Friday, October 26, 2007

Wednesday afternoon, the Community rallies

Fires continue to burn throughout the county, even though for us it seems like the fires are over. Fires are now burning through Lyons Valley where I take one of my favorite road rides. It's a 45-mile ride with about 4600 feet of climbing involved. It's a brutal, beautiful ride. Today they are fighting fires there:

Harris fire burns around Barrett Lake
Posted @ 12:29 PM

Seen from a vantage point above Barrett Lake, the Harris Fire is burning out of control around the lake. Air tankers are swooping over and dropping fire retardant to halt the spread further into the back country.

Firefighters are staging in Lyons Valley in case the fire comes over the peak and heads into the residential area of the valley.

At the Lyons Valley store, Joe DeCrescente vowed not to leave. I'm going to stick it out," he said. "I haven't run in 35 years, and I'm not going to now."

He said he's been taking calls from people who evacuated Sunday. He's been checking on homes and delivering the updates to the Steele Canyon High School evacuation center.

Along with couple of others, DeCrescente has been keeping a generator running at the Lyons Vally Store so the frozen food won't spoil.

-- David Hasemyer, staff writer,
Joe DeCrescente is the man who greets me with a smile every time I come in to the Lyons Valley Trading Post in the middle of that long Honey Springs ride, telling me "Just pay me next time," if I don't have the cash for the sunscreen I'd forgotten to apply that morning. As of this evening, the fire is still inching towards the peak. I'll have to wait till morning for news.

Because of downed power lines, we have been using power from Tijuana. From what I understand, they've got the grid back up and running now.

Another note on the positive side of things, despite the thousands of evacuees, and hundreds of homes destroyed, San Diegans remain upbeat, and the mood at the main evacuation center at Qualcomm Stadium is rather positive...
(from 2007-10-24 03:49:22 PM
Probably, San Diego has to be the largest group of good Samaritans in the world. They had too many supplies and volunteers within hours of making their initial request. Now it's just particulars they need.

Hell, they even have Yoga Classes.
It's true. San Diego has more volunteers looking to help right now than there are volunteer opportunities. Local massage therapists, yoga instructors, magicians, performers, etc., have gone out to volunteer their time and help ease the stress of the situation. If you get a chance, you should scroll through the photos from Qualcomm.

Steph was telling me she went out to dinner last night and restaurants were packed. As she described the scene in the crowded restaurant, in my best Valley Girl voice I intoned, "Like, yeah, the house is totally gone and I--- Oh wow! Have you tried this swordfish? This is totally to-die-for!" Yeah. That's almost how it is.

Additionally, people take the initiative to create things like this:
(from 2007-10-24 08:53:08 PM
I don't know if anyone posted this yet, but volunteers (including my husband) at the Computer Science Department at UCI were up all night and working this morning to make website where people who have been displaced by the fires can get in touch with people who want to give them a place to stay. The site also has a news feed and maps. If you have been displaced and need a place to stay or if you have some extra room please check it out!

(from their website) This site allows evacuees to look for shelter, and volunteers to provide shelter. It also provides a news feed with information on the current state of the fires. Please click the links above to get started.

Current Hosts Who Can Provide Housing: 20
Current Guests in Search of Housing: 6
It's wonderfully overwhelming, the sense of community and connectedness. It's what will get us through the long and difficult days of clean-up ahead of us.

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