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Oct-26-2007 05:12printcomments

At Least 56 Firefighters Injured in California Wildfires

Evacuation Order have been issued For the Communities of Lawson Valley and Carveacre.

Fire in San Diego County
Fire in San Diego County
Photo courtesy: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

(SAN DIEGO) - At least 56 firefighters have been injured so far in the wildfires that have devastated parts of Southern California. The Witch Fire has the highest number of injuries, 22 have been reported so far. 12 firefighter injuries were reported in both the Harris and Poomacha Fires. 4 reported injuries happened in the Santiago Fire and the Ranch, Buckweed and Martin Fires each had 1 reported injury.

As the injuries mount, the Harris Fire in San Diego has placed new neighborhoods under Evacuation Orders, after jumping a portion of Lake Barrett. Fire officials say it is now an immediate threat to life and property to the communities of Lawson Valley and Carveacre. Residents should immediately evacuate the area. The San Diego Sheriffs Department has initiated the Reverse 911 system to notify residents.

The affected areas are:

Carveacres Region
North of Wilson Creek
South of Pearson Canyon
East of Kearchoffer Flat
West of Horsethief Canyon. The evacuation route for the Carve Acres Region is Japatul Valley Road to Interstate 8.

Lawson Valley Region
South of Loveland Reservoir
North of the Community of Lyon’s Valley
East of Beaver Hollow
West of Kearchoffer Flats. The evacuation route for the Lawson Valley Region is Lawson Valley Road to Skyline Truck Trail to Lyon’s Valley Road to Highway 94 West to the designated Red Cross shelter.

State fire officials say all residents who are evacuated need to check in at a Red Cross Shelter to provide contact information for re-entry and for emergency contact.

Firefighters have contained 14 of the major fires that were burning in six of the state's counties:

San Diego County
McCoy Fire Cleveland National Forest
Wilcox Fire Camp Pendleton
Coronado Hills Fire South of Cal State San Marcos

Los Angeles County
Magic Fire on Old Cross Road at Magic Mountain Parkway
Buckweed Fire on Mint Canyon Road at Sierra Highway
Meadowridge Fire at Santa Clarita/14 Freeway in San Fernando
Canyon Fire in Malibu Canyon

Riverside County
Rosa Fire near Temecula
Roca Fire East of Temecula

San Bernardino County
Cajon Fire along I-15 and Kenwood in Devore
Walker Fire Northwest of Lake Arrowhead
Martin Fire on Martin Ranch Road at Meyers Road

Ventura County
Nightsky Fire, two miles south of Moorpark

Santa Barbara County
Sedgewick Fire at Sedgewick Ranch/Figueroa Mountain

Here is the latest update on the active fires in Southern California:

Harris Fire at Harris Ranch Road & Hwy 94 in San Diego County. This fire has burned 84,000 acres and is 20 percent contained. The fire began October 21st and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County. 21 civilian and 12 firefighter have been injured, and one person has died in this fire. 97 homes, 2 commercial properties and 17 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 250 additional structures are damaged. Damage assessments are still being conducted. 1,500 homes are still threatened.

Evacuation orders for the Harris Fire remain in effect. Re-entry for residents only was allowed in the Thousand Trails, Potrero and Tecate neighborhoods. The communities of San Miguel, Portrero, Barrett Junction, Barett Lake area, Engineer Springs, Dulzura, Deerhorn Valley, Lawson Valley, Jamul, Lyons Valley and homes along Millar Ranch Road are threatened. 1,341 firefighters are assigned under a unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $5.4 million. Harris Fire's Information Line is (619) 590-3160.

Again the Evacuation Order in place for communities of Lawson Valley and Carveacre is active.

Witch Fire in the Witch Creek Area East of Ramona in San Diego County. This fire has burned 197,990 acres and is 30 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Julian and there is still a threat to Pine Hills, Cuyamaca, Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Alpine, and Harbison Canyon. Fire progression has slowed to the west, southwest, and northwest. Residents are being allowed to return to portions of Poway, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego and Rancho Bernardo. Wildcat Canyon is closed. Highway 67 is closed from Poway to Ramona.

1,061 homes, 30 commercial properties, and 175 outbuildings have been destroyed so far in the Witch Fire. 62 homes, 10 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings have been damaged. 1,000 residences, 100 commercial properties, and 300 outbuildings are still threatened.

2,883 firefighters are assigned to this incident under unified command. 22 firefighters have been injured on this fire. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $7 million. Witch Fire's Information Line is (619) 590-3160.

Poomacha Fire along Highway 76 in Pauma Valley, San Diego County. This fire started October 23rd as a structure fire on the Lajolla Indian Reservation. It has burned 38,500 acres and is 30 percent contained. 60 homes and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed. 2,000 homes remain threatened, officials say.

