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  1. #26
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    Post August 7th

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A wildfire burned across nearly 100 acres of
    brush and chaparral in the Angeles National Forest Thursday. No
    injuries or structure damage were reported.
    The fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. just north of a ranger
    station near Little Tujunga Road and quickly spread east into the
    forest.
    "It's in the vicinity of, but not immediately threatening,
    structures," said forest spokesman Stanton Florea.
    More than 180 firefighters battled the blaze, aided by four air
    tankers and four helicopters. One firefighter suffered minor
    injuries. There were no immediate reports of containment. The cause
    of the fire was under investigation.


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    Post 8/18

    AGUA DULCE, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire that charred 50 acres of
    brush in Angeles National Forest was contained Monday without
    causing any injuries or damage to buildings, authorities said.
    A number of firefighters remained to douse hot spots, said U.S.
    Forest Service spokeswoman Terrie Trippel. The cause of the blaze
    was under investigation.
    The fire began Sunday afternoon and quickly spread across an
    isolated canyon about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
    At its peak, about 100 firefighters, aided by water-dropping
    helicopters, battled the flames. The fire began near an area where
    another blaze charred 2,000 acres of pasture land last month.

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    Post 8/19

    REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire burning across grassland in
    the eastern Moreno Valley south of Redlands picked up in intensity
    Tuesday and blackened some 1,400 acres as some residents
    voluntarily evacuated their homes.
    The Riverside County fire, which was 30 percent contained,
    destroyed a mobile home, a moving van and two unidentified
    outbuildings on a ranch, said Rick Vogt, a spokesman for the
    California Department of Forestry. Officials had no estimate on
    when it would be fully contained.
    One firefighter was treated for a minor burn, and a citizen
    suffered a minor burn and smoke inhalation, Vogt said. The man did
    not seek medical attention.
    More than 650 firefighters from all surrounding fire agencies
    responded to the blaze.
    Authorities said the west side of the fire threatened various
    homes, but there were no mandatory evacuations. The Red Cross set
    up an evacuation center at the Cypress Elementary School in
    Redlands.
    The fire jumped San Timoteo Canyon Road to the north as well as
    Redlands Boulevard, a rural road between the Moreno Valley and
    Redlands, but both points were contained, Vogt said.
    The blaze, which started Monday afternoon about 70 miles east of
    Los Angeles, was originally expected to be contained by midday
    Tuesday. But as canyon winds picked up and the weather got hotter
    and drier, the fire increased in intensity, Vogt said.

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  4. #29
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    Post 8/20

    REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire burning in the eastern Moreno
    Valley scorched an orange grove and destroyed several vehicles as
    it expanded to 1,668 acres before being contained Wednesday
    evening.
    A second blaze, north of Los Angeles near suburban Santa
    Clarita, charred about five acres Wednesday and threatened several
    homes before it was contained, authorities said. Its cause was
    under investigation, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman
    Edward Oforio said.
    The Moreno Valley blaze, which started Monday, was contained
    late Wednesday, said California Department of Forestry spokeswoman
    Joanne Evans.
    Since it began, the fire has destroyed a motor home, a moving
    van, at least two outbuildings on a ranch and at least 14 vehicles.
    About 150 orange trees were scorched Wednesday but not destroyed,
    Evans said.
    Two firefighters and a resident have been treated for minor
    injuries since the blaze began.

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  5. #30
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    Post Rescue Blaze

    LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) - A driver stranded for about
    three days after his van plunged 500 feet off a mountain highway
    was rescued early Thursday by firefighters responding to a blaze he
    set to get attention.
    The man, who asked that his name and extent of injuries be
    withheld, was dehydrated but in fair condition at a hospital on
    Thursday evening.
    "He wants us to tell everybody that he's OK," said Connie
    Matthews, spokeswoman at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.
    The two-acre blaze in Angeles National Forest was reported
    shortly before 8 a.m. and Los Angeles County firefighters sent to
    battle it discovered the man trapped in the van, said Capt. Roland
    Sprewell.
    The van was lying on its side in brush far below Angeles Crest
    Highway, which rises quickly from the Los Angeles suburb of La
    Canada Flintridge into the San Gabriel Mountains.
    "This person has been here since Monday," Sprewell said.
    "It's very steep and treacherous terrain."
    The victim was strapped into a stretcher and hoisted by a
    helicopter out of the canyon, and the brush fire was doused within
    an hour.
    "I don't want to encourage people to start fires, but if you're
    trapped for four days you gotta do what you gotta do," said
    firefighter Jeff Ziegler, who helped rescue the man.
    Mathews said the man was "a little sketchy" on the details of
    the ordeal but that "he was able to start a fire so that he could
    alert people that he was there."
    Ziegler said the man suffered facial injuries and swelling that
    made communicating with him difficult.
    "He was in some pain and a little emotionally upset," Ziegler,
    39, said. "He was mostly just relieved to know that he would be
    going home."

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    Post 8/24

    EL CERRITO, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire scorched about 200 acres in
    western Riverside County on Saturday, but fire officials were
    gaining the upper hand and expected to have it soon under control.
    The 199-acre blaze near Lake Mathews was started by "illegal
    shooting," said officials with the Riverside County Fire
    Department.
    The fire, which was first reported at 1:52 p.m., had threatened
    about 100 structures, but none were damaged, said the fire
    department's Maddy Lopez.
    The containment effort included more than 200 firefighters, 31
    engines, three helicopters and four air tankers, as well as seven
    tankers and two bulldozers on the ground.
    Fire officials expected to have the blaze contained by midnight
    and fully controlled by 8 a.m. Sunday. No evacuations were ordered,
    and no injuries were reported.
    Lake Mathews is about 10 miles southwest of Riverside.

