take much for fires to start. A downed power line can create a spark... It happened very quickly, and all over SoCal.
Please continue to pray for calm winds, a rise in the humidity, and cooler temperatures.

Fires continue to burn throughout the county, and north of us in San Bernardino and Orange County.
From the LA Times:

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