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Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 8:29 AM Reply   
I talked to Dave Williams this morning and his family was evacuated about midnight last night. He said that he knows the fire swept through his neighborhood but at this point he doesn't know about his house. Hopefully the cleared area around his property saved his house. At least his family is safe.

We were heading out to San Vicente this morning but the lake is shrouded in thick smoke and the road to the lake is closed. The wind was already picking up at 6am and the temp was 83 degrees. This looks like it's going to be really bad. Here are some pics of the smoke clouds at 6am and the ash raining down at my house some 30 miles from the fire.

Old    obsurfer            10-26-2003, 8:44 AM Reply   
Hope you and your Family the best Dave!
Old    gvb (gvb)      Join Date: May 2003       10-26-2003, 9:09 AM Reply   
I was woken at 3am this morning by a friend who lives on Hi Ridge (off of Johnson Lake). I rushed over to his house and watched the flames which were at least a half mile across the 67, over on top of the hill near San V. We weren't worried because we figured the fire dept. would use the 67 as a fire break and stop it there. 2 minutes after thinking that, the front of his house was on fire and we were scrambling to load stuff out of his garage into our cars. 10 seconds later, the front of the garage was on fire as we were rushing out of it. At that point you couldn't see 2 feet in front of you. Luckily we all made it out, but his house is gone.

Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 10:22 AM Reply   
Wow, unfortunately it looks like hundreds if not thousands of people will lose their homes. With the fire jumping I-15 and getting into Scripps Ranch this could easily turn into the worst fire in San Diego history.

Old    lindsayl            10-26-2003, 12:44 PM Reply   
I have never seen anything like this. Good God.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of my wakeboarding friends in the area. I hope everyone is SAFE.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 1:37 PM Reply   
Unbelievable, watching house after house go up in flames. And it's not just a single area or neighborhood. Reports now indicate the line of flames is 20 miles long. My condo is starting to fill with smoke even though the nearest fire is at least 5 miles away.

I doubt it'll will reach me but I've already started thinking about what I need to gather in case I have to evacuate. Here it is just after noon and the sky is a strange orange glow, like late twilight. The ash floating down looks like a light snowfall.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 2:07 PM Reply   
These pics were taken at 1pm. You can see how the sun is a dull orange but the smoke filling the canyon isn't as clear in the other pic.

Sun thru the smoke
smoke in the canyon
Old    Dan (wake2wake103)      Join Date: Jul 2003       10-26-2003, 3:04 PM Reply   
Dave Willims like Chris Willims little brother
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 3:06 PM Reply   
No, Dave Williams that runs WakeWorld.
Old    norcal_99            10-26-2003, 3:29 PM Reply   
Do they know how it started?

Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 4:05 PM Reply   
One report is that someone was lost so they shot off a flare gun. Not a smart thing to do when there are santa ana winds and 10% humidity.

10 people dead, over 100,000 acres burned so far, no report on the number of homes but it looks like 300 hundred or more.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 4:13 PM Reply   
This pic was taken about 8 miles from my condo in the Tierra Santa area. There are several Wakeworld regulars that live in that neighborhood so hopefully they are okay.


This pic is from the Ramona area, a few miles from Dave Williams' neighborhood.
fire 2

And another neighborhood going up in flames.
another fire
Old    west_sider1            10-26-2003, 4:17 PM Reply   
I WOKE UP ALLL EARLY TO GO TO SAN V BUT THE ROAD WAS BLOCKEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD i had my camera so i filmed it it looks like armegedan
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-26-2003, 6:56 PM Reply   
We rode Mission Bay this morning and the water was a covered in a thick black cloud of soot. After leaving the lake we headed out to Blossom Valley to help friends evacuate their home only to have Brian Davies, Aki Savage and Dave Vincent fighting the fire as it came up to the home. The home is safe, unfortunately several around are not. At this point Brian's family has been evacuated from their San Carlos homes. This has been a crazy crazy day. However, all of my friends and family are accounted for. Homes are replacable, however friends and family are not. To all of you other SD regulars, my best wishes to you.
Old    Randy Murray (wakeripper)      Join Date: Oct 2002       10-26-2003, 7:24 PM Reply   
My girlfriend lives about 1/2 mile from Dave's house and her home was evacuated at about 1 am my moms house in Valley Center was evacuated this morning and my dad's house in Lakeside near Mission Trails was evacuated earlier this afternoon. I was in the Desert on a dual sport ride thinking it wasn't a big deal until we started coming home it was absolutely insane to see huge red mushroom clouds of smoke. I took pics but they are standard will post later. The last i heard from my g/f the area where Dave's house is should be okay. let's just hope she is right and pray for everyone.
Old    buttacup            10-26-2003, 7:32 PM Reply   
I hope everyone in SD is safe from the fires. There are a few up here in LA County, one going on a few miles from me, up in the hills. Almost reminds me of when the hills of Oakland, CA got a huge fire also (10 yrs ago). I lived minutes from Oakland and it was amazing to see the sky filled with smoke and all of the ashes falling on our front yards and streets. I just came back from bakersfield and luckily the grapevine hasn't been hit yet.
Old    turk_kildare            10-26-2003, 7:56 PM Reply   
I know they are calling up several of the Tennessee Volunteer FireFighting groups in TN to help you guys out there.