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  7. #32
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    Post Sierra Nevada wildfire

    (Truckee, California-AP) -- Firefighters gained again today on a
    100-acre wildfire that had threatened a Sierra Nevada community.
    California Department of Forestry spokesman Steve Mueller
    (mule-ur) says the fire that had threatened dozens of homes in the
    Tahoe Donner subdivision just west of Truckee was about 70 percent
    to 80 percent contained by this evening.
    He says the blaze was expected to be fully contained by early
    tomorrow morning.
    Investigators think the fire probably was caused by an illegal
    campfire yesterday just north of Interstate 80. An investigation
    continues into the blaze.
    A firebreak built by firefighters prevented flames from reaching
    any homes. No evacuations were ordered, and no damage or injuries
    were reported.
    Mueller says about 350 firefighters remained at the scene today.

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  8. #33
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    Post October 21

    Wildfires break out in four SoCal areas, homes destroyed

    (Undated-AP) -- Firefighters are battling four wildfires in
    Southern California.
    One fast-moving blaze has burned 600 acres and destroyed at
    least two homes in the Reche (REH'-chay) Canyon area of Riverside
    County.
    A California Department of Forestry spokeswoman says the blaze
    was reported at 4:11 this afternoon. Fire officials say in all,
    three structures have been destroyed. Voluntary evacuations are
    under way.
    Another brush fire in the hills above Burbank has burned about
    50 acres. A fire spokesman says there are voluntary evacuations but
    no structures are immediately threatened.
    A brush fire at Camp Pendleton has charred more than 500 acres.
    The Marine base says no injuries are reported and no structures are
    threatened.
    And a fire has scorched two-thousand acres near Fontana. No
    structures have been damaged.

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    Post 10/21

    MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Four wildfires broke out Tuesday
    throughout Southern California, including one fast-moving blaze
    that destroyed at least two homes in the Reche Canyon area of
    Riverside County, officials said.
    Fueled by unseasonably hot weather, other blazes struck Fontana,
    Camp Pendleton and the hills above Burbank.
    The blaze in Reche Canyon was reported at 4:11 p.m. and in less
    than three hours had burned at least 600 acres, said Becky Luther,
    a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry.
    Footage from KCBS-TV showed two homes consumed by flames. Three
    structures were destroyed, but authorities had no further details,
    Luther said.
    Residents in the area were told they could voluntarily evacuate
    their homes.
    About 230 firefighters were battling the blaze Tuesday night
    with 33 fire engines, two bulldozers, two water pumpers and eight
    hand crews, officials said.
    The origin of the fire was unknown. There were no reports of
    injury. The fire was burning in a rural enclave in northern
    Riverside County.
    To the northeast, another wildfire scorched 2,000 acres at the
    far north end of Fontana in San Bernardino County. The blaze, which
    erupted about 2:22 p.m. had flames up to 70 feet high and was
    burning up a slope and away from homes, said Bill Peters, a CDF
    spokesman.
    The origin of the fire was under investigation.
    No structures had been burned and there were no reports of
    injury.
    The fire was burning in thick vegetation that had not burned in
    25 years, Peters said.
    In the hills above Burbank, a wildfire of suspicious origin
    burned 50 acres and led to voluntary evacuations, said Dave Starr,
    a spokesman for the Burbank Fire Department.
    The fire was reported at 3:42 p.m. and was being fought by more
    than 100 firefighters, Starr said.
    Residents were told they could voluntarily evacuate as a
    precaution, but no structures were immediately threatened, Starr
    said.
    The blaze was burning in thick vegetation in an area that had
    not burned in 20 years, Starr said.
    Burbank firefighters were joined by personnel from Glendale,
    Pasadena and Los Angeles city and county fire departments.
    A brush fire at Camp Pendleton burned more than 500 acres in an
    uninhabited area used for training exercises. The Marine base said
    there were no injuries reported, and no structures were threatened.
    About 150 firefighters from the California Department of
    Forestry, Camp Pendleton fire department and other agencies were
    battling the blaze in the northeastern section of the base.
    Fire authorities said the blaze started in a training range
    shortly before noon, apparently sparked by some kind of ammunition
    used in military exercises.
    Camp Pendleton, in a statement, gave no estimate of when the
    fire might be contained.

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  10. #35
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    Post Update

    Arson blamed in Reche Canyon fire, homes destroyed

    (Undated-AP) -- Fire officials say a wildfire that has destroyed
    six homes in Moreno Valley in Riverside County was no accident.
    A California Department of Forestry spokeswoman says
    investigators have determined it was an arson fire.
    The blaze broke out after four this afternoon. It has burned at
    least 850 acres and is just 15 percent contained.
    Evacuations have been ordered in the rural Reche Canyon area.
    Another wildfire has charred two-thousand acres at the far north
    end of Fontana in San Bernardino County. No structures have burned.
    A wildfire of suspicious origin burned 80 acres in the hills
    above Burbank. No structures were damaged.
    And a brush fire has burned more than a-thousand acres in an
    uninhabited area of Camp Pendleton. No injuries are reported and no
    structures are threatened.


