I was woken up this morning by a call from my editor wondering if my family was being affected by the fires in San Diego County. They were fine when I spoke with my mom yesterday, but I just got off the phone with her, and my dad, sister and she were all on the road, in separate cars packed to the nines, heading for my grandfather’s house on the coast.
POWAY—- Many held out as long as they dared, but as the clock passed 8 p.m. Sunday, the numbers of fire refugees began to increase rapidly at an evacuation center set up in the gymnasium at Poway High School.
The families didn’t stay long.
As the evening wore on, authorities said they were forced to move the evacuees to a hastily set-up center at Miramar High School because of poor air quality created by smoke and ash.
Before the move, however, a Red Cross representative said there were about 40 evacuated Ramona residents already registered, with more arriving steadily to wait out the wind-driven Witch Creek fire that was bearing down on their homes.
Charles Davis and his teenage daughter, Lorissa, arrived at about 7:45 p.m. after leaving their home in the hills north of Ramona at about 7 p.m.
“The velocity of the wind up there in the canyons and hills is just unbelievable. They came and told us we had to evacuate, so we put the dogs in the car and we left,” Davis said.
He said he cleared brush as far away from his home as possible, but nervously added that, because half of his 4.7 acres is on land considered environmentally sensitive, he was not able to cut as big a buffer zone as he would have liked.
“In some places it’s 40 or 50 feet from the house,” he said. “We did everything we could to prepare. It’s in God’s hands now.”