Wednesday, October 24, 2007

San Diego Fires: Press Conference 4:15 PM Update

(I'm only posting new info; redundancies will be omitted)

Ron Roberts:
  • Major SDG&E Power Transmitter has been restored (but please still conserve)
  • 4,000 firefighters battling the fires with improved air assets
  • First Local Assistance Center is open
  • Over 560,000 evacuated, many are returning to their communities
  • 2-1-1 has had 41,000 calls since Sunday, Average wait is now 50 seconds
  • Still a lot of work to do; many evacuees will still not be allowed home just yet

Mayor Jerry Sanders:

  • (All open areas refer only to areas with in San Diego City Limits)
  • Opened west areas of Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, San Pascual
  • North Rancho Bernardo and Westwood are still closed; police will escort residents for essential items (medication, documents, pets etc.)
  • Opened first Local Assistance Center (Hours 7am-8pm M-F; 8-4 Sat; 9-2 Sun) It is located at 18448 West Bernardo Drive. It will serve residents of San Diego, 4S Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido

Chief Kevin Crawford:

  • Reentry into areas is dangerous and has to be well thought out, in consideration of hazards
  • Many outside assets trickling from Northern California
  • Receiving resources from outside the state of CA including Nevada National Guard
  • Rice Fire- 8000 acres, 15% containment, 700+ firefighters. Fire is in Santa Margarita drainage and is moving north toward Riverside
  • Horno Fire- northern end contained, south is not
  • Concentrating on Camp Pendleton; no evacs on base, just personnel redirection

Sheriff Kolender:

  • Not considering just absence of fire, but health issues, utilities, water, gas must all be safe for people to repopulate
  • Patrols are keeping all evacuated areas safe
  • 1 direct death from fires, others were indirect

Chief ?:

  • Weather- east winds diminishing; onshore flow is moving east; spread has stopped moving west but are now fires are moving east and northeast
  • Harris- 73000 acres, 10% containment; 7 injuries; 759 personnel; a lot of activity in Jamul and Skyline truck trail area. Earlier a lot of activity in Lion's Peak and Lion Valley area
  • Poomacho 0% containment; 10 injuries; 759 personnel; established on Mt Palomar and Valley Center area. Has not met with Witch fire, they are burning parallel but are still expected to meet later tonight.
  • Witch- 196,420 acres; 10% contained; 10 injured; 1800 personnel.
  • Better intelligence about new threats and where the fires have moved should be available this evening

424 homes destroyed in San Diego City Limits

Martin Mars was delayed at Customs. (WHAT!!!!????!!!!) Should arrive tonight and be available tomorrow morning for water and retardant drops.

EOC Assessments:

  • Report will be completed this evening with a list of 250 destroyed and damaged homes in unincorporated areas of the county. Should be posted and available tonight.
  • Escondido- 36 homes - Escondido Website has listings
  • Poway-86 homes - Poway Website has listings
  • Protocol for repopulation of communities in unincorporated areas (and similar process in City Limits): Fire Dept notifies Sheriff when fire threat is gone; Sheriff validates safety; Sheriff notifies EOC to do assessments (caltrans, SDG&E, public works agencies); once that is determined safe then a detailed area perimeter will be established and the public will be notified.

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