Firestorm, May 16, 2014


I woke up to this wonderful smell of smoke on the coast, and this amazing May moon. So decided to share the moon and use that as our cover for the day. Before we get hard to covering this, and doing evacuations and all that. There are two things from yesterday that truly matter here.

The first is the formation of the fire task force. The term has been used inside the Fire Agency of “Fire bugs,” and this task force is going to have law enforcement personnel from local, state and federal agencies. This is quite important to understand. Once you have a task force formed, this means this has escalated quite a bit. Not all the fires have suspicious starts, but the North County ones do. So when they do not have obvious ignitions points.

I will leave this up to the top since this phone matters to the task force, If you see something suspicious call San Diego Crime Stoppers at 619-235-TIPS (8477).

The second, is that you can expect multiple smoke checks throughout the day. As I said, I woke up to a strong smell of smoke at the coast, easily thirty miles from the closest fire.

The American Red Cross encourages you to give money, not physical goods. Go here, for the specific San Diego Emergency.

Another piece that belongs fixed at the top. The County is to open a Recovery Liaison Office from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. today (Friday, May 16) at the County Library’s San Marcos branch, located at 2 Civic Center Dr., San Marcos, CA 92069. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, May 17), the office will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 

They will have Mental Health Specialists if needed and will help with necessary permitting to start the recovery phase.

This useful handout from CAL FIRE will let you know what to do after you return home. It has information for all phases of the emergency.

And this comes via the Brush Party Line North County:

The CARLSBAD Police Department has established a Tip Hotline for the POINSETTIA FIRE If you have any information regarding the origin of the fire or suspicious activity or persons who may be involved with the starting of the fires, please call 760-602-7599 or email 

If you feel like aiding somebody outside of the North County who was burned out off property this week at Campo, please consider helping Jerry Weber. He is a senior, poor and with medical conditions. Here is the info, via the East County Magazine:

Posting order, most recent is the top post:

And now it is time for me to go collapse. 🙂

The two shelters for tonight by the County. One is open, the other is ready to go if need be.

1 Mission Hills High School 1 E. Mission hills Ct San Marcos 92069 Yes OPEN
2 Escondido High School 1535 N. Broadway Escondido 92025 Yes STANDBY

[update] off Village Dr & Twin Oaks Rd, San Marcos (San Diego Co.) is now 2,520 acres and 50% contained. 

Senator Joel Anderson’s update, posted in the raw.

Dear Friends,In an effort to help you during this current fire emergency and provide you with the latest updates and resources that are available, below is an important update fromSDG&Eregarding conservation tips, current power outages, and expected restoration of service to affected areas.If you have friends affected by these fires that need this information, please forward this email to them. We will continue to send out updates and resources as they are available.Please stay safe out there!Joel Anderson

p.s. Please contact me at call my office at 619-596-3136 if you are aware of resources that will be helpful for those affected by the fire. We want to make sure that all of my constituents have the resources they need during this emergency. If you were forwarded this email and would like to sign up to receive information like this, please sign up for our newsletter here.

San Diego Gas & Electric

            May 16, 2014

San Diego Gas & Electric
Red Flag Warning Declared/Proactive Shut-Offs/Wildfires

Key Messages:

  • San Diego Gas & Electric continues to fully staff our Emergency Operations Center, with crews working throughout our service territory. We are working cooperatively with local and regional officials to support our communities. As of this update, the following communities are currently without power, affecting 1,678 customers in San Diego and southern Orange Counties.
  • San Marcos – 23 Customers
  • Escondido – 397 Customers
  • Camp Pendleton and San Clemente – 1,258 Customers
  • Estimated restoration time for the above-mentioned communities range from 5:00PM to 10:00PM. For additional information on communities currently affected by an outage please see our outage map at

·         SDG&E’s main concern is the safety of our communities and our employees as we continue our damage assessment, repairs and restoration efforts in the fire-affected communities.

·         The current fires continue to pose issues for our transmission system today. The Las Pulgas fire near Camp Pendleton is burning near a major transmission corridor that connects our system with Southern California Edison’s. Transmission lines affected by the Cocos fire have been restored to service. SDG&E continues to have fire coordinators on site for each of the two remaining fires.

·         Due to the continued extreme heat and single-digit humidity today, we continue to see an elevated fire risk and the CAISO has declared a restricted maintenance order for San Diego County for the third day in a row. As a result, we have canceled all non-essential work on our electrical system.

·         All available SDG&E and contract crews are in the field to do assessments of the damage, make repairs, and restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Where appropriate, we are replacing wood poles with steel – which are more fire-resistant and resilient in high winds.