Best Wishes!
Old    akman            10-26-2003, 8:27 PM Reply   
What a devastating day in San Diego county!

I woke up around 4:30 to what looked like snow, upon further investigation I noticed it was ashes, I checked to make sure my house wasn't on fire and turned on the news.

I then received a call from Dave Vincent asking if we could help him at his sisters house getting them evacuated from the fire. Laura and I jumped in the truck and headed East, when we arrived the fire was about 15 miles away from the house. We kept a close eye on it all morning, as soon as the wind shifted from the west to the east all heck broke lose. We had 20 to 30 foot flames chasing us up the side of the mountain as we tried to put out a fire down the street. I never knew fire could move that fast as we were sprinting from the hot ashes that were flying all around us.

After moving all the important stuff from the house we went back to the house to make sure it was secure and before you know it a wall of fire was moving towards the house faster than we could handle it. We had at least 10 people fighting the fire with shovels, dirt, and water from the hoses, we were trying to keep the bigger trees from spreading the fire along the hillside. At one point a huge gust of wind blew the fire directly at me and all I can remember was being blown onto my backside staring up at flames and feeling hot ashes landing on me and basically scaring the crap out of me. I managed to get on my feet and scamper away as I then pointed the hose onto myself to try to escape the heat.

Being close enough to the fire to get burnt, smell and feel your shoes burning is something I don't want to do again soon.

Everyone involved inhaled a lot of smoke, and has a lot of crap in their eyes.

I pretty much feel like crap right now, my eyes hurt, my lungs hurt and I have scratches all up and down my leg from running through the bushes chasing down the fire.

I cannot put into words how I felt watching the wildlife around me trying to escape the smoke and flames, thousands of acres have been burned and there is more to come. Animals running all around me trying to get away....rabbits, rats, birds running past me with burnt hair, horses scared out of their mind as they were put into horse carriers and taken to safety.

I received calls today from my mom, sister in law, best man at my wedding, Andre the Giant, that they all had to be evacuated from their houses due to threat of fire, and found out that Blabels parents also had to be evacuated, and later spoke to Dave Williams who informed me that he had to bail out of his house at around midnight the night before.

A special thanks to Brian and Dave for their help and in keeping an eye out for one another and not letting me get into too much trouble out there today. The house was saved and so were all their belongings!

Today is a day I will never forget.....the faces of those that had lost their houses or were trying to save them will not soon be forgotten.

To those of you that fight fires for a living "HATS OF TO YOU" what a very scary profession to be in.

To those of you that have had friends or family lose their home or a loved thoughts go out to you.

To my wife Laura "Thanks for being the best"

Old    Blabelmooch (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       10-26-2003, 8:53 PM Reply   
Couple of things:

I have a new found respect for firefighters. That's a tough fricken job.

Fire moves across brush very quickly.

Never try to do this in sandals. I came straight from the beach so I didn't have shoes. When my sandals got wet they became worthless. Running around rocks and dirt, jumping fences etc. is no fun barefoot!

That was a crazy day that I'll never forget.
Old    Alan Bogdanoff (alan_bogdanoff)      Join Date: Jan 2003       10-26-2003, 9:25 PM Reply   
Our prayers go out to all the victims of this fire. We pray that everybody comes out o.k.
anybody out there who is in the path of the fire, we hope that you and your families are fine. David, as well as all the other victims - we can't wait to hear you guys are doing well.
Those Santa Ana's were strong today - we felt them up here in nor cal, lack the fires.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-26-2003, 10:50 PM Reply   
Aki that is an incredible story. I'm glad that you got out ok and the house was saved. I just got word that some friends in the Escondido area have to evacuate.

Tomorrow could be brutal when the winds kick up again. We aren't close to being out of this mess.

For people that aren't in the area, you can get an idea of how bad this is: the city of San Diego has asked all businesses to stay closed tomorrow, all of the schools will be closed including the 3 universities, most of the freeways and highways in the city are closed.

Updated information and live video is available at

Old    wakelvr            10-26-2003, 11:11 PM Reply   
I don't even know what to say.... My thoughts, wishes and prayers are with all that are involved. Please try and be safe and keep us posted on how things are going.

Escondido? My cousin lives there....

Keep us posted...
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-27-2003, 7:25 AM Reply   
Freeways are starting to open up around the county, except in the most dangerous areas still affected. We were not in a fire zone, but even so, our condo reaks of smoke today. If I can be of any help to anyone today please let me know.
Old    scott (scottay)      Join Date: Nov 2001       10-27-2003, 8:03 AM Reply   
They moved Monday Nite Football to AZ.

Good luck you guys!
Old    PJ (peeejay)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-27-2003, 8:04 AM Reply   
my dept just sent 3 engines there yesterday. its getting bigger by the minute.
Old    wakechick            10-27-2003, 9:23 AM Reply   
My aunt, uncle and family were evacuated from their home in Simi Valley, but were allowed to return yesterday. They had not lost anything. My prayers go out to everybody involved in this disaster.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-27-2003, 9:53 AM Reply   
Some incredible photos taken last night in Santee, which is about 20 miles east of downtown San Diego:

Old    David D (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       10-27-2003, 9:54 AM Reply   
Damn. Thanks Bill.
Aki, Blabel, you guys are brave. Good to hear of your success in helping a friend. Go take care of yourself!
Thank you PJ and all the firefighters.
We all have an immense respect for you guys!
Old    Wakeboardin (wakeboardin)      Join Date: Apr 2001       10-27-2003, 10:02 AM Reply   
Here are a few pictures across the street from my house in the Rancho fire. Sorry if they are not that clear I was trying to rush.

