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Local Fires
San Diego Spotlight

Major Fires in the Region

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Aftermath

Major wildfires are unfortunately quite common throughout the State of California and the entire western United States.  San Diego has actually had three of the seven largest fires in California history.  Two of those fires happened simultaneously with other large fires in our County, creating major firestorms.

These fires are devastating not only for the acreage burnt which severely impacts wildlife, erosion and the general environment of the area; but also includes the loss of human life and the homes and possessions of thousands of our residents.  Beyond that is the disruption of lives that comes from evacuations of humans and their pets and livestock.  One half million people were evacuated in the 2007 firestorm.

The one positive aspect which comes with each of these wildfire disasters is how everybody in our community comes together to help their neighbors in the time of crises and the wide community response in the recovery and rebuilding phase which follows such a disaster.  Organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, the San Diego Foundation Disaster Fund and many organizations rally with the financial support from not only San Diegans, but nationally, to help.

Year Fire Name
Acreage
Structures Burnt
Lives Lost
1970 Laguna (7th largest)
175,425
382
5
2003 Cedar (1st largest)
273,246
2,820
15
Paradise
56,700
223
2
Mine
46,000
0
0
Oct 25-26 Fire Storm Total
375,946
3,043
17
2007 Witch Creek (4th largest)
197,990
1,650
2
Harris
90,440
548
8
Poomacha
49,410
217
0
Rice
9,472
248
0
Oct 21-23 Fire Storm Total
347,312
2,663
10

To date in 2012, San Diego County has not had any major fires of this magnitude, but there have been six fires each of which burnt 1,000 acres or more.  The threat is always there, but the firefighters have been successful and the winds have cooperated.  These fires have occurred in Sunshine Summit, Ranchita, Shelter Valley, Boulevard, Campo and Warner Springs.  You may not know these names, but they are in our backyard and each has a volunteer fire station.