The wildfires are now burning in only the very north and south parts of the county. The Santa Ana winds have stopped and we're getting our more normal onshore wind flows, which are moist in the mornings.
My office is in Rancho Bernardo and very near to where quite a number of homes burned. The winds in this area must have been fierce as I saw many huge toppled trees and the ground littered with branches and leaves as I returned to work yesterday. In some areas they had gusts of up to 100 mph. You just can't fight a fire in those conditions.
We had friends from the Bonita/Sunnyside area evacuate to our house on Monday night, well Tues morning at 1 am. We had talked to them earlier in the evening and had known their coming was a possibility. They have two kids, two large dogs and two cats. Thankfully the winds started to die down Tues and their home was spared and they went home late on Tues. The outcome would have been much different if those winds had not died down when they did.
My nephew is a volunteer fire fighter up in the mountains and was on duty when the fires started. He's been grabbing sleep on the ground and food where and when he can grab it.
While most folks have now been allowed back into their homes, at one point we had over 500,000 people evacuated. That's more than the population of a number of states. It's been surreal. Seeing the sun orange is a very spooky thing. Air quality is still very bad. The kids have been cooped up indoors since Monday. They did go to school on Monday, but haven't been back since and won't go back until Tues of next week. We did donate some syringes and some humolog to the evacuation center at Qualcomm. They didn't want the pump supplies.
There's been about 1,400 homes lost so far. It's going to be a tough road for them. Hopefully they all had insurance, although I'm sure some did not. It takes over a year to rebuild a home. There are some homes just now being finished in the Cedar fire burn areas and that fire occurred in 2003. Wish them luck.