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  11. #36
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    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Four wildfires broke out Tuesday throughout
    Southern California, including one fast-moving arson blaze that
    destroyed six homes in the Reche Canyon area of Riverside County,
    officials said.
    Fueled by unseasonably hot weather, other blazes struck Fontana,
    Camp Pendleton and the hills above Burbank.
    The blaze in Reche Canyon was reported at 4:11 p.m. and by 11
    p.m. had burned at least 1,000 acres and was 15 percent contained,
    said Becky Luther, a spokeswoman for the California Department of
    Forestry.
    The fire destroyed six homes and investigators determined that
    it was an arson fire, Luther said.
    Evacuations were ordered for residents in the rural enclave in
    northern Riverside County and they were directed to a nearby high
    school for shelter, she said.
    More than 600 firefighters were battling the blaze Tuesday night
    with 55 fire engines, 11 bulldozers, five water pumpers and 24 hand
    crews, officials said.
    There were no reports of injury.
    To the northeast, another wildfire scorched 2,000 acres at the
    far north end of Fontana in San Bernardino County. The blaze, which
    erupted about 2:22 p.m., was burning up a slope and away from
    homes, said Bill Peters, a CDF spokesman.
    No structures had been burned and there were no reports of
    injury.
    The fire, which was in thick vegetation that had not burned in
    25 years, was under investigation, Peters said.
    In the hills above Burbank, a wildfire of suspicious origin
    burned about 100 acres and temporarily led to voluntary
    evacuations, said Dave Starr, a spokesman for the Burbank Fire
    Department.
    The fire was reported at 3:42 p.m. and was being fought late
    Tuesday night by about 50 firefighters, Starr said.
    No structures were immediately threatened and fire officials
    expected to have the blaze fully contained by about noon Wednesday,
    Starr said.
    The blaze was in an area that had not burned in 20 years, Starr
    said. It was about 50 percent contained by 11 p.m. Tuesday.
    Burbank firefighters were joined by personnel from Glendale,
    Pasadena and Los Angeles city and county fire departments.
    A brush fire at Camp Pendleton burned more than 1,000 acres in
    an uninhabited area used for training exercises. The Marine base
    said there were no injuries reported, and no structures were
    threatened.
    About 180 firefighters from the California Department of
    Forestry, Camp Pendleton fire department and other agencies were
    battling the blaze in the northeastern section of the base.
    Fire authorities said the blaze started in a training range
    shortly before noon, apparently sparked by some kind of ammunition
    used in military exercises.
    Camp Pendleton, in a statement, gave no estimate of when the
    fire might be contained.
    Southern California has experienced triple digit temperatures in
    recent days as record highs were set across the region. Warm
    temperatures are expected to continue over the next few days.

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    Post 10/22

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 2,000-acre brush fire at Camp Pendleton led
    to the evacuation of 200 nearby residents Wednesday in one of
    several blazes across Southern California that firefighters tried
    to stop before Santa Ana winds arrive.
    Hundreds of firefighters had to cope with high temperatures that
    helped spur five wildfires, burning more than 6,800 acres. The
    region has had record, triple-digit temperatures, and warm weather
    is expected to continue the next few days.
    Officials also were bracing for the season's first Santa Ana
    winds, which could help the fires spread, said Bill Hoffer, a
    weather service specialist. The winds were expected to begin
    Wednesday night.
    "It lowers relative humidities. It causes a real drying
    effect," he said.
    The Camp Pendleton brush fire affected residents of De Luz
    Canyon, just east of the military installation, said Jeff Wenger, a
    base spokesman.
    Residents were asked, not ordered, to evacuate - but most
    decided to leave.
    "The fire was just one ridge away," Wenger said.
    Officials said the blaze started on a training range about noon
    Tuesday, apparently sparked by ammunition used in military
    exercises. Camp Pendleton is about 50 miles north of San Diego.
    Meanwhile, a blaze in the Reche Canyon area of Riverside County
    that began Tuesday afternoon destroyed three homes, said Jane
    Scribner of the California Department of Forestry. It had burned
    about 2,360 acres and was 40 percent contained, she said. Crews
    were expected to contain it by Friday.
    Fire officials initially said six homes were destroyed in the
    area but revised figures Wednesday.
    "Everything is gone," said Guy Lagard, whose mobile home was
    burned. "Seventeen years. All I have left is the clothes on my
    back. The flames were leaping up the slope. ... The wind was so
    strong and the fire was so intense."
    About 100 other homes were still threatened. Property damage was
    estimated at $2 million, Scribner said.
    To the northeast, another wildfire had charred 2,400 acres at
    the north end of Fontana in San Bernardino County but was burning
    away from homes, said fire spokeswoman Tricia Abbas. The cause had
    not been determined. No injuries or damage was reported.
    Also Wednesday, a fire quickly scorched about five acres and
    burned uphill in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, said county
    Fire Capt. Mark Savage. No structures were threatened, he said.

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    Post October 23

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities ordered hundreds of residents of
    a Southern California community to evacuate Thursday as a wildfire
    threatened to cut off their only escape route.
    The 2,500-acre wildfire was one of several in the region that
    firefighters were trying to contain before hot Santa Ana winds
    forecast to sweep through this weekend make the job tougher.
    Wildfires in Southern California this week have destroyed five
    homes and chewed through about 8,000 acres.
    The fire in the San Bernardino National Forest did not
    immediately threaten homes in the Lytle Creek area, 55 miles east
    of Los Angeles, but the evacuation was ordered because the area's
    1,000-plus residents could have been trapped by the approaching
    flames, said Bill Peters, a spokesman for the California Department
    of Forestry.
    The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter in Fontana for people
    displaced by the fire, which was 17 percent contained Thursday.
    Arson was blamed for the fire, but no arrests had been made.
    At the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, 50 miles north of San
    Diego, firefighters were battling a 2,772-acre brush fire that was
    threatening 300 nearby homes, state forestry spokeswoman Roxanne
    Provaznik said. Residents were asked to evacuate but as of Thursday
    afternoon, none had sought refuge at a shelter set up in Fallbrook.
    Fire officials said the fire started on a training range
    Tuesday, apparently sparked by ammunition used in military
    exercises. Firefighters have been unable to enter the southwestern
    area of the fire because it could be littered with unexploded
    ordnance, Provaznik said.
    The fire was 28 percent contained, but officials had no estimate
    on full containment.
    In Riverside County, firefighters allowed evacuated residents to
    return after closing in on a 2,390-acre fire that destroyed five
    homes.
    "Nothing; there's not one thing," Kim Peterson told the Los
    Angeles Times as she inspected the remains of her father's damaged
    trailer in the hills south of Loma Linda, about 70 miles east of
    Los Angeles.
    Peterson's 85-year-old father tried to fight the flames and
    sustained second-degree burns. She said rummaging through the
    burned rubble was especially painful because her mother's ashes,
    which had been kept inside the trailer, were lost in the fire.
    The blaze in Reche Canyon, started by an arsonist Tuesday,
    damaged three other homes and burned a barn, 21 outbuildings, a
    boat and several vehicles. State forestry Capt. Rick Vogt said the
    fire was 80 percent contained Thursday.