·         At this point, we have all available SDG&E crews and nine contract crews in the field to replace more than 50 poles in the damaged communities. We expect to find additional damage once the fires are out and crews are able to go into those areas to do additional damage assessment. We are replacing wood poles with steel poles as appropriate and have already replaced 44 poles with steel poles.

·         Due in part to all of the efforts we’ve made to harden our overhead electrical system in the high fire-risk area of the backcountry, fortunately we have not seen any fires in those communities during this latest Santa Ana event.

·         We appreciate our customers’ patience as we continue to work to restore service. At noon today, we will send out an automated call to all customers who are still without power just to let them know we are aware they’re out of service, that our crews are assessing and that we will get back to them with more info on restoration time as it becomes available.

·         For the second day in a row, we recorded another new yearly peak demand for electricity of 4,172 MW around 5 p.m. Thursday. Today, we’re forecasting a peak demand of about 4,100 around the same time today.

  • SDG&E is calling for conservation today. We are asking customers to reduce their electricity use today – health permitting. SDG&E encourages the following conservation tips:
    • Turn off all lights, appliances or other electrical equipment that are not being used.
    • Turn up the thermostat in your home or office (health permitting) to 78 degrees or above. If possible, use fans instead of air conditioning.
    • Do not use major appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes washers/dryers, and pool pumps.

Shutoff information

  • SDG&E’s number one priority public safety.
  • If the weather conditions affect the integrity of our system and create an imminent emergency, we may de-energize the power to protect public safety.
  • We also de-energize power at the request of fire fighters to assist them with their efforts.
  • With the dry conditions, and still active fires in the county, we believe we are acting prudently, in the best interests of our customers and the community.

·         SDG&E has a statutory obligation to operate our system safely.  If the weather conditions affect the integrity of our system and create an imminent emergency, we may de-energize the power to protect public safety as needed.
·         SDG&E’s efforts to strengthen our system, including changing out more than 3,500 wooden power poles for steel poles in the high fire risk area, has improved safety and reliability for those communities. The new steel poles are taller with heavier wire making them more resilient in strong winds as well as fire-resistant.

·         SDG&E offers a number of tools for customers who are experiencing an interruption in electric service, they can visit to check the status of a power outage, download SDG&E’s mobile app at or connect with SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

Safety information

·         Because power outages can be expected during these kinds of windy conditions, we encourage customers to be prepared by having the following on hand:
o   A battery-powered emergency lighting (or flashlights, at a minimum);
o   A portable or battery-powered radio;
o   A wind-up or battery-powered clock;
o   Nonperishable foods and water (including a manual can opener);
o   Pet food;
o   A first aid kit; and
o   A telephone that does not depend on electricity.

·         Fallen electric lines are extremely dangerous. Report any downed lines immediately to 1-800-411-SDGE (7343). 

·         Always assume a downed line is live. Never touch a fallen line or a person or vehicle in contact with the line.
o   Electricity always seeks a path to the ground. If you touch an un-insulated line with an object or your body, you become this path. This can result in severe injury or death.  Call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343 if it electrical lines are in your way, we may be able to turn off electricity, cover the lines, or even move them while you complete your work.

Follow Senator Anderson on Facebook and Twitter to stay
up to date on the latest news and legislation from Sacramento: 



San Marcos

South of 78, West of Twin Oaks Valley Road through the San Elijo Community to San Elijo at S. Rancho Santa Fe.

The repopulation route for San Elijo will be Rancho Santa Fe Road.


West of Valley Parkway, including the community south of Citracado and west of Del Dios Highway, as well as areas north of Via Rancho and west of Felicita Road.


San Marcos

Questhaven south of Elfin Forest through Harmony Grove and the area east of Twin Oaks Valley Road along Barham Drive and south into the Coronado Hills community.


Remaining closed are the communities of Hidden Hills and Live Oak. Country Club Road from Hill Valley to Harmony Grove Road and Kauana Loa to Harmony Grove. Harmony Grove will remain closed at County Club Drive.

For the latest emergency updates, visit If you need to talk to someone about evacuations, shelters, road closures and other disaster-related services, call 211.

Quite brutally honest I have not seen ever, fires like this, let alone in May. So the obvious question is, are we going to have a response to this emergency beyond the immediate phase?

CAL FIRE is assisting with a fire in the Talega area of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (San Diego Co).

This is the last notice from the Sheriff’s Office

Community: Partial Repopulation in Cocos Fire

Hi Nadin,

Evacuation notices for some communities in San Marcos are now being lifted including: 

•South of 78, West of Twin Oaks Valley Road through the San Elijo Community to San Elijo at South Rancho Santa Fe 

People returning to San Elijo can use Rancho Santa Fe Road. 

