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Stories for October 24, 2007

Harris Fire Doubles Back to Northeast

Oct. 24
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Shifting wind patterns prompted a 75,000-acre wildfire in southern San Diego County to focus its destructive energies in new directions today, authorities said.

San Diego Fire Update - 10:45 p.m.

Oct. 24
Mirna Alfanso

None of the fires raging in San Diego County are more than 10 percent contained and fire and county officials can't say how many of aircraft are fighting them.

Many Fire Evacuees Returning to Find Houses Intact, Others Aren't So Lucky

Oct. 24
By Tamara Keith and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

As firefighters get a little help from the weather, some residents are now returning to their evacuated neighborhoods. For some the news is bad, but most are finding their homes intact. Reporter Tamara Keith has the story of residents returning to Rancho Bernardo.

Some Backcountry Residents Who Did Not Evacuate Feel Trapped

Oct. 24
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting

While tens of thousands of San Diego County's evacuated residents have found their way to shelters, there are still people in the backcountry who are stuck in fire-affected areas. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma spoke to one woman who says some people who didn't evacuate feel trapped.

Updated List of Local Assistance Centers in Southern California

Oct. 24
By Release From Governoer and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Continuing his efforts to provide immediate assistance to displaced Californians affected by the southern California wildfires, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the opening of five local assistance centers in coordination with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and local governments.

Rancho Bernardo Residents Return to Devastation

Oct. 24
By James Raffel and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Rancho Bernardo residents evacuated due to the region's raging wildfires were given police escorts into their neighborhoods today to quickly grab possessions -- and they found mostly devastation.

Poomacha Fire Continues to Threaten North County

Oct. 24
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Thousands of people in Valley Center are still under an evacuation order, as the Poomacha fire continues to threaten the North County community. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg checked in with residents seeking shelter in Valley Center High School.

Relief Push at Qualcomm Includes Acupuncture, Massage, Comedy

Oct. 24
By Nicole Lozare and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Qualcomm Stadium was a focal point for many fleeing the fires in San Diego County. KPBS reporter Nicole Lozare spent Wednesday morning there.

Evacuation Warning Issued Due to Harris Fire

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Due fire activity on the Harris Fire, incident commanders are issuing an evacuation WARNING for the following areas.

Eight Detained For Allegedly Stealing Qualcomm Supplies

Oct. 24
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego Police officials say they detained eight undocumented immigrants today after the suspects allegedly stole emergency supplies for evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma has more.

NEW: WILDFIRE ASSISTANCE CENTERS

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

NEW: WILDFIRE ASSISTANCE CENTERS:

New School Closures

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

New School Closures: 1:20 p.m. Point Loma Nazarene University & Mission Valley Graduate School Regional Center have announced that classes are canceled for the remainder of the week of October 22. Classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, October 29, unless otherwise notified.

Conserving Water Now is Critical

Oct. 24
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County and most of Southern California were already dealing with water shortages before the fires started. Now water agencies are working to keep water supplies steady as some pumps have been damaged the past few days. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has this update.

Reporter Nicole Lozare Updates From Qualcomm

Oct. 24
By Nicole Lozare and KPBS Public Broadcasting

KPBS reporter Nicole Lozare spent the morning at Qualcomm Stadium. Evacuees are saying their immediate needs are being met. There are cots, mattresses. One man was sleeping on a donated futon.

Conservation Urged to Combat Water Shortage and Pump Shutdowns

Oct. 24
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County and most of Southern California were already dealing with water shortages before the fires started. Water agencies are dealing with pump shutdowns in the county, possible caused by the fires. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has this update.

SoCal Power Emergency Enters Third Straight Day

Oct. 24
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California Power officials say there is a transmission emergency for the third straight day. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Feinstein Calls For 'Catastrophic Coverage' For the Uninsured

Oct. 24
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Senator Dianne Feinstein is worried that some people who lost their homes in the fires don't have home insurance. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has that story.

Senator Feinstein: Officials Should Consider Capping Development

Oct. 24
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California Senator Dianne Feinstein told KPBS this morning that local officials should reconsider how much development is allowed in San Diego County. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has more.

California Fire Crews Hope Slowing Winds Help Them Control Blazes

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Exhausted firefighters and wildfire refugees are looking forward to today's diminishing winds after days of ferocious Santa Ana's stoked 16 California wildfires.

D.C. Legislators Strategizing Best Responses

Oct. 24
By Jodi Breisler and KPBS Public Broadcasting

While the fires rage in Southern California, DC legislators are talking about what they can do from Capitol Hill. Jodi Breisler sends this report.

Evacuation Ordered Around Palomar Mountain

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Mandatory evacuation orders are now in effect for 167 households in Birch Hill near Palomar Mountain.

Many Evacuees Express Gratitude and Hope

Oct. 24
By Joanne Faryon and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Fire has chased more than 500,000 people from their homes. Many stayed with friends and family, others scrambled to check-in to hotels and motels. Some chose to sleep in their cars. And then there are thousands who have nowhere to go, other than evacuation shelters, where they sleep on cots in gymnasiums and community centers. Reporter Joanne Faryon spent some time at the Chula Vista Evacuation Center Tuesday. She found people filled with gratitude and hope.

Witch Creek Fire Just 1 Percent Contained (as of 3 a.m.)

Oct. 24
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Witch Creek fire in northern San Diego County, whose sooty footprint is the biggest in Southern California at nearly 200,000 acres, was just 1 percent contained today.

Mandatory Evacuations for Fallbrook & Julian

Oct. 24
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Officials have issued a new round of mandatory evacuations in San Diego County. County spokeswoman Lesley Kirk says all residents in the Bonsall, San Luis Rey Heights and Winterwarm areas of Fallbrook are told to leave the area to avoid the Rice Fire.

Navy & Marine Helicopters to Assist with S.D. Fires

Oct. 24
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego congressional delegation tonight announced the deployment of Navy and Marine helicopters to fight the San Diego County wildfires.