Old    tammy            10-27-2003, 11:12 AM Reply   
anyone - updates on El Cajon area. Cory and I have family there, talked to them last night at 9pm but can not reach them this morning. Also does anyone have a link to a map of the fire area?

My prayers are with everyone that is down there...
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-27-2003, 11:19 AM Reply   
Tammy, here is a link to our newspaper online. There is a map on the front page:

A lot of the East County area is being evacuated right now. Descanso, Alpine and other areas east of El Cajon are being evacuated. There are several places that people from these areas are being sent. For East County residents, they are being sent to Mountain Empire High School and Julian High School. Tammy, I can email you updates as they come in if you are still unable to reach Cory's family.
Old    Christopher Stack (deepstructure)      Join Date: Jun 2002       10-27-2003, 11:30 AM Reply   
our thoughts and prayers are most definitely with all of you affected by this.
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       10-27-2003, 11:30 AM Reply   
At about 4:30 on Saturday I saw the fire start on the hills behind my house toward Julian while I ate dinner. We called 911, but didnít see a response to the fire for at least an hour, probably due to its remote location and the fact that so many firefighters were fighting other fires in So Cal. The air was dead still and the fire grew very slowly. I would estimate that it was between 30 and 50 miles away and didnít think much of it at the time. One shot from a helicopter could have put it out at any time during that first hour, but that obviously didnít happen.

My wife and I headed off to a Halloween party without a worry. Around midnight, our neighbor came to the party to inform us that the fire was heading into our neighborhood. I was pretty surprised that it had made that kind of progress, but cashed out my blackjack chips and headed home to find the fire raging less than a mile away with winds hitting pretty hard. Since it was headed in our direction and we could literally hear the roar from the fire, we decided to start packing up the kids and pets. The Sheriff arrived soon thereafter and told us to go immediately.

I was amazed at how few ďimportantĒ items we actually have in the house. I ran through every room and really only ended up grabbing photo albums, home videos and some clothing. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have included deodorant in my list of essentials. Once we got the minivan loaded, my wife drove it to our friendís house in the San Diego Country Estates about a mile or two away. I stayed behind and loaded up the WakeWorld computers and a few filing cabinets of important paperwork. With a grin on my face, I also threw my wakeboard in the truck thinking it would make for a good picture.

My wife called and told me to get the hell out, so I locked up the house, kissed my Malibu goodbye and headed down the hill in my truck. I deal with things by making jokes about it while my wife deals with things by stressing about it. She did not appreciate my flurry of ďcomedyĒ about our house burning down. I was just happy that we got our three kids, two dogs, cat and tortoise out safely.

We arrived at our friendsí house only to find the winds and fire getting increasingly aggressive and surrounding the community. Although I felt confident that the flames would have a tough time reaching their house since it sits in the middle of many other homes, the smoke and ash that was hitting us made it difficult to breathe, so we evacuated once again to another friendís house near Ramona High School about 12 miles away. We finally got to sleep around 4:00 or 5:00 on Sunday morning only to wake up again at 7:00 to watch the flames as they continued to threaten our presence.

It seems like we spent the day listening to the news and preparing to leave several different times depending on which way the winds were moving. They would no longer let us into the San Diego Country Estates, which is the community we need to go through to get to our neighborhood, but I managed to get into the area through a back road. As I made my way through the Country Estates, I was amazed our how completely the flames had rolled through the neighborhood, yet how efficiently the firefighters had saved homes. It seems like every bit of open space was burned all the way to the yards and streets. In some cases, the homes were partially burned or fully consumed. It didnít boost my confidence that these seemingly unreachable buildings were now charred remains.

My confidence was further shaken by the fact that the road to my neighborhood and all surrounding brush was fully blackened. My only hope was that land we have cleared around our house would have helped the firefighters enough to save the structure. Could the motorcycle track actually save our home? Again, I was amazed at how the homes stood unscathed in the midst of melted fences and charred landscapes. The firefighters precision is amazing and should be commended!

As I came over the hill on our street, the first thing I saw was our American flag flapping in the breeze. Although I had just put up a new one the week before, the flag was blackened and torn, but standing tall. I was thrilled to see my home (and boat) then come into view.

The fire had burned half of our property (about 3 or 4 acres), but it was the half that did not have our house on it, so I really didnít care. Our damage was limited to fence posts, brush and a layer of black soot, so I was stoked!!

Relieved, I returned to our ďhome baseĒ to collect my family and head home. Not so fast. The fire turned again and started heading back to our neighborhood. We were locked out again and they even blocked my secret back road entrance this time. Damn!

Needless to say, we were exhausted. My two-year-old was working on three hours of sleep, but was an inspiration to us all as he strode through the day like a trooper yelling, ďíMoke, Ďmoke, Ďmoke, Daddy,Ē every time he looked up.

