As of Friday night, the Pine Fire is 95% contained (surrounded) and tomorrow morning some of the 700 fire fighters from across the state of California will be on their way home, plus lots of inmate crews who dug fire breaks and did other grunt work in 90+ degree heat. And we pray for rapid healing of the two injured firefighters (one burned on his hands and ear when his bulldozer was overtaken by flames, another was hospitalized briefly with heat exhaustion). Both should be fine.
Many, many, many thanks go to our terrific fire department in Pine Valley (one paid firefighter, all the rest volunteers) and to all the firefighters from San Diego County and around the state who helped. Special thanks go to the polits of the sir tanker planes and copters who were on scene within twenty minutes and who turned the fire away from town immediately.
No structures burned. No evacuations ordered. Good communication from the Sheriff's Department. Excellent response in getting firefighters on scene and repellent in the air. A good result all around.
It's good to know that the mistakes that led to the severe devastation of the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego have been addressed and remedied. We can't control the winds and heat and other weather-related issues, but we can control the speed of getting air tankers en route, getting ground crews adequate support, and getting warnings out to affected citizens, all of which were NOT handled well in the Cedar Fire which contributed to the death toll (17) and the number of houses lost (3,000+).
We're just thankful for everything and everyone who helped, prayed, and called to see how we were doing. And we love our firefighters ... THEY ROCK!