Evacuations are in progress in Valley Center. The communities of Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, Hidden Meadows, Deer Springs, Vista and Palomar are threatened. This fire has resulted in 12 firefighter injuries. 1,406 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command with CAL FIRE and the Cleveland National Forest. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $1.6 million. Poomacha Fire Information Line (760) 751-7600.

Slide Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest, Green Valley Lake near Running Springs in San Bernardino County. This fire has burned 11,675 acres at Green Valley Lake near Running Springs in San Bernardino County and is currently 15 percent contained. 200 homes and 3 outbuildings have burned.

10,000 homes continue to be threatened. The entire community of Green Valley was surrounded by the fire and was evacuated. More than 2,000 people are at evacuation centers. Communities still threatened are Green Valley, Running Springs, Live Oak, Fredalba, Smiley Park, Deer Lick, Calvery Chapel Camp, National Children’s Forest and Visitors Center, and Arrowbear Lake. All roads into the mountain communities are closed.

1,359 firefighters are currently assigned to this fire under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $3 million. Slide Fire's Information Line is (909) 383-5688.

Grass Valley Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest, San Bernardino County. This fire has burned 1,100 acres and is 70 percent contained. The fire is northwest of Lake Arrowhead. 100 structures have been lost, and more than 6,000 homes remain threatened. There are mandatory evacuation for areas from Crestline to Snow Valley. Voluntary evacuations are in place for Cedar Pines Park and Valley of Enchantment. Evacuation Center have been established at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino and Victorville Fairgrounds in Victorville.

State Highway 18 is closed from 40th/Waterman to the Big Bear Dam, State Highway 330 is closed at Highland to Hwy 18, State Highway 138 is closed at State Highway 173. Residents may leave via these highways (except 330) but cannot go back up into the Mountains. Access to Big Bear is via Hwy 38 from I-10 in Redlands or from Hwy 18 through the Hi-Desert in Lucerne Valley.

780 firefighters are assigned to this incident. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $2.5 million. The Grass Valley Fire Information Line is (909) 383-5688.

Santiago Fire along Santiago Canyon Road at Silverado Canyon Road in Orange County. This fire has burned 26,000 acres and is now 30 percent contained. The fire is burning at Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road in Irvine, Orange County. Mandatory evacuations are in place for the canyon areas of Santiago Canyon Road between Silverado Canyon Road and Live Oak Canyon Road, including the Santiago Estates area and Jackson Ranch Road. Areas along Live Oak Canyon Road through the Trabuco Canyon area, including O'Neill Regional Park, to Trabuco Creek Road are also included in this mandatory evacuation.

Fourteen homes and eight outbuildings have been destroyed, and 8 residential structures and 12 outbuildings were damaged. The following road closures are in place: Santiago Canyon road south of the 241 Toll Road to Live Oak Canyon Road, all of Live Oak Canyon Road, all of Trabuco Canyon Road, Plano Trabuco road north of Robinson Ranch Road (northbound only). 1,614 people are assigned to this incident and four firefighter injuries have been reported. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $4 million.

The Santiago Fire has been determined to be arson-caused. Santiago Fire's Information Line (714) 73-6200.

Horno/Ammo Fire aboard Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. The Horno/Ammo Fire has burned 17,000 acres since October 23rd. It is currently 50 percent contained. The Horno Fire has two heads, one north bound tied into Basilone Road and the other south bound tied into Aliso Canyon Road. Firing Operations are being conducted on the northern head from San Onofre to Camp Horno and along Canyon Road to Bailone Road. For information on area relocations, please contact the Horno/Ammo Fire Information Line at (866) 430-2764.

Rice Fire in Rice Canyon, San Diego County. This fire has burned 9,000 acres in Rice Canyon in Northern San Diego County and is 40 percent contained. 206 homes, 2 commercial properties and 40 outbuildings have been destroyed. 200 homes are threatened currently. Evacuation orders are in effect for Fallbrook and outlying areas. Portions of Fallbrook have been reopened to residents. Three firefighters injuries have been reported. 1,073 firefighters are assigned to this fire under unified command. The estimated cost of this fire is $1.9 million. Full containment is expected on October 28th. Rice Fire's Information Line (619) 590-3160.

Ranch Fire in the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County. This fire has burned 56,235 acres since October 20 and is 81 percent contained. The fire is burning six miles north of Castaic in Los Angeles County. All evacuations have been lifted. One home and eight outbuildings have been destroyed. 492 personnel are assigned to this incident. One firefighter has been injured. The estimated cost of this fire to date is $7.7 million. Full containment is expected on October 30th. Ranch Fire's Information Line (626) 821-6700.




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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