66th Assembly District Wildland Fire Update for Northern San Diego County & Western Riverside County


Last updated 10/24/2007 at Noon

While Riverside County has thus far largely been left unscathed by the wildfires, the San Diego portion of the 66th District has been devastated. Evacuation centers for those who have been forced from their homes by the wildfires are open in Temecula and Murrieta at:

• Ronald Reagan Sports Park Community Recreation Center (at capacity)

• Temecula Valley High School (at capacity)

• Chaparral High School

• Murrieta Valley High School

These facilities are being managed by the Red Cross. They have expressed to us their need for money and volunteers at shelters throughout California. To help in Riverside County, please visit: http://www.riversidecounty.redcross.org/

To assist in San Diego County, please visit:


A full list of shelters in both counties, as well as information on how to help or donate to wildfire relief can be found on those webpages.

The Salvation Army will be on site at the Murrieta Chamber Business Expo this Thursday, October 25th from 5-8PM to be accepting clothing, water, blankets, cots, etc. There will also be someone in attendance to accept monetary donations. The Expo is being held at the Murrieta Lowe’s on Madison Avenue. There will also be a blood drive at the location.

We also have within our office a packet of information on how to receive help with state agencies and insurance companies in filing claims or receiving assistance in the aftermath of the fires. Please send an e-mail, including your information, to [email protected] to have this packet e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to you.


The Rice Fire (Rainbow, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Pala Mesa, De Luz areas) is 7,500 acres and 15% contained. 1 firefighter has been injured. Red Flag conditions during daylight hours. De Luz and Fallbrook are evacuated. Over 400 structures in De Luz and Northern Fallbrook area threatened. Oct 23, 2007: 206 residences have been destroyed, 2 commercial properties, 40 outbuildings, 91 vehicles and 20,000 Avocado trees. Most of the center of Fallbrook and downtown has so far been spared from the fire.

Additional: As reported this morning – depending on future weather conditions this fire has the potential to move into portions of Riverside County. Areas that could be impacted include DeLuz, Tenaja and possibly Pechanga/Red Hawk.

The Poomacha Fire (Pauma Valley, Palomar Mtn) 25,000 acres and 0% contained. 659 firefighters assigned to this fire. Fire increased in size due to extreme fire behavior, lack of resources and high winds. Some resources are beginning to arrive, but no significant perimeter control has been initiated due to structure protection priorities.

Oct 23, 2007: The fire is spreading rapidly and they are evacuating all of Palomar Mountain. 50 homes have been destroyed. Fire increased in size substantially due to extreme fire behavior, lack of resources and high winds. Some resources are beginning to arrive at the incident, but no significant perimeter control has been initiated due to structure protection priorities.

Additional: Depending on future weather conditions this fire has an outside chance of coming around or over Palomar Mountain and moving towards Riverside County (Lower Hwy-79).

The Witch Fire (started mid-way between Ramona and Julian) is 196,420 acres, now 10% contained, suppression costs are at $2.3 million. There have been 12 injuries to firefighters. There are 1,841 firefighters assigned to this fire. The fire will continue to move east threatening the communities of Julian and Pine Hills. Fire has potential to move north and join with the Poomacha Fire. Fire spread to west and southwest is still a potential. There have been 645 structures destroyed – 250 damaged. 100 commercial properties destroyed – 75 destroyed. 50 outbuildings destroyed – 50 damaged.

The Harris Fire (southern San Diego county) is now 73,000 acres, suppression costs are at $2.5 million. There have been 7 injuries. 759 Firefighters assigned. The fire was held at the edge of Chula Vista and Spring Valley. The returning onshore flow has moved the fire to the northeast threatening structures along Highway 94 from Jamul to the east and Jamacha to the west. Lyons Peak was burned and the fire jumped perimeter control lines in the area. Oct 23, 2007: An estimated 200 to 500 homes have been destroyed or damaged. 1500 homes are or have been threatened. Areas threatened: regional communications site on San Miguel Mountain. Power grid and sub station, Water treatment plant, Chula Vista, San Diego, Potrero, Barrett Junction, Barrett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley area and Otay Mountain. The fire burned 50+ homes in Deerhorn Valley Fire and Honey Springs. Fire moved rapidly to the west/southwest to Chula Vista and Otay Lake and north to the south end of Barrett Lake. Firefighters are engaged in protecting a critical Power Grid sub-station and a water treatment plant.


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