SoCal in flames

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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Serenity » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:16 pm

Oh my gosh! :keyboard
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:03 am

That sucks! Are your friends OK. for the most part?
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:16 am

:keyboard: :cry:

Also, bought avocados this weekend. Ate and enjoyed one, with a little tabasco sauce and some chips. Still mourning the trees. :cry: :cry:
>^..^<
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Shapley » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:35 am

OT,

I'm sorry to hear about your friend's home. It is a terrible loss. There are some things insurance simply cannot replace.

It's all the more terrible to know that some of the fires were intentionally set. Such people cannot possibly have an understanding of the consequences of their actions.

Take care. I'm glad you, Piq, and Altoid came thorugh the fires without loss. The same goes for Selma. I gather that GC came through okay as well? I've not seen a post from him in the past few days, unless I overlooked it, so I assume he has taken refuge from the fires. Hopefully he, too, has come through with no major loss.

May God be with you all.

V/R
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:02 am

I've gotten sort of philosopical about disasters. First, you account for the people. Next, you get the pets. everyone needs a few changes of clothes. Get your pillow and a blanket, water and nonperishible food. Pet food and water dish. Pack the pictures and snag the hard drive out of the computer. Grab the folder that has the birth and death and marriage and baptismal certificates, and the house and car titles, and the DD-214s.

Done. If there's more room in the car, add more water, more food, and more blankets. All the rest is just stuff and it's replacable and I insured it anyway.
>^..^<
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:19 am

Thank you all for the kind sentiments. Yes, the friends are okay. Sorry, I should have included some story with the photo, especially since we got a chance to talk with them.

Hopefully investigation will bear this out, but from what I've read so far, it seems there was a secondary fire in Highland Valley the night of Monday/Tuesday. This is the area and the time the couple who lived in HV was killed. A neighbor of theirs, who ended up spending most of the night in their swimming pool, says they saw a high tension power line on the valley floor glowing red, and the Witch fire itself seemed to be miles away, and possibly moving in another direction than toward them. A few minutes after that, fires were racing up the side of the valley. They grabbed some things, got into their car in the garage, and the power went out, so they couldn't open the garage(I'm thinking they figured they didn't have time to attempt to open it manually - they came across as reasonably savvy folks). They then opted to remain in the garage as long as they could, as it had been built to be fireproof. Eventually, the smoke became so thick a flashlight beam wouldn't penetrate it at floor level, so they made a dash for their swimming pool, where they spent the next three hours, mostly huddled under a waterfall overhang to shield themselves from flying burning debris. They had told their next door neighbors - the couple who perished - to remember they had a pool, for when all else failed, and they thought of the fact they hadn't come as they languished in the pool, and hoped they had actually gotten away. They said they witnessed flames 30-40 ft high around their pool, and watched their house collapse as it burned. After the flames died down, and they had become pretty cold in the pool, they got out and hiked down the hill until they were picked up by searchers.

Our friends lived on the south side of the area where this fire occurred. Hence, they neither received any warning, and just happened to wake up when the fire was approaching. They were able to get out with the clothes on their backs, and four photo albums(their long hallway was jammed with family photos - all lost).

At least they got out alive.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Shapley » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:48 am

I saw the news reports about the couple that rode out the fire in the relative safety of the swimming pool. I gather these were your friends. I wasn't able to hear the entire news report, but since it is now online, I may watch it later.

Smart thinking on their part.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby piqaboo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:19 pm

When all acreage added, these burned less than 2003, by a whisker.
Some severely burned people in hospital, including a 15 year old boy and the 4 firefighters who saved him.
20,000 avocado trees, or ~1/10 San Diego's total. We saw a light tan christmas tree farm yesterday...

GC just called, all is well and his family did not need to evacuate.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:20 pm

Sorry if I wasn't clear, Shap. Our friends were on the opposite side of the valley from the folks who got in their pool. same fire, but opposite sides of the valley.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby GreatCarouser » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:21 pm

Hello all...
I am ok...so are my relatives who were on the cusp of an evacuation. To add a little more perspective to what has been well covered by others, about 1 of every 3 persons in San Diego County were displaced by the fires. Glad to hear all the BBB denizens were spared.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby Shapley » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:25 pm

OT,

Sorry if I wasn't clear, Shap. Our friends were on the opposite side of the valley from the folks who got in their pool. same fire, but opposite sides of the valley.


You were clear, I misread the post. I'm reading, typing, and working at the same time. Sometimes I'm like Microsoft Windows. I like to pretend that I can multi-task. :D

GC,

Glad you and yours were spared.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby jamiebk » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:31 pm

OT...what a terrifying story. I cannot imagine taking shelter in my swimming pool as I watched everything I owned go up in smoke and flame. It must have been awful for those folks and my heart goes out to them and entire community affected by these fires.
Jamie

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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:04 pm

I wonder how the waterfall kept running if the power was out :?:
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:42 pm

It didn't. They used the overhang of the waterfall as shelter.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:04 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhere that swimming pools were dangerous places in a big fire. Something to do with embers, I think. Your friends were lucky they had an overhang to shelter under, and I'm glad they got out intact.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby piqaboo » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:47 pm

What I remember is that pools are refuges of last resort, because the air above them can become a little thin on O2 or too hot or too smoky or something else nasty and fatal. And of course, the risk of burning debris on one's head. That risk still beats certain incineration.

I have heard pools are a good place to deposit the family china etc before evacuation. Not so much the silver, as some nasty looter might actually dive in for that, but the stuff that is sentimental and undamaged by water. Not having family china (nor a pool for that matter), its moot.
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Re: SoCal in flames

Postby piqaboo » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:51 pm

Another update from the San Diego Country Emergency website:
11-1-07 10:37 a.m. The Harris Fire is 90,440 acres and 100% contained on October 31st at 6 am, and full control is expected on November 3rd at 7 a.m. There are 1,428 firefighters assigned. Cost to date is $16.8 million. There have been 40 injuries to firefighters.

The Witch Fire is 197,990 acres and 100% contained as of 6 pm. Full control is expected on November 5th at 6 p.m. There are 1,271 firefighters assigned. Cost to date is $16 million. There have been 40 injuries to firefighters.

The Poomacha Fire is 50,156 acres and 85% contained. Full containment is expected on November 3rd with no control date given. There are 2,305 firefighters assigned. There have been 13 injuries to firefighters. Cost to date is $11.4 million.


Lots of injuries (93). LOTS of firefighters (5004 of 'em). Here's hoping the next Santa Ana wind holds off for a while.
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