•Questhaven south of Elfin Forest through Harmony Grove and the area east of Twin Oaks Valley Road along Barham Drive and south into the Coronado Hills Community. 

These communities remain closed for your safety. Law enforcement and fire crews want to make sure these areas are safe from downed power lines, hazardous materials and hot spots, among other things. 

Sheriff Bill Gore wants to stress to the people of San Marcos why it’s critical for those evacuated to stay away from their homes during the fire. 

“There’s very specific protocol we go through especially when we’ve had structural damage like we’ve had in San Marcos,” said Sheriff Gore. “We go in with the utility companies to make sure that everything is up and running, so we’re not creating any safety hazards for people repopulating those areas.” 

Sheriff Gore thanks to the people of San Marcos for their patience and cooperation. 

“We’re aware of everybody’s concern. They want to get back home. We’re working to close protocols as fast as we can.” 

The Cocos Fire has burned more than 3,000 acres since it broke out on Wednesday, May 14th. The cause is under investigation. If you saw any suspicious activity related to the Cocos Fire or any other fires, call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. 

Also, please beware of possible scams trying to take advantage of fire victims. Be on the lookout for fraudulent e-mails and websites asking for donations. If you suspect you are being scammed, do not give out your personal information. Report any possible scams to the Sheriff’s Department.

For full details, view this message on the web

Cocos/San Marcos Fire Evacuation Notice Update

ALL evacuation notices for communities threatened by the Cocos Fire in San Marcos REMAIN IN EFFECT except for LAKE SAN MARCOS.

Initially, it was reported that evacuation notices had been lifted for Mt. Israel and Del Dios. TO BE CLEAR, THESE AREAS WILL REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

These communities remain closed for your safety. Law enforcement and fire crews want to make sure these areas are safe from downed power lines, hazardous materials and hot spots, among other things.

The Sheriff’s Department wants to thank the people of San Marcos for your patience and cooperation. Your safety is our top priority.

You can follow the Sheriff’s Department on Facebook (, Twitter (@SDSheriff) and Nixle for the latest updates on fires burning in our jurisdiction.

To receive text or e-mail alerts from Nixle, text your zip code to “888-777.” Standard text messaging rates will apply. For any non-emergency issues, call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200.

For additional information on the fires, call 2-1-1 or visit the San Diego County Emergency Site at:

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
9621 Ridgehaven Ct
San Diego, CA 92123

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 858-565-5200

This is a comprehensive list of utilities at the County site. This will help you to find information from among others San Diego Gas and Electric, Cox, ATT and others. This page has links to all relevant sites.

Yes, we took some time off, so resuming. These are important updates from the County

And the Bernarodo Fire was determined to be caused by a backhoe by San Diego Fire Department.

05/16/2014-03:14:PM PST

A new fire called the Talega Fire on Camp Pendleton has prompted evacuations, base officials said.

The fire started in the Talega area in the northwest part of the base about 11:25 a.m., according to Camp Pendleton. It is 0 percent contained.

Base officials ordered everyone in the 62 Area, San Onofre Housing Area, and School of Infantry west to evacuate.

The School of Infantry west should evacuate via Basilone Road West and Interstate 5 South and report to Edson Range, base officials said. The San Onofre Housing Areas should evacuate via I-5 South and report to the Del Mar area gym and use the Del Mar housing gate for access.

All personnel in the 62 area are to evacuate and head to the Paige Fieldhouse via Christiantos Road West, I-5 South and Highway 76, Camp Pendleton said.

Due to the current fires, the Commanding General of Camp Pendleton directed that all non-essential personnel were sent home at noon.


Base officials also reported the following:

The Las Pulgas fire first reported at 3:15 p.m Thursday has grown to 8,000 acres burned and 5 percent containment.

The Tomahawk fire is currently listed at 6,500 acres and 15 percent containment.

The evacuation orders for Camp Las Pulgas, Camp Margarita, Camp Las Flores and the MASS-3 remain in effect.

05/16/2014-10:45:AM PST

The following are the latest status on fires in San Diego County as of Friday morning with information provided by fire officials:

-The Cocos Fire in San Marcos is at 3,018 acres and is 10 percent contained.

-The Bernardo Fire in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe is at 1,548 acres and is 90 percent contained.

-The Tomahawk Fire on Camp Pendleton is at 6,300 acres and is 23 percent contained.

-The Las Pulgas Fire on Camp Pendleton is at 8,000 acres and is 5 percent contained.


Fire officials are reporting these fires are fully contained:

-The Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad is at 400 acres and is 85 percent contained.

-The Highway Fire in Deer Springs is at 380 acres and is 100 percent contained.

-The Freeway Fire on the Naval Weapons Station in Fallbrook is 56 acres and is 100 percent contained.

