We just had a fire close by on Camp Pendleton last Wednesday, but today I got word at work that there was a huge fire by the Country Store on Camp Pendleton. This is just about 4 miles from our house, so I obviously headed home quickly. This thing looks horrendous folks, and while the car IS packed up and Rudy’s dog food and medications are prepped, we’re just sitting here waiting to see if our housing area may be evacuated. There ARE some mandatory evacuations (Papagallo/Alexandrine/Pilgrim Creek Estates/Wilmont Estates/Sleeping Indian area–El Camino High School is an evacuation center on Rancho del Oro), but so far we have not been asked to leave, so I guess blogging about this is a way for me to keep busy.  Does that make sense? It’s mostly been a case of ‘hurry up and wait’ and it’s the waiting that’s making me nutso. While the winds HAVE moved the smoke away from us and (fingers crossed) things are looking “okay” for us, any SoCal resident will tell you that all it takes is one little ember in these Santa Ana winds and POOF, another fire.

I’m trying to upload pictures and videos and will try to update information on the fire. Sadly, one thing SoCal seems to have NOT learned from the horrific fires we’ve had over the past 3 years is that there MUST be better up-to-the-minute information for residents. Pretty much the ONLY way to stay up-to-date is to read the comment sections from local newspapers.

Off to upload stuff. Please keep this area in your thoughts everyone…thanks! 🙂

The following pictures were taken in the 5 o’clock hour and at 6:30PM.

These videos were taken in the 5 o’clock hour.

And can you believe THIS video? Oh well, it made us chuckle a bit. 🙂

***UPDATE 8:30PM PST***

No sooner had I had been remarking to a friend that it was so bizarre to have smelled more smoke and seen more ashes when I was at work (12 miles from home), than I did when I rushed home to the fire, then BAM the house was filled with the heavy scent of smoke and the pool had ashes in it.  It’s that quickness with which the winds can change that has me nervous and has me echoing what Oceanside Mayor, Jim Woods, said tonight, “Things look good now, but of course anything could happen during the night,” he said, adding the crews were continuing to fight the blaze. “I’ll be sleeping with one eye open,” he added. “I live out toward that direction.”  I will definitely be sleeping with one eye open, too!

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting (per their online newsblog at signonsandiego.com)

  •  Juliet fire is now over 1,200 acres (was 75 acres at 4:30PM)
  • 2,000 Camp Pendleton folks in the line of fire have been evacuated
  • “Cal Fire helicopters will not be making night water drops on the fire because there is no memorandum of understanding in place that allows state-controlled aircraft to make night drops on federal lands. All firefighting aircraft working on that fire are now grounded.”
  • No homes have been damaged (so far)
  • “Fire is burning on both sides of Vandergrift Boulevard. They are being treated as two distinct fires, one on each side of the road.”

The North County Times latest update (8:21PM PST) reports

  • “Flames shooting up to 50 feet reached the fence that separates the West Coast’s largest Marine Corps’ base from adjacent upscale developments such as the 1,000-home Arrowood housing development just outside the gate.”
  • “Base commander Col. James Seaton said there was no live ammunition training taking place when the fire broke out.”
  • Horses at the base stables were let loose since barn workers only had enough equipment to move 50 of the 200 horses kept there.

Time to head off and try to get a wee bit of shut eye.  Please continue to keep us all in your thoughts, folks.  And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all the fire fighters and emergency responders working so hard to keep us all safe! 🙂