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 Click on the picture for the NASA Satellite Website for a larger spectacular picture. It is approximately 120 miles from Scripps Ranch to La Verne.

On Saturday evening I was in La Verne celebrating my Brother-in-Law's 60th Birthday and Roast at my nephew, Darren's house. Kinda appropriate, don't you think? In spite of the smoke and ash the bash was a success with about 60 friends and family in attendance. However, by the time I left at midnight the fire was visible from the house. I was able to snap pictures of the flames on my way out of La Verne. I stayed overnight at my sister's in San Dimas which is just a few miles west of La Verne.

On Sunday morning I received a cell phone call from Catherine. She was given 5 minutes to evacuate from her Apartment in Scripps Ranch. They were being directed to Mira Mesa High School, a few blocks from my house. She didn't realize I wasn't home. Luckily, she has a key so she was able to stay at the house rather than with the masses at the HS. Also, I didn't have to worry about my cats. I waited until 7:30PM, before trying to make my way back home. Fortunately the 5 FWY was clear and I made it home in a normal time.

On Monday, Merck was closed, so I didn't have to go to work. From the map in the morning paper, it looked like Catherine's home was spared. At 5:00 PM she was allowed back in and all was well! Darren's home is also safe, as the fire stayed northeast of his home. Fires are still not contained. Much of San Diego remains closed. They have said it will be days before there is containment.

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Below are few of my photos, plus photos & maps from various news sources or websites.



My Photos

La Verne: This is the view from Ashley's Bdrm. window on Sat. night, Oct. 25

La Verne: These are the flames behind the house looking North across the 210 FWY, Sat night, Oct. 25.

San Dimas: Amber morning. Everywhere in So. California the light is an Amber yellow. Sort of like looking through Amber colored sunglasses

California Snow! Ashes covering my car.

Maps and Satellite Photos

San Diego

NASA Satellite photo of So. Cal. on Sunday, Oct 26

Location where I live in Mira Mesa and Catherine's Apt. in Scripps Ranch. She was evacuated on Sunday Morning, Oct. 26

Claremont Blvd. and the 15 FWY
East County, evacuating horses.

Scripps Ranch - Cedar Fire
Unburned eucalyptus trees line a street of burned out homes in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood.
Only a flag is left standing.
The fire edge at Scripps Ranch
What is left of a Scripps Ranch home.
Downtown San Diego: The Amber Glow at Noon, Oct. 26. That's Coronado Bridge, the new Baseball Stadium in the middle and the Convention Center is just to the right of the picture.

Noon. Tuesday, Oct. 28. Red Sun from my backyard. The sunlight turned a eerie intense orange.


Previously posted on my What's new page::

27- October Firestorm 2003. I've posted photos that I have taken and photos from news services and maps. The Scripps Ranch/Cedar Fire came within a few miles from me and the La Verne/Grand Prix fire was only a few streets away from my Nephew's home. As of 8PM Monday, all is well for family. My friend, Catherine who lives in Scripps Ranch was evacuated on Sunday morning. I was up in La Verne and San Dimas for the weekend. She had my key, so she was able to stay at my house. I was able to return home Sunday evening. At 5PM Monday, Catherine was able to go back to her apartment - which was spared! Good News.

28-October-2003, Tuesday: Weirdness. Intenseness. Silence.

Suddenly at noon, the sunlight disappeared and was replaced by an eerie dark amber light caused by the ubiquitous smoke. It was so sudden, I was startled. This light is so much more intense orange than what we (or at least I) have experienced so far. At 1:30 PM it was still as dark as it is during the moments before the sun sets. I went outside to attempt to take pictures of the sun. It's still visible, but it is a deep red. What also struck me is the quiet. My neighborhood is never as silent as it is now. There are no cars driving down the streets, no kids playing outside, no military jets from Miramar buzzing the rooftops, no lawnmowers and weedwackers, no wind - just silence and an uneasy calm. The colors and emotions are so hard to describe in words or capture in a picture. It is impossible to escape and forget for a few moments the chaos outside when bathed in this eerie light. By 2 PM, the sun disappeared. Click here to see photo of the red sun - scroll to the bottom of the page.

But I did hear some good news. My friend and co-worker Mary called to tell me she and her family are safe so far. They live in Lakeside in Eastern San Diego County. She didn't have to evacuate, but they had to evacuate her sister's family, twice! Fortunately her sister's home was spared, but other homes on her street were not so lucky. Mary said the fire is still threatening if the wind shifts. But was optimistic (if that is the right word) that they will be safe because of the extensive burnt areas between them and the fire.

Mary said they were given time to pack and evacuate (I can't remember the exact time) but the wind suddenly intensified and they were told to leave IMMEDIATELY. They left with a few clothes, papers and her TR6. Just like Catherine and Deborah (my nephew's wife) the attitudes were the same... it's just things. Homes can be rebuilt - as Deborah remarked "...the way I want it". What is important is that everyone is safe.

Work will be closed for the third day on Wednesday, due to the unhealthful air quality.

Here is a San Diego area map of the fire boundries and statistics as of 9 PM Monday.

30-October-2003, Thursday

Work resumed and some semblance to normalcy returns. Luckily, nobody at work lost their homes, but a number evacuated and a few had neighbors who lost their homes.

The next week, I visited the comic shop where I regularly visit. I was sure it would have burned down. The maps indicated the fire had reached their location near Claremont Mesa/15 Fwy. But surprise - they were still standing. The fire came right up to the parking lot, taking out some of the other businesses. The owner said that he and a few of the other owners in the complex watered down the roofs and vegetation - saving their livelihoods - although the police had told them to evacuate.