May 14, 2014 – Fire officials have been warning of things to come with the extreme drought conditions that have dried out southern California in recent months, at those predictions came to fruition late Tuesday morning in the northernmost canyons of San Diego, near Del Norte High School. With much of the land graded for new construction, the fire found a path and began moving towards homes to the west.
Moved by high winds and feeding on brush dry from single digit humidity, fire officials began calling in firefighters and apparatus from virtually every department in San Diego County. San Bernardino, Riverside and the U.S. Forest service sent additional strike teams. With a unified command established between San Diego-Fire Rescue, Cal Fire and the Rancho Santa Fe fire departments, firefighters deployed on the flanks of the fire which was traveling along a river bed with gentle to steep slopes heading up homes, many of which are valued in the multi-million dollar range.
With ground crews tasked with structure protection, aerial assets consisting of Cal Fire’s fixed wing OV-10A Bronco and S-2T Tankers worked with rotary assets from San Diego Fire-Rescue, San Diego Sheriff, Cal Fire and Siller Aviation.
San Diego Police and Sheriff’s officers evacuated thousands of residents from the neighborhoods of Fairbanks Ranch, Torrey Highlands, Rancho Penasquitos, Black Mountain Ranch, Santa Luz and the outer portions of Rancho Santa Fe and Camino Del Sur.
With evacuation orders lifted late Tuesday evening, fire officials initially estimated the size of the blaze at 800 acres. Wednesday reports indicate 1,600 acres burned. No structure damage or injuries were reported.