Sunday, October 21, 2007
Winds are pushing flames and smoke from two wildfires in San Diego County. The Harris Fire is 14,000 acres and 5 percent contained, there have been multiple structures destroyed. There were four firefighters injured earlier in the day when the fire burned over their engines. At least thirteen civilians have been burned on this fire. The communities of Potrero, Tecate, Dulzura and parts of Deerhorn Valley have been evacuated. The fire is burning to the northwest and being driven by Santa Ana winds.
The Witch Fire is 5,000 acres and has burned across Sutherland Dam Road to the west and Rancho Santa Theresa to the south. Evacuations have been made in the Witch Creek area, Old Julian Highway, and the north east side of the San Diego Country Estates. Hwy 78 & 79 are closed from Julian to Ramona.
Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations are now underway at San Diego County Estates, and Magnolia, and Black Canyon.
The heart of the fire was about five miles from Ramona, an unincorporated town of about 36,000 residents.
Highway 78 in the area of the fire was closed, as was Old Julian Highway between Ramona and Santa Ysabel.
Highway 79, north of the reservation, was also closed and traffic was being re-routed to Highway 76.
With the all of the burn injuries to civilians, this indicates how extremely dangerous these fires can be. Residents are strongly advised to follow evacuation orders give by law enforcement.
An evacuation center was set up for displaced residents at Poway High School at 15500 Espola Road. If necessary, it will become an overnight shelter, said American Red Cross spokeswoman Gayle Falkenthal.