Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego Fires: Jerry Sanders, et al, Morning Press Conference

From Ron Roberts:

Over 300,000 evacuees
Fielded over 275,000 phone calls
The weather continues to be unpredictable
No solution in sight

From Jerry Sanders:

City Of San Diego along the border
Voluntary evacuations in South San Diego for areas West of Alta, East of 805, South of Main Street
Some people might be allowed back home today but only after areas are thoroughly investigated
8,000-10,000 people stayed at Qualcomm overnight
Donations can be taken to A-3
National guard have patrolled Qualcomm and Del Mar Fairgrounds to provide safety and security

Fire Liaison:
Significant fire activity overnight.

Rice Fire (Fallbrook)
4000 acres
winds 6-10 mph, gusts up to 15 mph
overhead team setting up at Camp Pendleton
Fire did hit the 15 area
Most activity is at northern perimeter of fire in the Santa Margarita area
Intent is to get fixed wing and helicopters.

Chief Neil (Cal Fire San Diego):
70,000 acres
Spread to the west in Chula Vista, San Diego and Jamul
Active fire in Deerhorn Valley area
Consumed another 20 buildings
People stayed behind then were trapped and were forced to stay at the firestation
500 kb line at the substation trying to protect that infrastructure
About 10 major fires in the state demanding resources
Waiting for additional trucks, bulldozers, and overhead support

Chief (?) Hutchison:
Witch Creek Fire
1-15 east seeing east winds at 12 mph with 20 mph gusts
Onshore winds creating problems
The winds make the fire spread in all directions on all perimeters
in the north, new fire started at 3:30 am 800+ acres, jumped Valley Center Road, threatening Valley Center and Rincon communities
Might allow people along the west side of the fire back home

Sheriff Bill Kolender:
Security is being provided by sheriffs. All personnel are active, 12 hour shifts
30 people in each of 16 platoons who will do security sweeps
1200-1300 national guard assisting with security
East Mesa juvenile detention facility was evacuated to Kearny Mesa detention facility

Michael Nagley (SDG&E):
Tight day on the power grid. Connection to the east is disconnected at this time. Will be out of service at least through tomorrow. Fire at Mt. Miguel went up last night.

Transmission emergency:

1- 500 volt line out
4- 230 volt lines out
and other transmission lines out

Report downed cable, telephone lines. Report gas leaks to 1-800-411-SDGE.

Ron Roberts:
How can you help???
Stay home. Don't use cell phones. Stay off freeways. Conserve energy and water.

Ron Lane (Dir of Emergency Services):
Winds are shifting so people really need to pay attention. The fire may require quick and immediate evacuations with wind shifts. Everyone should watch news.
Damage assessment teams are going out today. At least 1000 structures estimated lost.
211 received 14,000 calls in last 24 hours, tripled number of agents answering

Agency support :
Red Cross
Border Patrol
US Customs
Orange County
Riverside County
Office of Emergency Services
Sheriff Dept

-Conditions are such that air assets are staging and should be able to fly today
-Today will prove to be a pivotal day
-Total injuries
-Deerhorn 20-30 residents stayed behind and were sheltered at Fire Station
-Over 20 civilians burned from staying behind
-UCSD burn center 2 were intubated, 2 conscious
-Area west of 5 most likely to be allowed to return home later today
-All 10 fires in SoCal are in Urban footprint

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