Last night the fire started heading toward our ďhome baseĒ location in Ramona. They evacuated the high school down the street, which was a Red Cross relief center, and sent everybody to Julian high school. Although the entire neighborhood was loading up and getting ready to leave, I really didnít want to move again. So we drove out to the fire line to check out how serious the threat was. Although it looked intimidating, the winds had stopped and I felt confident that there was no threat to us until the winds kicked back up again, which we were told would normally happen at around 4:00 in the morning.

We slept and occasionally checked on the progress of the winds and fire. The winds hadnít really gotten as strong as they were on Sunday, so that was good. We got another pump fake this morning when they told us we could get back to our home via the ďback road,Ē but we soon found that the fire department had changed their minds by the time we got there. So itís back to ďhome baseĒ for now and we will wait some more. If all goes well, I will be sleeping in my own bed this evening.

My wife thought it was interesting that I got more upset about one of our two labs crapping all over the interior of my truck (thatís where theyíve been living since Sunday night) than I did about the possibility of our house being burned to the ground. I canít really explain it. Maybe itís because I neglected to get insurance for interior defecation.

Remembering that I actually have a modem in my laptop, I finally got out the computer and went online. After all, I had to find out if I had won my fantasy football game on Sunday. I was pleased to see that I had the highest score in my league. Life is good!

Iíd like to send a huge thanks out to everybody who called and/or left messages checking on me and my family and offering to help out. If I havenít returned your message, itís because Iím trying to save my cell phone battery (forgot to grab my charger). I really appreciate the fact that youíre all thinking about us!

Also, thanks to the firefighters that saved our home, boat and all our possessions. I canít thank you enough. I canít imagine how tiring, tough and unforgiving that job must be. I know it sounds cheesy, but these guys (and gals) are truly heroes. Brett, donít get a big head!
Old    GettingOlder (magellan)      Join Date: Feb 2003       10-27-2003, 11:36 AM Reply   
From what I gather a few of these fires were started by Eco-terrorists. For those CA peeps that remember a month or so ago when these idiots burned a bunch of Hummer dealers down cause they claim the H2's burn too much gas, thus create more smog. The fires they started in Aug created 600% more smog that any of the H2's they burned ever would. Their plan backfired.
Now, they take it to a new level and burn "areas where new developments are going up" Well this sure worked again.
My opinion...
They know where these groups meet...hell, they interviewed one a few days ago. Every one of these should be arrested if they were involved or not. When they're all arrested, maybe one of em will say...OK, I know who did it. Then it's simple....charge them with 13 counts of murder and send them to a state that believes in capital punishment.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-27-2003, 11:58 AM Reply   
Dave, I'm glad to hear that you and your family are safe and that the house is intact. Although it looks like your area is getting hit again today. I just heard that the fire is flaring up at the junction of 805 and 52, which is about 3 miles from my house and on the edge of Clairemont. This has been an incredible 36 hours and it's not over yet.

Let me know if I can help in any way.
Old    obsurfer            10-27-2003, 12:01 PM Reply   
Magellan...Are you pointing your finger at a NRA dummy (with the flare gun) or a environmentalist. They are both wrong. This hunter should have had a GPS. Or the dummy should have just caught a cold overnight. You sound like a politician.You have all the answers but do nothing. Talk Talk Talk
Old    Nick (tiger20)      Join Date: Sep 2001       10-27-2003, 12:11 PM Reply   
Possible leads on suspected arsonists.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-27-2003, 12:14 PM Reply   
Incredible sat pic taken yesterday:

A couple of amazing pics from the web:

fire 1

fire 2
Old    GettingOlder (magellan)      Join Date: Feb 2003       10-27-2003, 12:40 PM Reply   
Hey Steve, where are you going with your post?
I sound like a politician? What answers do I have?
Help us all out here.
When I see thousands of homes and dozens of lives wasted due to a group of idiots (ELF), I guess I get a bit angry as I would hope you do as well.
Old    Paul (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-27-2003, 12:45 PM Reply   
Man, I am so glad to hear that everyone in the San Diego WW community is doing well. We got a call from friends in Ramona at 4am yesterday morning saying they were on their way after being evacuated. They sat here all day not knowing whether they owned a home, and we felt so bad for them and others. Slowly as the day progressed it became apparent our home was in danger as well. We evacuated late yesterday afternoon but are home and [knock on wood] everything seems to be relatively calm in our area right now, although extremely smoky. Here's a few pics I managed to snap as it was becoming apparent we had to get the hell out.

Old    Paul (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-27-2003, 12:50 PM Reply   
By the way, if any of our WW friends around the country are inclined, financial donations to the American Red Cross are very much needed. They say that any contribution over $5 will be acknowledged, can be pointed toward fire relief, and a weekly accounting will be made.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-27-2003, 12:56 PM Reply   
Wow! I'm so out of touch, this is the first I've heard of the fire.
Glad everyone is okay.

When did it start?


(Message edited by Barry on October 27, 2003)
Old    Paul (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-27-2003, 12:58 PM Reply   
By the way, I also have to echo Dave's comments. While there is some SERIOUS questions that will have to be answered in the aftermath of this disaster about how it was handled, the courage and character of the firefighters and other emergency workers on the front line cannot be questioned.

