All roads are open. Residents were allowed in
As the Valley Fire continues to grow, so does the evacuation map. Realize, at this point the map also covers part of Interstate Eight, which it could jump. This is why the Navy joined the fire-fight today. It is critical that the fire is brought under some kind of control before Santa Anas come back. When they do, it could have even more explosive growth, eating even more of the San Diego County footprint.
These winds are expected by tomorrow, according to the National Weather service.
#SantaAna Winds Tuesday&Wednesday
- → Gusty east/northeast winds are expected for the deserts, mountains, some inland valleys. — → Very low humidity. — → Be careful if driving and limit outdoor burning of any kind.
As is, the fire’s footprint is already larger than the Border fire that killed two people a few years back. I was there when the bodies were found by local volunteers, since the Sheriff's Department, for some odd reason, refused at the time to put in the search and recovery resources.
So far this fire has destroyed eleven homes and twenty-five outbuildings with two injuries directly related to the fire. From Radio coms I know one was a firefighter on the line who got stung by a bee. The cost in human lives with this fire has been light, but not in the anxiety of evacuations, and the loss of property.
The evacuation map is wide-ranging at this point, and if you are within the area, consider at least packing your vehicles, facing out. We also have a state of emergency declared by Governor Gavin Newsom. This allows for other resources to enter the fray, and later for recovery. However, at this point, the state has seen a total of 7,452 fires which have burned 2,549,381 acres. This is the worst season in California history, and I may add, this is just September. This is the beginning of the main part of the season.
The fire at the moment is at 10,258 acres and growing.
Every time you see photos like the one I am including, think of the person who lost property. Think of a lifetime of memory gone. Why we were so happy to be able to tell another owner on the same street that firefighters were able to save his home, save the fire pile and a trashcan.
For the moment, we need to also consider how politicians are reacting to this. Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running for CD-50, the district in which this fire is raging, has not just evacuated. He is also offering to help others in his district. This is the same district no longer represented by Duncan Hunter, who was convicted earlier in the year by the courts. The other candidate is Darrell Issa, who is your typical carpet-bagger, and lost his seat to Mark Levine far north.
Najjar lives in the district and evacuated his home in Jamul. For him, wildfires are a critical issue, because we are living through more of them. He is also part of a younger generation of politicians trying to change the dynamics in Washington DC.
For the moment, consider this. Fire frequency and intensity are growing, as predicted by climate scientists. We will continue to face more critical fire weather and more often. Why? Because the planet is warming. There is one more thing. COVID is dominating our lives at present. It is also presenting a challenge in evacuations since this could affect sheltering operations. For the moment, hotel vouchers are preferred to mass sheltering. In the future, we can expect more emerging diseases as well. A heating world is releasing things we have not seen in the wild from the permafrost.
Oh, and the footprint already includes the Southern Powerlink. This is the main electric feed from both the East County and the Sierra wind stations south of the border that Sempra owns, as well as East County Electric farms, and Imperial County wind farm, the parent company of San Diego Gas and Electric.