2014 San Diego Wild Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Relief
San Diego Fire Recap:
The fires, which started and spread due to intermittent Santa Ana winds, record temperatures and an ongoing drought, created an environment leading to wide fires spreading throughout the county.
On Tuesday the 13th of May, the Bernardo Fire started off southwest of Rancho Bernardo at Nighthawk Lane and was the first fire to capture the cities attention. As of 7 PM, the Bernardo Fire had burned 800 acres and was five percent surrounded, according to fire officials. In all, it scorched about 1,550 acres before being declared fully contained.
According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the Bernardo Fire was started by accident by a backhoe operator working at a housing construction project near Del Norte High School. City officials ultimately reported that, no structures were lost, but a few minor heat related injuries resulted from the blaze.
The next major fire to break out was the Tomahawk Fire that is located near Naval Weapon Station in Fallbrook. This blaze broke out around 9:45 AM Wednesday on the 14th of May,.
This would turn out to be the first of two major blazes at Camp Pendleton, spread into the eastern side of the USMC installation and was 100 percent contained Sunday night after blackening an estimated 5,400 acres, according to the on base officials.
The Poinsettia Fire started on Wednesday May 14, around 10:40 AM and covered 600 acres and was fully contained by late Saturday afternoon. It destroyed eight single family homes, including two apartment buildings, and two commercial buildings. Also, three single family homes sustained minor damage in Carlsbad.
On May 14, the Aurora Fire broke out near Interstate 8-Business and Aurora Drive. Around noon on May 15, the fire was reported to be completely contained after it had reached a size of 17 acres.
Also, the other major blazes included the Highway Fire, which broke out around noon on Wednesday, May 14th near the 76 and Old Highway 395 by near the Deer Spring area. It burned a total of 441 acres before being fully contained Saturday. Fortunately, no one was hurt and no structures were lost in the fire.
The River Fire broke out at 1:30 PM on May 14 in Oceanside, starting in the San Luis Rey River riverbed. Homes and an elementary school in the area were evacuated. The Oceanside Unified School District said that all schools would be closed on May 15. By the evening of May 14, the River Fire had burned 50 acres of land, and it was reported 20 percent contained. On May 15, the fire reached a size of 100 acres. On May 16, it was reported that the River Fire was fully contained, after it had burned 105 acres of land, confined to the river bed.
The Cocos Fire
On 3:45 PM Wednesday May 14th, there was a new and more damaging addition to the firestorm known as the Cocos Fire. In all, nearly 2,000-acre blaze destroyed 36 structures south of the 78 in the San Marcos. Property damage from the fire is estimated at more than $5.7 million. Three minor injuries were reported.
At 8 AM PDT on May 17, a brush fire was reported in a canyon area northwest of Santee Lakes. The fire burned about 30 acres in an unpopulated area of West Sycamore Canyon near the eastern edge of MCAS Miramar. Several hours later, the fire was fully contained.
Camp Pendleton Fires
In addition to the above county fires, Camp Pendleton crews battled four significant fires. All together, they scorched 21,900 acres on base and at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook – roughly 18 percent of the land on the entire military base.
Las Pulgas Fire
The largest one, the Las Pulgas Fire, burned about 15,000 acres after erupting for an unknown reason at about 3 PM Thursday near a sewage treatment plant in Camp Las Pulgas. The blaze was 75 percent contained as of late Monday, Marine Corps officials said.
San Mateo Fire
The third major Camp Pendleton fire, eventually referred to as the San Mateo Fire, began spreading just before 11:30 AM Friday near Basilone Road. It had grown to about 1,500 acres by Sunday and took until Monday to be fully contained. No structural losses or injuries were reported.
Another wildfire, the Freeway Fire also started at the Naval Weapons Station area of Camp Pendleton. It was reported at 5:43 PM on May 14. On May 16, the fire had burned 56 acres and was entirely contained.
Other unnamed fires
Along with the major local fires that broke out that week, several smaller ones also kept firefighters busy. Additionally, the blazes and high winds damaged power lines and related equipment, leading to widespread outages. At the height of the emergency, about 6,500 homes and businesses across the county were without electrical service.
An unnamed small brushfire started in the backyard of a home on Bear Valley Parkway in Escondido, at about 2 PM on May 14. Homes were threatened, and the evacuations some of homes and businesses were ordered in the area of Bear Valley Parkway and Oak Hill. The fire destroyed one outbuilding and several vehicles. Fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze by 2:45 PM, after it had burned a total of 1 acre of land.
On May 14, another small brush fire broke out in Escondido on the corner of El Norte Parkway and Nordahl Rd, which was also quickly extinguished.
On May 14, small brush fires also broke out in Lakeside and Scripps Ranch which were extinguished without causing structural damage or injuries.
Later on May 14, another small brush fire broke out in Poway, south of Painted Rock Elementary School, but was quickly extinguished.