California: San Diego Wildfires

Guest contribution by Lee Kuriako

San Diego County, California—7 San Diego news is reporting on six different fires which have broken out across the city of a San Diego, California.

Dulzura located 25 miles southeast of the city of San Diego, about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border, on the east side of the San Ysidro Mountains, by five pm the Dulzura was up to 75 percent containment, but not before burning at least 10 acres as the flames spread at dangerous speeds the winds up to 15 miles per hour as the firefighters faced above 100 degree temperatures, with a humidity of 8 percent.

Another blaze the West or Alpine fire occurred around 11:30 A.M. in East San Diego County’s foothill community of Alpine. The Brush fire destroyed close to a dozen homes, left one firefighter burned according to a spokesperson for Cleveland National Forest, via NBC San Diego, the firefighter suffered burns to his face, but is in stable condition and expected to stay overnight in a local San Diego hospital. NBC San Diego explains that the “entire community at Alpine Oaks Estate was evacuated.” on Friday.

By Friday afternoon the West fire reached 400 acres winds having sent embers flying causing homes in a mobile home park and other areas near the freeway and to the south ablaze. Alpine resident Kiersten Pinard who was among those scrambling to evacuate as the fire raged just four houses down from hers, she spoke with The San Diego Union Tribune, “I was super scared, super upset … (thinking) that our house was going to be gone,” said Pinard, who was forced to evacuate from a different Alpine home during the 2003 fires. “But you know, my husband was at work, my daughter was at school, so we were safe. That’s the most important thing.”

The fire itself jumped from one area to another or ‘hopscotched’ leaving some areas untouched and others burned to the ground as Alpine Fire Protection District Chief Bill Paskle said; “There are homes that are perfectly untouched, and others that are burned to the ground,” by five pm the fire crews were able to stop the fire from continuing to spread. Of the three fires plaguing San Diego county the West has been described as the largest with it and the Vandergift fire of Camp Pendleton still not under control with the West fire only at 5 % containment as of last report.

There is no word yet on containment for the Vandegrift fire, which has burned 330 acres and is 40 percent contained, firefighters are fighting the Horno Fire, which is burning off Basilone Road, and monitoring the third fire near Range 409, according to the base has burned 125 acres and caused 750 homes have been evacuated so far. Those leaving O’Neil Heights are advised to take Santa Margarita Rd.

Temperatures meanwhile also remain near 100 through 7 pm where the West Fire is burning and it remains warm overnight with no relief from the heat expected. And according to NBC 7 San Diego news the West fire damaged the electrical system servicing several communities in the East County. San Diego Gas & Electric officials said the outage affected more than 3,000 customers in the communities of Dehesa, Alpine, Rancho Palo Verde, Harbison Canyon, West Descanso, Boulder Creek, Glen Oaks, West Alpine and Viejas. Two circuits were out due to smoke damage, according to SDG&E. One circuit was de-energized as a precaution, a spokesperson for the utility told NBC 7. SDG&E said several power poles were also damaged. As of 7 p.m., about 1,100 customers in the Alpine area remained without power according to SDG&E.’

As of Saturday Morning, Cal Fire San Diego issued a twitter update telling San Diego residents evacuations are still in place and that firefighters have made good progress.

Camp Pendleton also posted an update on Saturday Morning via twitter

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