Wildfires burn in southern California

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Wildfire photographed overnight in Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California, which is just south of Agua Dulce, California.
Image: Jeff Turner.

Los Angeles Area:

Wildfires in Malibu, California, USA have forced the evacuation of the campus of Pepperdine University, as well as several celebrity homes, and more than 250,000 people in San Diego County; after more than 250,000 acres burned in Southern California. High winds and low humidity in the area have only helped to strengthen the fire.

Additionally, firefighters are currently having a difficult time getting in to Malibu, as the only road that leads in to the area is the Pacific Coast Highway, which often sees heavy traffic, although it has been closed between Kanan Road and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Currently, 700 firefighters are working on fighting the blaze. The fire has burned about 4400 acres so far and 15 homes have been lost, however there have been no reported injuries or deaths. The Los Angeles County Fire Department reports the blaze is 15% contained, with 100% containment predicted by Friday, October 26.

Location of Malibu, California shown in red

Other Los Angeles County wildfires are burning in Agua Dulce (~10,000 acres), Chatsworth, and Castaic.

San Diego County:

San Diego, California, USA fires are burning at Witch Creek and at Potrero in San Diego County. The Witch Creek fire, as of 5:50 AM PDT Monday, has burned 8000 acres, and has merged with another fire near the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The city of Ramona, California, USA is under mandatory evacuation and authorities have ordered evacuations in Rancho Bernardo, California, USA and Poway, California, USA as the fires surge west. So far, over 250,000 people have been evacuated in San Diego County.

Additional fires are now being reported in Fallbrook, California, USA and San Marcos, California, USA. The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES) advised residents north of state Route 56, south of Del Dios Highway, west of Interstate 15 and east of Interstate 5 to evacuate, as of 8:32 AM PDT Monday. Since Del Dios Highway is a short north-south segment, it is not clear what OES' intended northern boundary was. Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley is opening as an evacuation center.

As of 7:32 a.m. PDT Monday, authorities are reporting 18,000 acres burning in San Diego County, with 0% containment.

As of 10:16 a.m. PDT Monday, 250,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA was ordered emptied, while dozen of homes were on fire in Ranch Bernardo, California, USA.

As of 10:32 a.m. PDT Monday, the CHP advises that Interstate 15 is still closed in both directions between state Route 78 and state Route 56

As of 1:45 p.m. PDT Monday, evacuations were ordered for Scripps Ranch, California, USA, specifically "Everything south of Scripps Poway Parkway, North of MCAS Miramar, East of Interstate 15, West of Highway 67." This evacuation comes almost four years to the day after the Cedar Fire of 2003.

Orange County:

In Orange County, a 3800-acre fire is burning in Silverado Canyon.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency.


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.