I could not resist last night since I could not sleep so I drove back over from Del Mar to see if I still had a house. I could not believe how things had calmed down. The firefighters (with help of some residents) made a stand at the bottom of the hill in the above pictures and prevented literally hundreds of homes from going up in flames. When we left, they were worried about not only our community but communities to the west of us such as Carmel Mt and Rancho Bernardo. And here six hours later it was pretty clear we were going to make it, and apparently this is pretty much solely the result of some incredible work done on the fire headed right for us.
Old    buttacup            10-27-2003, 1:20 PM Reply   
The fire in Simi Valley is still going and the Santa Ana's are supposed to stop around 2pm this afternoon, we'll see and hope that the winds die down everywhere! I don't have a digital camera so I can't take pics of the smoke from the hills where I am but when I was at Walmart the smoke was gray, now it's a brownish-white color and it's moving fast. The air is starting to smell where I am too, yuck.

One of my friends in Escondido had to evacuate her house last night. Like many of you, I am hoping for the best for everyone.
Old    Blabelmooch (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       10-27-2003, 1:49 PM Reply   
Man, those Poway pics look gnarly.

Turns out my Aunt and Uncle in Poway had a pretty close call. Their back fence and some patio furniture was burned down but the house was saved. They also found a dead animal too Three houses on their street are leveled.

My folks are still waiting to return to their house but the last report I heard looked like they'd be in there no later than tonight.

Old    jetgofish            10-27-2003, 2:08 PM Reply   
To all the WW peeps in SD, my heart and prayers go out to you! Dave your story touched my...I'm glad that you and your family are safe, your home and your boat are all in one piece. To every one else my thoughts and prayers are with you!
Old    bobbymucic            10-27-2003, 2:20 PM Reply   
When I read this post last night, a pretty sick feeling came about. I could not imagine how badly all you near the fires must have felt. I am glad to hear that things no longer look as gloomy for those on this board. I hope that the fires get under control soon, and your homes and family remain safe.

Check out the link for satellite pic of southern CA fires.
Old    norcal_99            10-27-2003, 2:47 PM Reply   
Glad to hear you all are OK. Cnn is saying over 700 homes were burned.
Old    Aaron Nielsen (lzyboy)      Join Date: Jun 2001       10-27-2003, 3:02 PM Reply   
To all of the WW members, friends, and families affected in each there own way by this tragedy my prayers and thoughts are with you.

God Bless you and the brave men and women continuing to fight these fires!
Old    Small Light (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       10-27-2003, 3:15 PM Reply   
All these stories are pretty inspiring. That's why I love America, when times of crisis come along perfect strangers risk their lives to help in any way that they can. Everyone that has posted feels the same sense of awe at some of the self sacrfice that people will make just because they feel it is the right thing to do. On a side note, and this seems bizarre, but a fire opened up this morning behind Cal Poly SLO and is like 5 miles max. from the entire city. It's even closer to the campus. It's getting bigger right now and the wind is relatively mild but still blowing pretty good. Good luck everyone, be safe, and remember karma will reward all those that do good deeds
Old    akman            10-27-2003, 3:26 PM Reply   
Today is one of the eeriest days that I have ever been around, for those of you that have been around a big snowfall it reminds me of that sort of day. The acoustics are totally different due to all the smoke in the air, the sun is out but the sky is a yellow/orange color if I go outside I cannot hear not one bird chirping.

As I look out the window I see ashes and soot falling just like snow.

You cannot describe in words the scene from around here only to say the air is smokey at best, there is crap falling from the sky, people are scared and nervous.

I woke up this morning with black soot hanging out of my eyes, a headache, and my lower eye lids look like a fight gone bad as they hang from my face all puffy.

I feel for those families that have lost their homes and or a loved one.

They announced today that they have someone in custody that they believe started the fire with a flare gun but they are not releasing their name at this point.
Old    Andrew (drewsy)      Join Date: Mar 2003       10-27-2003, 3:54 PM Reply   
Has anyone heard from Steve Cowen?? I know he lives in the san v lakeside area. I left him a message on is cell but no return yet. I hope he & his family is OK.
Old    Steven Hahn (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       10-27-2003, 4:54 PM Reply   
And I've been complaining about rain? I cannot imagine what I'd do if I saw that kind of fire headed towards my house! Glad to hear all our WW family is still in tact.
Old    Gimpy (geoff_l)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-27-2003, 5:09 PM Reply   
I'm glad to hear that everyone I know so far has had their houses saved. My sincerest respect and admiration go out to those who have fought the fires and helped in this crisis. Even though we are safe where we live, it is a helpless feeling as the best I can do right now is call those that I know to make sure everything is ok and to see if there is anything at all that I could do to help. Aki's description of San Diego is entirely accurate, even at the beach areas. Mission Bay looked like it was covered by a layer of ash as it was strangely calm. There was a "brown cloud" hanging over the bay this morning that was sickening to even look at. Our thoughts are with those who are still in harms way and for those that have not been as fortunate.
Old    papi            10-27-2003, 5:20 PM Reply   
Glad to here that all that have checked in are ok.
I was very frustrated trying to track the progress of the Simi fire. TV and radio just didn't cut it and wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get all out if need be. I ended up finding a website that in conjuction with a download application allows you to monitor that radio communications for the fire crews and base.
Web site:
Application download:

Best wishes and prayers for all
Old    Hate2party (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-27-2003, 5:53 PM Reply   
I just found out that my inlaws home in Ramona did not burn. Which they had to leave around 10 am yesterday.