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    Post Grand Prix Fire Updates

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    Engine 101, Engine 702, OES Engine 220, Water Tender 101 have all been deployed to assist at the Grand Prix fire and the Simi fire

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    Post October 26th

    Major California wildfires Sunday:

    CEDAR FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 100,000 acres.
    Homes: 100 in Ramona alone, 150 in Scripps Ranch, 10 in
    Tierrasanta.
    Deaths: Nine.
    Containment: 0 percent.
    Start: Oct. 25 in eastern San Diego County.
    Key facts: Extends to Scripps Ranch, Poway, Miramar Marine Corps
    Air Station, portions of Santee, Lakeside and Blossom Valley, Poway
    and Ramona. Air traffic nationwide was disrupted when this fire
    forced evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration control
    center.
    Personnel: More than 800 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: No data available.
    Cause: Authorities believe a hunter set signal fire when he got
    lost.
    ---
    DULZURA FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 15,000 acres
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 0 percent.
    Start: Sunday, Oct. 26 in southern San Diego County.
    Key facts: The fire prompted voluntary evacuations of parts of
    eastern Chula Vista and flames skipped over the border into eastern
    Tijuana.
    Personnel: 300 firefighters.
    Suppression costs: No data available.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    PARADISE FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 7,352.
    Homes: 57.
    Deaths: Two.
    Containment: 0 percent.
    Start: Oct. 26 in Valley Center area near Interstate 15.
    Key facts: Valley View Casino evacuated.
    Personnel: More than 500 firefighters.
    Suppression costs: No data available.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    GRAND PRIX FIRE: (San Bernardino County)
    Size: 35,000 acres.
    Homes: 62 destroyed.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 23 percent.
    Start: Oct. 21 near San Bernardino National Forest.
    Key facts: Mandatory evacuations in Lytle Creek, Mount Baldy,
    Rialto and parts of Claremont, Upland and other foothill
    communities of the San Gabriel Mountains.
    Personnel: 2,427 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: $6.5 million.
    Cause: Arson.
    ---
    OLD FIRE: (San Bernardino County)
    Size: 24,000 acres.
    Homes: 400 homes, 10 commercial buildings.
    Deaths: Two.
    Containment: 5 percent.
    Start: Oct. 25 near San Bernardino National Forest.
    Key facts: Evacuations in foothill areas of San Bernardino and
    mountain communities, including Crestline and Lake Arrowhead.
    Personnel: 1,291 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: Unknown.
    Cause: Under investigation, suspicious origin.
    ---
    SIMI VALLEY: (Ventura County)
    Size: 80,000 acres.
    Homes: Six destroyed, eight damaged.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 0 percent.
    Start: Oct. 25.
    Key facts: Firefighters trying desperately to save Ronald Reagan
    Library. Voluntary evacuations for Moorpark.
    Personnel: 599 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: $25,000.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    VERDALE FIRE: (Los Angeles County)
    Size: 9,000 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 50 percent.
    Start: Oct. 24 west of Santa Clarita in northern Los Angeles
    County.
    Key facts: Voluntary evacuations for community of Val Verde Park
    and parts of Piru. Blaze sparked the Simi Valley incident.
    Personnel: 500 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: $1.3 million.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    CAMP PENDLETON: (San Diego County)
    Size: 4,695 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 55 percent.
    Start: Oct. 21 on the base north of San Diego.
    Key facts: Authorities are downplaying early reports that fire
    was ignited by live ammunition exercises on the base.
    Personnel: 999 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: Not available.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    PIRU FIRE: (Ventura County)
    Size: 1,300 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 85 percent.
    Start: Oct. 23 west of Lake Piru in Ventura County.
    Key facts: The fire in Los Padres National Forest is threatening
    the Sespe Wilderness and Sespe Condor sanctuary. There are no
    condors currently in the refuge. Voluntary evacuations in Piru and
    parts of Fillmore.
    Personnel: 780 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: No data available.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    MOUNTAIN FIRE: (Riverside County)
    Size: 1,000 acres.
    Homes: Two damaged or destroyed.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 0 percent.
    Start: Oct. 26 in southern Riverside County.
    Key facts: Evacuations ordered for homes near Lake Skinner. Two
    civilian injuries.
    Personnel: 250 firefighters.
    Suppression Cost: No data available.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    ---
    Source: California Department of Forestry and local fire
    officials.

    APTV 10-27-03 0008EST
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    Post 10/26 evening