-The River Fire in Oceanside is at 105 acres and is 100 percent contained.

-The Aurora/Lakeside Fire is at 17 acres and is 100 contained.

After an intense few days, we are taking a tad of a downtime. Will pick this up as we come back.

COOL zones posted by the County of San Diego. If you can find a way to make your way to one, save on both your electric bill, and on taxing the grid.

Important updates via the twitter feed at the County.

Evacuation notice for Lake San Marcos has been lifted. This includes areas south of SR-78 and west of Via Vera Cruz.

  1. NOTICE: Mandatory Evacuation orders have NOT been lifted for Escondido.

    Retweeted by SanDiegoCounty

Motorists can expect traffic delays due to the road closures in San Marcos. For complete details, visit .

Retweeted by SanDiegoCounty

[update] off Village Dr & Twin Oaks Rd, San Marcos (San Diego Co.) is now 3,018 acres & 10% contained. 

This is a map from google with all maps. This is a critical point here. It gives you a good idea of where the fires are.

8:20 We have now official word, this is now being treated as a Complex, and it is truly under command of an Incident Management Team by CAL FIRE. Kit Carson Park is the staging area. This is in Escondido. I urge people to stay away from any of these staging, later to become Demobilization area.

As expected, a few smoke checks have been dispatched, unless a fire is confirmed, I think it is best to just note they are being dispatched.

During disasters, and wildfires are one, children are affected even if you do not have the coverage 24\7. Kids can pick up on adult feelings much better than we give them credit for. The County Board of Education has a great resource for you for things to look during and after a wildfire. Some of the high points are as follows:

  • Feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry about safety of self and others (including pets):

Children may have increased fears and worries about separation from family members

Young children may become more clingy to parents, siblings, or teachers

  • Fears of wildfires spreading or new ones starting
  • Distress and anxiety with reminders of the wildfires (e.g., burning smell, sounds of sirens or helicopters, burnt landscape and buildings)

Go to the site and find good help. And remember, kids will pick up on your anxiety.


[update] southwest of Rancho Bernardo (San Diego County) is now 1,548 acres and 90% contained.

7:30 The Cocos Fire is the priority for firefighters for today.

For the record, this emergency has seen PET FRIENDLY shelters. One of them is at the Escondido High School. Given that in past emergencies that has been a serious issue, this is very good to see. People are at times reluctant to evacuate during emergencies because they do not want to leave their pets behind. This was a critical well -known issue during Katrina, where it came out as very relevant. So seeing that two of the shelters are pet friendly, is good.

If I may, the County has put out an App for your smartphone, both in IOS and Android versions. This app will have all kinds of useful information to prepare for a disaster. But during a disaster it will also list the shelters, and type of shelters. If this is an EP, ergo an evacuation point, it is not permanent. It will also say Permanent and whether it is pet friendly. During a disaster that is critical information.

Harmony Grove Rd from Country Club Dr to Kauana Loa Dr.

Old 395 from Dulin Rd to W. Lilac Rd.

Country Club Rd from Escondido City limit to end of County maintained


These folks are delivering food to fire fighters and Shelters, that is Luna Grill. If you are anywhere near their locations, go get a byte and help the business. Photos are theirs and so you know, they have a shop in Mission Valley too.

Unfortunately, the fires are still burning, but we’re still delivering! 

We are bringing FREE food to the responders and any shelters in the affected areas! Call our catering line (855) 835-5862 and we’ll deliver it, free of charge!

Also, if you’re in uniform today, come into any open Luna Grill in the areas affected by the fires and eat for FREE. Here is a current list of Luna Grill locations close to the fires:

– Carlsbad
– Carmel Valley
– Scripps Ranch
– Poway

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The Cocos Fire has grown to 8,000+ acres overnight.

  Now to the hard coverage. As of this morning, here are the shelters providing services right now. These are:

-Escondido High School, 1435 N. Broadway in Escondido: 102 people

-Mission Hills High School, 1 Mission Hills Court in San Marcos;115 people

-Calavera Hills Community Center, 2997 Glasgow Drive in Carlsbad: 15 people

-La Costa Canyon High School, 1 Maverick Way in Carlsbad: 10 people

There are also about 80 dogs, cats and birds among the two shelters that take small animals, Escondido High School and Mission Hills High School.

Evacuations have also been partially lifted in San Marcos, with these areas listed by the County: –South of Highway 78 and west of Via Vera Cruz, including the community of Lake San Marcos, and The Sheriff’s Department advises that San Marcos residents who live in the Del Dios Corridor and Mt. Israel areas may return to their homes. The clearance came from the North County Fire Protection District.


Categories: 2014 san diego firestorm

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