I am still hesitant to unpack our stuff.

My neighbors and I stood watch on a giant hill at the end of our neighborhood all day yesterday. Flames did come into sight but luckily they were put out about 1/4 mile away. The 150 homes that burned in Scripps were about 1/2 mile away as the crow flies from my house. I woke up every few hours last night to scope all lookouts to make sure we were all ok.

I spoke to Dave and invited him down but little did I know the fire would be close to my home within an hour.

Our vehicles, streets, etc, are covered with ash. If you go outside for 5 minutes your clothes reek of smoke.

I just spoke to a friend of mine who lived in Crest. He had just moved into his parents rental home with his girlfriend and another friend. And after spending 3 weeks fixing up the place before moving in they lived in it for a week. Evacuted last night after packing all day, returning today to find it no longer standing. Crest was hit last night just as hard as Scripps, but unfortunately there was one fire truck to protect Crest last night.

I saw film of when the fire jumped I-15 and ran across Miramar. The fire with the wind pushing it had to be moving 20 mph plus. Scariest thing I think I've seen. Faster than a flamethrower.

I am glad that WW SD is all ok. Everyone in SD please stay on the lookout at all times, because we all know this fire can go anywhere at anytime.

Now I am waiting to see if our Grandparents home burned down in Valley Center which is currently out of control.

Everyone hang in the and take care of family.
Old    Mike Buckingham (sdrider)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-27-2003, 6:02 PM Reply   
We live in the Tierrasanta area and were told to evacuate on Sunday. Family and friends contacted us early and often. Just wanted to give special thanks to those from WW that offered help to evacuate and a place to crash. Lara & Geoff, Kim & Kelly and Frank Stribling all were very gracious and we cannot thank all of you enough!!

Ominous view from our house Sunday.

Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-27-2003, 6:48 PM Reply   
Mike, I'm glad to hear you are okay. I was thinking about you when I heard that Tierrasanta was being evacuated but didn't have your number. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Here's the a pic of the sunset over Mission Bay this afternoon thru the smoke - but notice how glassy the water is, which is great because it means the winds have subsided (and the wakeboarder taking advantage of it).

Old    akman            10-27-2003, 8:52 PM Reply   
The Fire Chief being interviewed this evening is saying it will take the better part of 5 days to get the fire CONTAINED, which means it could be up to 7 days before it is completely out.

San Diego Gas & Electric is saying power could be out in those areas that are burning for up to 2 weeks.
Old    Christie Fisher (cfisher)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-27-2003, 10:51 PM Reply   
I am glad to hear that all the SD folks are OK and looking out for each other. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you that your homes remain safe as well.
Old    Brett Davis (bdavis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-27-2003, 11:12 PM Reply   
Wow Dave,
I had no idea that your house was almost a giant soot pile!! Very glad to hear all is well with you. I haven't had the chance to go an any strike teams yet, but my partner went to malibu two days ago. I would've been very surprised to hear of any of the house in your neighborhood burning because you have so much clearance.
You gotta get that pool in and buy a pump. I can get you some gear, so you could defend your house in case this happens again. Of course you now have brush clearance for miles and it wont be a problem for several years. the worst is over for you and you should have nothing else to worry about.

Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       10-28-2003, 1:12 AM Reply   
Nothing worse than the feeling of helplessness, especially when you're 2700 miles away from home.
My heart goes out to all and I thank everyone for their posts, which helps me with my positioning on the fires.
So far all everyone in my family and property has been spared.
Parents live near 52 between 805 & 5 - biggest conern is they're in there 70's .
Bro #2 lives along a Canyon reserve ( between Sorrento Valley and Mira Mesa), where he is not allowed to cut back/clear anything that grows naturally beyond his backyard fence.
Bro#1 lives in Scripps far so good.
Bro#3 house is pretty much out of the way of any danger, but works in Carson during the weekdays.
Having grown up in San Diego, I know I still have many friends throughout SD County, I just hope that they have made it through this, but only time will tell.

(Message edited by phantom5815 on October 28, 2003)
Old    Mike Buckingham (sdrider)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-28-2003, 10:17 AM Reply   
Since Sunday afternoon I had been trying to get a hold of one of my employees who live in Harbison Canyon(west of Alpine). I was finally able to reach him on his cell minutes ago. The entire family including their two teenage daughters, a horse and the family pets all got out safely.
Unfortunately, their house burned completely. Considering the devastation and the mental anguish of losing many valuable items, they are in good spirits. They realize that most personal possessions can be replaced. They just didn't have enough time to get everything of sentimental value--items that can't be replaced. Insurance will take care of most things but most importantly, they are all still with us; and for that I am very thankful.
I told him to take off work for as long as he needs but he insists on coming back to work next Monday! He was on vacation this week. Some vacation!!