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - Wildfires that have burned for
    days merged into walls of flame stretching across miles in parts of
    Southern California on Sunday, leaving 13 people dead, burning more
    than 850 homes and frustrating overmatched firefighters who worked
    relentlessly against fierce winds.
    The state's largest fire, in eastern San Diego County, caused at
    least nine deaths, including two people who died inside their car
    as they apparently tried to escape the flames, San Diego Sheriff
    Bill Kolender said.
    "We were literally running through fire," said Lisza Pontes,
    43, who escaped the fire with her family after the roar of flames
    woke them at 3:45 a.m. As they drove off, they saw a neighbor's
    mobile home explode.
    "I was grabbing wet towels. Fire was at our feet," Pontes
    said. "It was blazing over our heads and burning everywhere."
    More than 7,000 firefighters fought 10 major fires in Southern
    California, one large cluster in the San Diego area and another
    about 100 miles north in mountainous areas north of Los Angeles.
    By Sunday night, the fires had blackened 277,000 acres.
    Fire also forced the evacuation of a Federal Aviation
    Administration control center in San Diego, disrupting air travel
    across the nation. Some airlines canceled flights into the region.
    The biggest, at 100,000 acres, started Saturday near the
    mountain town of Julian when a lost hunter set off a signal fire,
    authorities said. The hunter was detained and may face charges.
    Among those killed were one person whose body was found in a
    motor home, and three in other vehicles, county sheriff's
    spokeswoman Susan Knauss said. Three were killed while trying to
    escape on foot and two were dead on arrival at local hospitals.
    About 260 homes were destroyed, San Diego police said.
    Another fire near San Diego that started Sunday killed two
    people and destroyed 36 homes while burning 7,000 acres, Lora Lowes
    of the California Department of Forestry said. It also prompted
    evacuations in northeastern Escondido.
    The flames drew much of their strength from the fierce Santa Ana
    winds, whose gusts of up to 70 mph moved the fires along.
    Around the congested suburbs of San Bernardino, a city of about
    200,000 about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, one flank of a
    59,000-acre fire burned through four towns while the other flank
    destroyed more than 400 homes.
    Two men collapsed and died, one as he was evacuating his canyon
    home and the other as he watched his house burn, the county coroner
    said.
    Authorities announced they were seeking two men for
    investigation of arson and possibly murder in connection with the
    fire, which ravaged foothill neighborhoods of San Bernardino and
    threatened mountain homes. One man was seen Saturday morning
    throwing something into roadside brush that caught fire, then he
    and a companion fled in a van, officials said.
    The 30-mile fire in the San Bernardino area was formed when two
    smaller fires merged, covering the region with thick smoke and ash.
    Other fires on the outskirts of Los Angeles County merged to
    create a 80,000-acre fire burning near suburbs late Sunday
    northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County.
    Firefighters, including 25 strike teams and 125 engines, tried
    to make a stand at Crestline in the San Bernardino National Forest,
    according to U.S. Forest Service fire information officer Stanton
    Florea. About 25 homes burned in the area.
    Firefighters were spread thinly around threatened communities,
    focusing on saving what homes they could. Winds prevented the air
    tanker drops of retardant and use of backfires that are key tactics
    of fire containment.
    The area is vulnerable because drought and an infestation of
    bark beetles have left millions of dead trees.
    "If the fire starts to crown, racing from one tree to the next,
    it will be an extreme situation," Florea said.
    Brandy DeBatte, 21, stayed at her Crestline home until the
    electricity went out and the smoke started to thicken.
    "I got our animals. I got insurance papers. I didn't want to be
    up there if the town was going to burn down," she said.
    Hours later, she was having second thoughts as she realized how
    much she had left behind: "I should have gotten more out, and I
    didn't."
    Three looters who tried to take advantage of the San Bernardino
    evacuations were arrested, police said.
    Gov. Gray Davis, who visited the San Bernardino fire on Friday,
    returned Sunday to announce he was extending the state of emergency
    to Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
    "These are the worst fires that we've faced in California in 10
    years," Davis said.
    Davis' administration also gave an emergency briefing to
    Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    Some of the evacuations ordered included Indian reservation
    casinos, California State University, San Bernardino, where fire
    burned two temporary classrooms and a temporary fitness center, and
    a state mental hospital.
    About 1,100 prison inmates also were evacuated, and at least 200
    juvenile wards were evacuated Sunday from two probation camps, said
    Ken Kondo, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Probation
    Department spokesman.
    About 1,000 people packed the San Bernardino International
    Airport center, including 50 elderly residents of a convalescent
    home.
    At the Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont, where
    more than 50 homes were destroyed, evacuees searched for friends
    and neighbors.
    A note on a bulletin board outside the center read: "Dear Kim
    and Joanne. I came for you here and want to offer you my extra
    bedroom and as much hospitality as you need. Love, Gina."
    The National Football League moved Monday night's football game
    between the Chargers and Miami Dolphins from Qualcomm Stadium,
    which is being used as an evacuation center, to Tempe, Ariz.
    The winds were expected to subside Monday before picking up
    later in the week in the San Bernardino area, National Weather
    Service meteorologist Robert Balfour said.
    "We'll have a 24- to 36-hour window where winds will die down,
    but the vegetation is so dry and the terrain so steep that the fire
    will probably take off and go into the mountains then," Balfour
    said. "It will want to race up the ridges."
    ---
    Associated Press writers Andrew Bridges, Paul Chavez, Michelle
    Morgante, Elliot Spagat and Mason Stockstill contributed to this
    report.

    APTV 10-26-03 2343EST
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    Post Escapes

    LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) - A neighbor pounding at his door woke Jim
    Mumford before sunrise Sunday as flames tore through eucalyptus
    trees in the hills surrounding his home.
    Like many who live in Lakeside, a community in the rural
    mountains east of San Diego, Mumford had seen wildfires burn close
    over the years and thought he was prepared for this one.
    A few minutes convinced him he couldn't save the
    5,000-square-foot home he had built himself.
    "A garden hose and a shovel wasn't going to work," he said.
    The 46-year-old landscaper and his wife fled the 100,000-acre
    wildfire, the largest burning in California. The San Diego-area
    fire has killed nine people, including two who died in their car as
    they were apparently trying to escape the flames.
    From the safety of a fire command center at the Lakeside Rodeo
    grounds, Mumford learned that his $1 million home was gone; a
    neighbor saw it go up in flames and jumped into a swimming pool to
    save himself.
    Mumford said he was thankful that his children, ages 5 and 8,
    had spent the night at their grandmother's home.
    "It's going to be hard to tell them that they have no clothes
    or toys," he said. "But at least they didn't feel the panic."
    The roar of flames woke Lisza Pontes and her family at 3:45 a.m.
    She, her husband and their daughter ran from their home.
    "We were literally running through fire," said Pontes, 43. "I
    was grabbing wet towels. Fire was at our feet. It was blazing over
    our heads and burning everywhere."
    As they sped off in their car, they saw a neighbor's trailer
    home explode.
    "I have no idea if they got out alive," Pontes said.
    Dianne Hendricks, 48, said the smell of smoke woke her at 4:30
    a.m. She looked outside and saw the sky glowing red.
    She helped move seven horses from a neighbor's home, then drove
    to safety.
    "I drove through the flames. I couldn't even tell if I was on
    the road or not," she said.
    Hendricks said trees on her front lawn were on fire as she left.
    She didn't know whether her home was destroyed.
    "It was like a big bomb hit," she said. "Every place the wind
    blew caught fire."
    In the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego, one of the areas
    hardest hit by fire, flames licked the sides of the road, burning
    the wood stakes that held up a metal rail. Homes, sheds, and
    canyons burned. Charred ecualyptus trees partially blocked the
    roads. The ground smoldered and smoke was everywhere, stinging eyes
    and choking lungs.
    "The question at school will be 'Is your house standing?"'
    said 15-year-old Amanda Hicok, who was among a small group of
    people gathered on a ridge to watch homes burn in a canyon below.
    Elizabeth Ingrum will have to say no.
    "They told me my home burned down," said the 16-year-old,
    whose Scripps Ranch house had been destroyed. "I don't know where
    we're going to live."

