Officials feared that the fires could become even more destructive than the Cedar Fire  that burned , acres 1, January , TIME: The Sun Daily Bulletin. To ensure clear roads for emergency vehicles, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders asked residents to stay home and inside. December 15, TIME:
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During the duration of the Witch Fire, fire officials reported 80— feet-high flames within the wildfire. On the morning of October 22, at 5: The casino on the reservation was closed. Residents of Wildcat Canyon and Muth Valley were ordered to evacuate, and the road was closed. Due to the fires, there was no power or phone service in the town. Many major roads were also closed as a result of the fires and smoke.
However, the evacuation orders in place for eastern and northern Rancho Bernardo, around Lake Hodges , were still in place. On October 23, the fire approached eastern Chula Vista. Many communities were evacuated, with evacuation centers set up at a nearby high school and community center.
His teenage son suffered burn injuries, along with four firefighters of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, who had attempted to rescue them. The Harris Fire also burned into northern Mexico, near the town of Tecate. As of October Fires also burned in northern parts of the Mexican state of Baja California. More than fifteen thousands hectares were consumed by the wildfires in Baja California. Tijuana, Tecate and Ensenada were the municipalities more affected by the fire.
In total there were seven fires caused by Santa Ana winds. The community of Maneadero, in the highlands of Ensenada, was the most affected. The fires occurred at the end of a dry summer and were exacerbated by the seasonal Santa Ana winds , which were blowing at an unusually high strength at that time. Southern California was in the midst of an unusual drought; in Los Angeles, California , with only 3. Officials believed that some of the fires generated their own winds, similar to the Oakland Firestorm of The effects of the smoke were felt as far away as Brentwood, California in the East Bay, near Stockton , where it impacted local weather.
The high-speed Santa Ana winds also rendered the use of dropping water from fire fighting aircraft inefficient; until such winds abate, most payloads of water are just dispersed by the wind over an area so large that the water evaporates before it can reach a large fire on the ground. This outage also caused people to be without power in Malibu.
Authorities said that the evacuation, of more than , people, was the largest in the history of California. M PDT, on October 24, It caused the closure of Interstate 5 and it also caused Amtrak to stop Surfliner service between Oceanside and San Clemente. Many lived in nearby canyons and distrusted officials. Only a few cases of looting were documented. Six people were arrested for stealing supplies from Qualcomm stadium,  another was arrested for theft after being found in possession of stolen goods in the Jamul fire area,  and two were arrested near the Tecate border crossing.
The concentration of particulate matter 10 micrometers and smaller designated PM10 reached unhealthy levels as a result of the fires. PM10 particles are small enough to enter deep into the lungs, and possibly the bloodstream. San Diego city attorney Michael Aguirre , citing concerns over weather conditions and air quality, urged the city to consider a voluntary evacuation of the entire city.
Government agencies and volunteers worked together to mitigate the effects of the fires. According to the state of California's Consolidated Response web page, "There are 17 active fires in Southern California. The priority for fighting fires as of With many businesses and schools closed, some people used their time off to help others. An estimated 10, evacuees gathered at Qualcomm Stadium , the largest shelter point in San Diego.
Besides food, blankets and water, volunteers provided toys for children, massages, and a live rock and roll performance. Trained volunteers provided assistance ranging from coordinating relief, to acting as a fire department auxiliary. The Department of Defense contributed twelve engines for firefighting efforts. The National Guard called more than 2, troops,  with 17, available if needed; of which California National Guard medical personnel provided medical assistance.
They flew MH Seahawk helicopters equipped with a gallon water bucket and they were the only local Navy teams trained to fight fires from the air. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar contributed several aircraft as well as fire fighting trucks to operations based in Ramona.
It has a 7, gallon capacity. Two other airtankers and their crews from Quebec worked on the fires, part of an annual three-month contract with the state of California. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in seven California counties where fires burned.
Bush concurred  and visited the region on Thursday, October 25, Duncan Hunter criticized state fire officials for delaying the use of Marine helicopters until CalFire spotters were in position to coordinate their efforts.
However, California Fire Marshal Kate Dargan said that the Marines and officials at CalFire were following procedures worked out with the military after serious problems with air coordination during the California wildfires. Other state officials also praised the federal response. Aaron McLear, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, said the governor "is getting everything he needs from the federal government".
On November 6, , the state of California reported that the fires were under control. On November 9, the last vole of wildfires were finally contained. According to the state's consolidated report on the fires, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "called on the Blue Ribbon Task Force to assess the next steps to take at federal, state and local levels of government to prevent and fight future fires. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Retrieved December 11, County of San Diego. Retrieved 13 November Ranch Fire Wildland Fire". InciWeb Incident Information System. Retrieved November 7, Archived from the original on Retrieved 25 August The New York Times. The San Diego Union-Tribun e. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Brennan October 24, October 21 - November 9, " PDF. Orange County Fire Authority. Get even more out of your leaf-peeping treks this fall! Be sure to share your fall photos with us!
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