Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The San Diego Fires

DQ reader Ken Lautner sent me some incredible links to video of the progression of the fires in San Diego last week.

As it turns out, there are Internet cameras on top of Lyons Peak, which was an ideal location for observation. There are time-lapse sequences that show the progression of the fire, and believe me, it's absolutely stunning. There are videos from each direction on top of the peak, which you can see here. Ken recommended the South view, and I'd second that--it's some of the most remarkable (and emotionally exhausting) footage I've ever seen.

And, believe it or not, that was the "small" fire.

Ken also sent in links to maps of the damage, which you can view here. What's shocking (to me, at least) is the incredible size of some of these fires--there's one area on the map that looks like it's thirty miles by twenty miles, at least. Just incredible.

One last link, which is to a series "breaking news briefs" at the San Diego County Emergency Homepage here. If you scroll down to the bottom and read up, you'll get a sense for the unbelievable speed at which these fires spread.

One example: the Harris fire (no relation).
October 21, 9:23 a.m. PST--fire starts.
11:34 a.m.--fire is 100+ acres in size.
12:49 p.m.--fire is 500+ acres.
2:25 p.m.--fire is 2,500+ acres. That's not a typo.
7:34 p.m.--fire is 14,000 acres and 5% contained.

As you read through the breaking news, it's difficult to even imagine that many fires breaking out at one time--there were what seemed like a dozen fires or more, and they were spreading so fast (in the extremely high winds) that none of them could be contained.

Many thanks to Ken for taking the time to send in these links, because they are riveting.

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