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Post

    Some of the worst wildfires in California in the past seven
    decades, based on number of deaths, buildings destroyed or acreage
    burned:
    - October 1999: Jones Fire, near Redding in Shasta County. One
    volunteer firefighter killed, 176 homes and hundreds of other
    buildings destroyed, 26,200 acres of land burned. Cause believed to
    be accidental.
    - November 1993: Topanga Fire, Malibu and nearby areas in Los
    Angeles County. Three deaths; 323 homes; 18,000 acres. Arson
    caused. The fire was among more than 20 that for about two weeks
    raced through Southern California, killing four. More than 1,000
    homes and 193,814 acres of land burned.
    - August 1992: Fountain Fire, Shasta County. 636 buildings;
    63,960 acres. Arson.
    - October 1991: Tunnel Fire, Oakland hills of Alameda County. 25
    dead; 3,276 homes and apartments; 1,520 acres. A fire that was
    believed contained rekindled when an ember ignited a tree.
    - June 1990: Painted Cave Fire, Santa Barbara County. One death;
    641 homes, apartment complexes and other structures; 4,900 acres.
    Arson.
    - November 1980: Panorama Fire, San Bernardino foothills. Four
    dead; 325 homes; 23,600 acres. Arson.
    - September 1970: Laguna Fire, San Diego County mountains. Six
    dead; 382 structures; 175,425 acres. Power lines.
    - November 1966: Loop Fire, Angeles National Forest in Los
    Angeles County. 12 firefighters killed; 2,028 acres. Power line.
    - November 1961: Bel Air-Brentwood Fire, Los Angeles County. 484
    homes; 6,090 acres. Cause undetermined but believed accidental.
    - July 1953: Rattlesnake Fire, Glenn County. 15 firefighters
    killed in Mendocino National Forest; 1,300 acres. Arson.
    - October 1933: Griffith Park Fire, Los Angeles County. 29
    welfare workers clearing brush were killed; about 47 acres. Cause
    undetermined.
    ---
    Sources: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,
    local fire agencies, newspaper articles, official and scholarly
    reports.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Post 10/27 evening

