October 23, 2007

San Diego Fires

My heart is heavy.

I feel helpless.

San Diego is my hometown.

We moved there in 1972 when I was 11 years old.

Leucadia, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Tierrasanta, Santee, and Vista.

I lived in each of these towns until we moved to Nebraska in 1992.

I recognize the street names as they're mentioned on CNN.

I'm watching live broadcasts online from Channel 10.

The entire county is in danger of burning to the ground.

Family and friends are evacuating.

I can't bear to watch, but I can't turn away.

My heart is breaking.


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours and all those people in southern calif

  2. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Les, I am so sorry that you and your family are have to endure this and my prayers are with all of you. It's just unbelievable looking. Like Dante's Inferno or something. So very tragic!!

  3. We know two families that live there. My heart is breaking as well.

  4. This is just so staggeringly sad. I not only think of the humans and houses but the animal life as well. It is horrible.

  5. Les - It is terrible. I live in Riverside County and while not in a hot zone, it's impossible not to be impacted by all that is going on. I have friends who have been displaced because of the fire, including one who is sure her home in Lake Arrowhead is lost. It's devastating.

    My prayers and thoughts are with all those in all the affected counties.

  6. Les,
    I was born in San Diego and lived in Poway in the mid 70s. Have cousins in San Marcos, Fallbrook, and Poway. My eyes have been glued to the TV and I can't pull myself away either. A friend in Rancho Bernardo had at first thought their home was gone, but when her husband and son returned today found it was just a shed that had burned -- their home, although scorched, was still intact! You want to do something yet don't know what. I imagine my brother, who works for FEMA will be going down there soon. My heart just breaks for all these people. And I worry about family and friends.

  7. I'm thinking about you, and all of those displaced people - so sad, so frightening.

  8. It is heartbreaking.

  9. I'm so sorry, Les. I'm definitely sending out good thoughts and prayers for everyone in that area.

  10. This is what I miss by not having cable or satellite service. I'm so sorry, Les. I didn't know you're from San Diego and had only seen blips about fire in our pitiful paper. I've been watching videos on CNN's website and it's horrifying. Your family and friends will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. It's such a horrible thing! I heard that the winds were supposed to die down today, which might cut back on how quickly the fires are spreading. It is too bad that it doesn't sporadically rain. I have been watching it on the news, my thoughts are with it until the situation can be resolved.

  12. Terrible situation for all concerned. (We have family there).

  13. It's an awful, awful thing.

  14. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I mourn with you, Lesley. Though I havent family and friends there, I have the human connection of knowing my brothers and sisters are in pain. They loved their homes as I do, they love their animals as I do, they loved their memories as much as I do. May they be comforted by a higher power. I pray I can do something to make their peril easier.


  15. Anonymous1:48 PM

    It is good that the fires are now under control for the most part (10/26 @ 9:00 AM) and that your brother's home and family in Escondido are Okay. We're sending off contributions to one of the Episcopal Relief & Develpment Fund help with the whole reconstruction need. A perhaps forgotten group also hard hit by the fires are the farm workers and other folk from Mexico and Central America, many unable to risk asking for help, whose fields for work and shelters for home are no longer.


  16. Yolanda - So nice to have you stop by and comment here. I'm off to peruse your blogs.

    Kay - Yes, it absolutely unbelievable to see the destruction. Thanks for you thoughts and prayers. Looks like my friends and family escaped the worst of it.

    Joy - I hope your friends are safe.

    Pat - I agree. I've worried about all the animals as well. It is, as you're probably well aware, horse country. My stepbrother used to ride out in Rancho Bernardo. When I was a little girl, I got to go riding with my aunt out at Camp Pendleton. She had Arabians, but I'm fairly certain I was thrown on a mule! Encinitas, Poway, Fairbanks and Rancho Santa Fe are also big horse communities. So terribly sad.

    Literary Feline - Wow. I'm sure you've seen quite a lot of smoke and are feeling it's adverse affects. I wish you well. I have fond memories of driving through Riverside on our way up to our family cabin in Big Bear. I wonder how that area fared. I know Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs got hit hard, but I haven't really heard anything about Big Bear or Fawnskin. Such a shame. I'm so sorry to hear about your friends in Lake Arrowhead. Such a gorgeous community.

    Maudeen - I think I knew you were in San Diego about the same time I was. We were in Leucadia, Del Mar and Solana Beach from 1972 to 1984. Then out to Tierrasanta, Santee and Vista. What a small world, eh? I hope all your friends and relatives are safe and their homes were unscathed by the fires.

    Teabird - Thanks for the good thoughts. I continue to think of those in San Diego and L.A. County. What a terrible time for all of them.

    Heather - Yes, it certainly is. I'm thankful the winds died down and that there wasn't more destruction. It was awful, but it could've been even worse, I suppose.

    Andi - I wish there was more I could personally do. I suspect, as with any disaster, the Red Cross could use donations. Or as my dad has written, a fund such as the Episcopal Relief & Development Fund. I hate to just sit back and wring my hands and not do anything, ya know?

    Nancy - Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers. I think everyone I know is safe and sound now.

    Isn't it amazing how some news just doesn't have the impact and coverage for those communities removed either by distance or the absence of family & friends affected. (I'm speaking of your local newspaper.) I remember when there was a terrible shooting in a Fort Worth church when we were living down there and it didn't make the national news. Nobody up here in Lincoln had heard about it. It was a HUGE tragedy to those in the Fort Worth area, but for the majority of the country, it was just another blip on the daily reports. Kind of like what happened to my family a couple of years ago. More local news than national. Guess it can't all be important to everyone everywhere.

    Kailana - Looks like the weather has improved and that they did get some rain in some locations. Hopefully, the winds won't pick up again, although the forecast is for more hot, windy conditions. It's definitely a 5th season out there. Fire season.

    Karen - I hope your relatives are safe.

    Nan - Yes, it most certainly is. You know, I don't recall a lot of fires out when we lived there between 1972 and 1992. There was always an occasional brush fire, but nothing of this magnitude. And four years ago there was another terrible fire in roughly the same areas. I do remember those Santa Ana winds, though. It literally feels like a furnace blowing with the strength of a hurricane or tornado.

    Gayla - Thanks for your beautiful comment. Let's hope the worst is behind everyone out there. Thank goodness more lives weren't lost.

    Dad - Thanks for the information about the relief fund. I've been wanting to do something and this sounds like just the ticket.

    Thank goodness Mark's family and home are alright!!! And Neal & Val's.

  17. Oh, Les, I am sorry, I can only imagine how you must feel and today I read some of the major fires were started by a young boy with matches. How very sad. I know San Diego has some of the nicest tourist attractions, the city must experience such loss...life and revenue. I am sorry.

  18. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Don't worry about answering me, Les. I just wanted to say the hummingbird pics are so beautiful. And the one of the fires so devastating.


  19. Lotus - I think the majority of the fires are under containment at this point. I wonder what sort of affect the smoke had on the tourist industry out there. I suspect the construction industry is in for quite a boon.

    Gayla - I don't mind responding to your comments. :) Glad you enjoyed the pictures of the hummingbird. I was amazed I was finally able to get some good ones!

  20. Anonymous7:20 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear that.

    I have a cousin (and her husband) in the middle of the fires, too.

    It's hard.

  21. Heather - I hope your cousin and her family are doing ok now. My cousin's daughter's preschool burned down (in Malibu), but other than that, everyone else I know got lucky.


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