My heart and prayers go out to all who are not as fortunate.
Old    CAwakesk8r (hatepwcs)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-28-2003, 12:21 PM Reply
Old    Bobo (baja)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-28-2003, 2:03 PM Reply   
First and foremost I just want to say thank you to those who have helped us directly and indirectly and express our sympathy to those that didnít fair as well as us. As I have found out over the last few days, situations like this make decisions very difficult regarding who to help and what to save.

It started with a phone call from my sister at 5:00 am Sunday with a panic stricken voice which I shrugged off to be exaggerated at that time. As I walked outside of my house and saw all the ash in the air as well as the hot Easterly winds blowing I thought Oh F***, this is serious, so I immediately called Aki to get some help and additional truck. Once we showed up in Blossom Valley we were fortunate to have the time to pack up all the important stuff and have it ready to go. For about the next few hours we were able to witness the fire traveling through the canyons and up the mountainsides from what we thought at the time to be a safe place. I remember feeling sick to my stomach because I new there was a community on the other side of that mountain and the fire had to be moving 30 MPH in their direction.

Thinking that my sisterís house was safe I was ready to head home because of developments of a new ďProctor ValleyĒ fire near my house. Aki and decided to take one last look up the road because we started to notice the helicopter dumping water in that direction. When we got to the top of the ridge we noticed a small hot spot that was started from air debris behind this ladies house, we proceeded to casually look for a hose to put it out. By the time we found a hose and shovel the wind picked up and ignited that small spot into a 30í wall of fire being fueled by extreme winds in a matter of seconds. From that point on it was a matter of survival for everyone in that area, the flames were being blown horizontally and lighting fires everywhere. Aki and I were sprinting from house to house checking for people. It was at that point we knew we had to get back and warn others that indeed this area is not safe because the wind had switched direction and now was circling Blossom Valley.

At that point on it was complete hysteria, people had under estimated the situation and were unable to get their animals and belongings out in time. We were able to get all their stuff out with the help of additional drivers, (Brian, Melissa and my folks) they have a lot of toys. Even at that point we thought their house was out of immediate danger, again underestimated the power of fire (there is a lesson here). From that point on we fought the fire starting with 1 person ending with about 15 people for about 3 hours. The flames burned completely around the house melting fences and shoes, except for Brianís because he didnít have any. It was an absolute exhausting day for many.

I will make this portion short but unfortunately it was just the start for me and my family. I finally made it home about 6:00 pm to see them, only to be interrupted by the sheriffs at 6:15 pm telling me I had to evacuate my house because the Otay fire was coming over the Mountain down into our canyon. I stood in my driveway with one shoe because the other had burned, black from head to toe looking at all the stuff we had just evacuated earlier in the day from my sisters house, thinking let it burn I donít care. We did end up packing the essential stuff like pictures, insurance papers and of course the speaker enclosures that Iíve been working on for the boat for the past month. As of 2:30 this morning we are out of fire threat.

A special thanks to others who offered to help like Ryan McDaniel and Geoff Lewis and especially Paul Smith. Paul, thanks for bugging me every hour offering your help but seeing that you had to evacuate yourself I didnít see it as an option.

This is just one story of many and I wish the best for those people that need our help putting their lives back together.

Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-28-2003, 2:12 PM Reply   
Here's a current map of the fire's path. With the easing of the Santa Ana winds the fire is now heading east and there is a mandatory evacuation for Julian. The city is out of immediate danger but the mountain communities of Julian, Pine Valley, and Palomar are not.

Old    tj (iewc_vp)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-28-2003, 3:37 PM Reply   
In LA County the Grand Prix Fire got within about a mile of my house. Not fun times anywhere is Southern California. To all of those that have lost homes, or have loved ones fighting fire the thoughts and prayers of all of us go out to you.
Old    Blabelmooch (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       10-28-2003, 4:52 PM Reply   
Good to see that you're in the clear Dave. I was getting worried there for awhile.

The air is even worse today. My eyes hurt and it hurts to take a deep breath. I might as well take up smoking when this is all over with.

I feel horrible for the people who have lost their homes. I wish this would end.
Old    akman            10-28-2003, 5:46 PM Reply   
Not to make light of the situation but I thought what I saw today was rather funny....there was a lady driving down the street wearing a mask to keep the smoke out of her lungs but what was she holding in her hand???

A cigarette! A mask for the smoke while smoking a cancer stick!!!!
Old    Blabelmooch (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       10-28-2003, 5:48 PM Reply   
This sucks

"South of Julian, the community of Cuyamaca was "totally destroyed" by fire by mid-afternoon, California Department of Forestry Division Chief Bill Clayton told reporters.

There had been 100 to 150 homes in the tiny community nestled along State Route 79 at the Cuyamaca Reservoir, Clayton said"
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-28-2003, 6:09 PM Reply   
Actually Aki, I believe he's referring to the fact that someone complained about it being in the wakeboarding section. His "who cares" means who cares that it's in the wrong topic.

That's sad news about Cuyamaca. I used to love going up there camping and hanging out by the lake doing some fishing. Such a beautiful area. Looks like Julian is in for a really bad night.
Old    Christopher Stack (deepstructure)      Join Date: Jun 2002       10-28-2003, 6:38 PM Reply   
i agree with bill as he also posted this is this thread:


By David D (wakeguru) on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 8:54 am:

Damn. Thanks Bill.
Aki, Blabel, you guys are brave. Good to hear of your success in helping a friend. Go take care of yourself!
Thank you PJ and all the firefighters.
We all have an immense respect for you guys!

Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-28-2003, 6:39 PM Reply   
Todd Gabele posted a video he shot on Sunday. It starts out in PB, then shows Poway with the fire approaching, and finally his dad's house (intact) with most of the houses in the neighborhood destroyed.

Old    sdorovi            10-28-2003, 6:58 PM Reply   
Sort of put's things in perspective for alot of us. I remember when the earthquake of 1989 hit San Francisco, I was in a truck with my mom and I remember how my mom was freaking out and I was laughing at her like it was no big deal. It wasn't until we got to a battery powered T.V. and saw the fires in the Marina and the collapse of the embarcadero freeway and the Bay Bridge ,did I really start to feel really lucky.

We got to together with friends that night around a big bonfire we lit in our BBQ grill, it really re-emphacised what Dave said, you don't realize how unimportant the things in your house are until you have to chose between them and your friends and family around you.

I am glad to hear that Dave you made it out safely and hopefully things get under control. You know it's like a guy said on the radio today. We have so much technology in the military that causes fire you would think that we would invest more money into developing ways of stopping fires faster. I watched on T.V. as this huge fire burns and you only see like one plane at a time dumping water. I mean the technology being used today is so outdated. Considering we have smart bombs that could hit a keyhole from 80 miles away you figure we could have anti-fire smart bombs that either exploded with large amounts of h2o or robbed the oxygen from an area for a short period of time or something it's sad I hope we don't have anymore deaths.

Our prayers to all.
Old    Paul (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-28-2003, 7:32 PM Reply   
Unbelievable. Today it is hard to breath outside and the fire continues to rage in the far East County. Todd's video very accurately portrays what it was like to be in Poway among thousands of residents as the fire began to appear as though it was going to take all of our homes.

It is crazy to think back that Sunday morning it never occurred to me I might have to evacuate my own house as I was calling other friends to offer to drive across town to help them. In hindsight, I'm glad they all turned me down as I had business at home to attend to.

I am so blessed to have such a great family and such terrific friends. Locally, Geoff (who several times offered to jump in his truck and drive to my house as well as give us a place to stay), Ryan (thanks for the offer for the place to stay), Aki, and Dave (no worries, my brother) I am very grateful to know that you guys are my friends and that I can count on each of you. I got calls or emails from people like Joe Umali in Washington, Andy Zarlengo in Colorado, and even Kristian Coltman all the way from Europe somewhere (are you in France now Kris?). All these people I have met in one way or the other via Wakeworld. So, my biggest thanks is to Dave Williams. Dave, I'm really glad that everything worked out for you and that you are home safe and sound. I hope no flareups occur up there.

Lastly, I have a heavy heart as more than 1500 homes in Southern California have been lost to fires. Several of my wife's friends from work are currently homeless. I am always amazed anywhere there is a disaster when the very best part of human nature shows its face. But when it is so close to home, it truly is something to behold. This community will rebuild, and the homeless will have homes again soon.

Meanwhile, not to be repetitive and push, but even $5 donations would be greatly appreciated by the American Red Cross, and from what I have seen on TV they have been doing a tremendous job. Please visit and pass along at least the price of one value meal at McDonalds.
Old    lindsayl            10-28-2003, 8:28 PM Reply   
I am so glad to hear that everyone is OK and that property loss among the WW community has been minimal. We are all so fortunate.

Todd's video perfectly captured what it's been like around here the past couple of days. Very weird times.

Still no post from Steve Cowen. Has anyone heard from him? I hope he and his family are OK.
Old    Mike Buckingham (sdrider)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-28-2003, 8:54 PM Reply   
Lindsay, Steve called me today. Everything is fine. His home was never in danger. Besides, the amount of green landscaping he has would present a formidable barrier!
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-28-2003, 8:59 PM Reply   
Its great to know that no one in the WW community was seriously affected. I wish I could say the same for everyone. I am absolutely heartbroken for everyone who was seriously affected. I have to admit that with the school closures, I am going a bit stir crazy. If anyone needs anything, like child care (I miss students) please do not hesitate to ask.

(Message edited by psych3060 on October 28, 2003)
Old    akman            10-28-2003, 9:07 PM Reply   
Bill & C-Stack, I did see that and deleted my post, I was quick to jump the gun and apologize for throwing that out there.
Old    Troy (liveoz)      Join Date: May 2002       10-28-2003, 9:43 PM Reply   
It looks like several members of the wakeworld community that live near Cataic are being evacuated tonight, I don't think I'll name them but hopefully they will all be spared.

My Mom's family in San Diego (Alpine) got hit pretty hard. Her and two of her brothers lost two houses, two rental houses, 17 cars (my uncle had a collection of 13 various classic cars), two motorhomes, a barn, a large garage and yes even two boats. They are all well, and have handled it remarkably well.

I hope no one else loses anything. I lived just about everywhere in SD that is being affected, and I can't beleive what I am seeing.

Also, I have a truck and I can help if needed in San Diego or Los Angeles.


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