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - Ash fell on the beach like snow and drivers
    turned on their headlights in the smoky daytime streets Monday as
    wildfires that have reduced entire neighborhoods to moonscapes
    skipped through the hills of Southern California and threatened
    30,000 more homes.
    California's deadliest outbreak of fires in more than a decade
    has destroyed at least 1,134 homes, killed at least 15 people and
    consumed more than half a million acres stretching from the Mexican
    border to the suburbs northeast of Los Angeles.
    "This will be the most expensive fire in California history,
    both in loss of property and the cost of fighting it," said Dallas
    Jones, director of the state Office of Emergency Services.
    The death toll jumped from 13 to 15 Monday after the bodies of
    two people were found on a road near San Diego.
    Several people suffered burns and smoke inhalation, including
    eight hospitalized at the University of California, San Diego,
    Medical Center. Two had burns over more than 55 percent of their
    bodies, spokeswoman Eileen Callahan said.
    Managers of California's power grid estimated that 70,000 to
    85,000 Southern California customers were without electricity
    because fires had damaged transmission lines.
    A 90,000-acre wildfire that straddles the Los Angeles-Ventura
    county line began moving slowly toward million-dollar mansions in a
    gated community in Los Angeles. California Department of Forestry
    Battalion Chief Thomas Foley said that in a "worst-case
    scenario," the blaze could spread all the way to the Pacific
    Ocean.
    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said his home near San Diego was
    among the hundreds damaged or destroyed. Further east, a small
    border crossing 70 miles from San Diego was closed as fire cut off
    roads leading to the U.S.-Mexico border, said Vince Bond of the
    Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
    The dry, hot Santa Ana winds that have fanned the flames began
    to ease in some areas Monday, raising hopes that overwhelmed
    firefighters could make progress with the help of reinforcements on
    their way from other Western states. But the danger was still high.
    The San Diego-area fires raced through chaparral and grass,
    sometimes sparing one home or one cluster of trees while destroying
    those around it.
    "It would be disingenuous to say we have control of these
    fires. Right now we are throwing everything we can at them," Jones
    said. "It's such erratic conditions. These are still tremendously
    dangerous with very little control or containment."
    President Bush designated the fire-stricken region a major
    disaster area, opening the door to grants, loans and other aid to
    residents and businesses in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego
    and Ventura counties.
    "This is a devastating fire and it's a dangerous fire. And
    we're prepared to help in any way we can," Bush said at the White
    House.
    Gov. Gray Davis moved to activate the National Guard and summon
    help from neighboring states. He predicted the cost of the fires
    would be in the billions.
    He toured the fire area in San Bernardino and saw "just homes
    reduced to rubble, charred belongings still sending off smoke."
    He was followed later by Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, who
    had a fire briefing in Ventura County and praised work by
    firefighters.
    He thanked Bush for swiftly declaring an emergency and said he
    would go to Washington on Tuesday to meet with federal officials
    "to make sure that the federal money will come through."
    Across Southern California, the sun glowed red and smoke stung
    the eyes and lungs. Airport baggage handlers wore masks against the
    smoke and the ash dropping across the landscape.
    "My eyes are burning right now something terrible," said
    74-year-old Maury Glantz in San Diego, holding a towel over his
    mouth and nose. "I have to get out."
    Even the primates at the San Diego Zoo went indoors to escape
    the misery. "Their lungs are built like ours so they can be
    affected by the smoke," said zoo spokeswoman Yadira Galindo.
    Many of those who died in the wildfires ignored evacuation
    orders and were caught by flames because they waited until the last
    minute to flee, Sheriff Bill Kolender said.
    "When you are asked to leave, do it immediately," he said.
    "Do not wait."
    San Diego Fire Chief Jeff Bowman said he was worried that three
    fires that incinerated 585 homes in San Diego County would merge
    into a super fire, pushing already strained resources to the
    breaking point.
    A state of emergency was declared in the four stricken counties,
    where the fires had laid waste to entire blocks of homes, closed
    major highways, shuttered schools, disrupted air travel nationwide
    and sent people running for their lives.
    People were urged to stay indoors because of the smoky air, and
    hospitals treated a number of people who complained of breathing
    trouble.
    "You could almost smell the smoke and you could almost taste
    fire," said Leilani Baker, 46, of San Diego. She was sitting at a
    bus stop, her shoulders covered with ash.
    Eleven people were killed by the so-called Cedar Fire,
    California's largest blaze at 150,000 acres. The fire was ignited
    Saturday near the mountain town of Julian when a lost hunter set
    off a signal fire, authorities said. The hunter may face charges.
    In San Bernardino County, a blaze called the Old Fire has
    destroyed more than 450 homes. On Monday, the flames jumped a road
    and moved into the heavily forested small town of Crestline.
    A major fire burning closer to Los Angeles is believed to have
    been started by arsonists.
    "Those who start these fires are no better than domestic
    terrorists and should be dealt with as such," said Los Angeles
    County District Attorney Steve Cooley.
    The arsonists "have no idea how many lives they've ruined,"
    said Trisha Mitchell, standing amid the debris that was once her
    childhood home in San Bernardino.
    Days after running for her life from a fire that ripped through
    her San Bernardino neighborhood, Pati Wecker returned home in the
    Del Rosa area to find the only thing left standing of her house was
    an archway.
    Across the street, a park with green grass and trees was
    untouched.
    Digging through the ruins of her home, Wecker found an untouched
    porcelain angel and two beer steins. A burned photo album crumbled
    when she picked it up.
    Her husband was killed in Vietnam and she raised her six
    children in the home that is known in the neighborhood as "Momma's
    House."
    "They all said we will build another house," said Wecker, 69.
    When the fire closed in, the only things she was able to get out
    of the house were her purse and a few clothes. "Everything in
    there, even my five cats," she said, pointing to the ruins. She
    was unable to get part of her dentures: "I don't even have my
    teeth."
    ---
    Associated Press writers Ryan Pearson, Chelsea Carter, Brian
    Skoloff and Scott Lindlaw in Washington contributed to this story.

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    SAN DIEGO (AP) - As flames closed in, a neighbor ran to Nancy
    Morphew's door to warn her. But Morphew didn't seem worried about
    getting out in time.
    "She met me at the front door and said, `I know, I know. Go
    help other people,"' David Wallace recalled. "She seemed like she
    had a plan."
    After the fire tore through Sunday, Morphew was found dead in
    the road, her burned-out truck sitting at the bottom of a steep
    ditch along Yellow Brick Road.
    Like many of the 15 people who have died in the wildfires
    burning across Southern California, Morphew - a 51-year-old woman
    who took pride in running her own horse ranch - apparently
    underestimated how fast the flames were moving.
    "I think she got disoriented and the smoke was probably real
    bad," said another neighbor, Charlene Pierce. "It looks like she
    just drove into the canyon."
    Morphew apparently was overcome by flames after climbing her way
    out of the ditch, according to the county Medical Examiner's
    Office. Her empty horse trailer was spilled about 25 yards behind
    the truck. Neighbors believe she tried to escape before loading the
    horses.
    Elsewhere in Valley Center, Ashleigh Roach died Sunday after
    fire trapped the car she was riding in. The teenager had been
    trying to escape with her brother, who was rescued by firefighters.
    Residents who live on her street recalled Monday how they were
    caught off-guard by the flames, which roared up from Hell Hole
    Canyon with little warning. Gary Olson, 47, had been watering down
    his house when the fire arrived.
    "You just felt a gust of hot wind. It was one big flame. It was
    moving so fast you didn't have time to think," he said.
    At the Roach house, a barn was on fire, sending flames across
    their driveway, neighbors said. Winds were licking flames across
    the road, forcing residents to drive through the fire.
    "It was like a dragon just huffing and puffing," said Dan
    Contreras, a 41-year-old plumber.
    Another 11 people were killed in a fire burning on the eastern
    edge of San Diego.
    Galen Blacklidge was found Sunday on Wildcat Canyon Road on the
    Barona Reservation. The bodies of a male and a female were found
    nearby; their names had not been released, the Medical Examiner's
    Office said.
    Authorities had few details on other deaths:
    -On Monday, the bodies of two people - a male and a female -
    were also found on Wildcat Canyon Road.
    -On Sunday, a man was found dead in a motorhome in the Moreno
    area.
    -Two people were found in a car, and another person was found
    close by in a driveway near the rural community of Moreno.
    - Two other people were taken to local hospitals, where they
    were pronounced dead.
    "The majority of these deaths are caused by people trying to
    escape this fire and not following directions they are given,"
    said Sheriff Bill Kolender. "When you are asked to leave, do it
    immediately. Do not wait."
    In San Bernardino County, a fire was blamed for two
    stress-related deaths Saturday: 70-year-old James W. McDermith
    collapsed as he was evacuating his home; Charles Cunningham, 93,
    collapsed as he stood in the street watching his house burn.
    "There are a lot of people who just don't want to leave their
    house," said San Diego County sheriff's spokesman Chris Saunders.
    "I don't know if they're not taking the warning seriously enough
    or it's an instinct some people have to protect their properties."
    But many people who survived the fires said they were never
    warned to evacuate.
    "Oh, no," said Wallace, whose wife is a fire commander in
    Valley Center. "We were on it before authorities were even aware
    of it. My wife is a fire captain, so we had a great game plan."
    Wallace and his wife stood by their house, which had a wide
    clearance area free of brush around it. The 37-year-old
    stay-at-home dad said that, like a Paul Revere, he drove up and
    down their street on his motor bike, then his car, rousing
    neighbors. Morphew, however, thought she had time to spare.
    "Obviously, she was trying to save her animals. And people who
    have animals, well, they're very dear to them," he said. "I just
    wanted her to be aware of the situation so that she could make her
    own decision on what she needed to do."
    He added: "I think it's very tragic."
    ---
    Associated Press writer Elliot Spagat contributed to this
    report.
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    Post 10/27 evening stats

