There are currently 7 counties in California in a state of emergency due to fires fueled by Santa Ana winds. The fires started Sunday and there are 7 major fires in San Diego County alone, thousands have been under mandatory evacuation yesterday and early this morning new fires have kicked up and there are thousands of acres burning. At mass yesterday, we could smell the fires from miles away. And it's very acrid now.
As I write this at 4:30, in some areas there are wind gusts up to 45 mph. Generally if there is a Santa Ana, at night the winds die down, but this is not the case. Breaking fire updates for San Diego County here. Please pray for the safety of those having to evacuate and the firefighters.
Update: At almost 1PM today, roughly 100,000 acres are in the fire area, and approximately 250,000 (yes that's right 1/4 million) people in the county were advised to evacuate to other areas - the winds were I am in town aren't much but it there are gusts up to 60MPH - Click here to see a rough map of the area. I've highlighted in red SOME of the areas where the fires are hopscotching though. Solana Beach has just gotten voluntary advisory notices to evacuate. We are supposed to have Santa Ana winds at least until Wednesday. There are more fires south of San Diego - just at the bottom edge of the map you can see UCSD in the lower left, and Miramar Airstation towards the bottom center. Some of these areas are very heavily populated. One hospital in the North County has been evacuated, the staff there on top of things and started evacuating patients early this morning to other hospitals. There were at least 7 firefighters critically injured so far, by early this morning.. A few minutes ago we have had the good news that the Navy can now safely go in to use some of their choppers on the large fires in the southern part of the county. [Off this map[ Where fires have been also burning since yesterday - closer to the border - but at least 20,000 acres down there by Dulzura and Potrero There are also some fire areas north of this map.