    Major California wildfires:
    -CEDAR FIRE, San Diego County: 11 people dead, 206,664 acres
    burned, 528 homes destroyed. Started Oct. 25, apparently by lost
    hunter setting a signal fire. Air traffic nationwide was disrupted
    when flames forced evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration
    control center. No containment.
    -DULZURA FIRE, San Diego County: No deaths, 34,800 acres burned.
    Started Oct. 26, cause under investigation. 17 percent contained.
    Briefly burned across border into Tijuana, Mexico.
    -PARADISE FIRE, San Diego County: 2 people killed, 57 homes
    destroyed, 17,000 acres. Started Oct. 26, cause under
    investigation. No containment.
    -GRAND PRIX FIRE, San Bernardino County: No deaths, 77 homes
    destroyed, 56,474 acres. Started Oct. 21, blamed on arson. 25
    percent contained.
    -OLD FIRE, San Bernardino County: 2 people killed, 450 homes
    destroyed, 26,000 acres. Started Oct. 25, blamed on arson. 5
    percent contained.
    -SIMI VALLEY, Ventura County: No deaths, 13 homes destroyed,
    90,000 acres. Started Oct. 25, cause under investigation. 5 percent
    contained. Blaze moved past Ronald Reagan Library without causing
    damage.
    -VERDALE FIRE, Los Angeles County: No deaths, 9,000 acres.
    Started Oct. 24, blamed on arson. 85 percent contained.
    -CAMP PENDLETON, San Diego County: No deaths, 8,500 acres.
    Started Oct. 21 on the Marine base, cause under investigation.
    Contained.
    -PIRU FIRE, Ventura County: No deaths, 25,000 acres. Started
    Oct. 23, cause under investigation. 5 percent contained. Damaged
    small corner of Sespe Wilderness and Sespe Condor Sanctuary, but no
    condors are currently in the refuge.
    -MOUNTAIN FIRE, Riverside County: No deaths, nine homes
    destroyed, 10,000 acres. Started Oct. 26, cause under
    investigation. 55 percent contained.
    ---
    Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
    and local fire officials.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  23. #48
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    Default

    I just talked to my brother tonight and he is probably getting sent to California tomorrow. He is on an engine in Montana and they just got their resource order.

  24. #49
    Sr. Information Officer
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    Post 10/28 late update

    Major California wildfires have spread across 564,984 acres,
    killing 16 people and destroying hundreds of homes:
    -CEDAR FIRE, San Diego County: 10 people dead, 210,000 acres
    burned, 881 homes destroyed. Started Oct. 25, apparently by lost
    hunter setting a signal fire. Air traffic nationwide was disrupted
    when flames forced evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration
    control center. No containment.
    -DULZURA FIRE, San Diego County: No deaths, 46,000 acres burned,
    one home, one outbuilding and 11 structures damaged. Started Oct.
    26, cause under investigation. 90 percent contained. Briefly burned
    across border into Tijuana, Mexico.
    -PARADISE FIRE, San Diego County: 2 people killed, 37,000 acres,
    57 homes and 103 outbuildings destroyed. Started Oct. 26, cause
    under investigation. 15 percent contained.
    -GRAND PRIX FIRE, San Bernardino County: No deaths, 77 homes
    destroyed, 57,232 acres. Started Oct. 21, blamed on arson. 35
    percent contained.
    -OLD FIRE, San Bernardino County: 4 people killed, 520 homes, 10
    commercial buildings destroyed, 28,000 acres. Started Oct. 25,
    blamed on arson. 10 percent contained.
    -SIMI VALLEY, Ventura County: No deaths, 16 homes and 64
    outbuildings destroyed, 95,000 acres. Started Oct. 25, cause under
    investigation. 25 percent contained.
    -VERDALE FIRE, Los Angeles County: No deaths, 9,000 acres.
    Started Oct. 24, blamed on arson. Contained.
    -CAMP PENDLETON, San Diego County: No deaths, 8,500 acres.
    Started Oct. 21 on the Marine base, cause under investigation.
    Contained.
    -PIRU FIRE, Ventura County: No deaths, three homes and three
    outbuildings destroyed, 55,812 acres. Started Oct. 23, cause under
    investigation. 30 percent contained. Damaged small corner of Sespe
    Wilderness and Sespe Condor Sanctuary, but no condors are currently
    in the refuge.
    -MOUNTAIN FIRE, Riverside County: No deaths, 21 homes destroyed,
    10,000 acres. Started Oct. 26, cause under investigation. 75
    percent contained.
    ---
    Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
    and local fire officials.

    APTV 10-28-03 2315EST
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  25. #50
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    Engine101's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ramseycl
    I just talked to my brother tonight and he is probably getting sent to California tomorrow. He is on an engine in Montana and they just got their resource order.
    Any idea of which fire is he going to?

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