Southern California Fires, October 2007 (Updated)

October 2007 Southern California Fires

More links and updated information on the southern California fires at my more recent post here.

The fires that have struck Southern California appear to be the most serious since 1993, destroying landmarks, homes, and vehicles:

Santa Ana winds gusting to hurricane force in some hilltop areas fueled more than a dozen brush fires across Southern California today, including a 1,200-acre blaze in Malibu that forced evacuation of hundreds of homes and destroyed several landmarks, including the famous Castle Kashan and a church.

One person was killed in San Diego County.

The firestorms raced through dry growth in a chain of firestorms stretching from Santa Barbara County to the Mexican border.

Referring to the record-setting drought in Southern California, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told an afternoon news conference that the Malibu fire was part of “a conflagration we knew was going to come at some point.” The Canyon Fire, near Malibu Canyon and Piuma roads, began at 4:50 a.m. Downed power lines were a possible cause of the fire, which quickly fanned out in several directions through the hillsides along Pacific Coast Highway, engulfing the Malibu Presbyterian Church, at least five homes and two commercial structures. Nine other homes sustained minor to moderate damage, and four businesses at the Colony Creek Shopping Center reported damage to the exterior and roof.

More than 700 firefighters were on the blaze with 300 more on the way. No injuries to residents or firefighters were reported, but fire officials were bracing for a long night and predicted that the fierce winds could intensify this evening.

My nephew is fighting the fire in Agua Dulce. Say a prayer for him. If you’ve heard anything about how things are there, drop a note in the comments.

My brother-in-law, a retired fire captain, tells me that the smoke has turned day into night; there’s ash and smoke everywhere.

Check out the remarkable photos on the web page of The Ventura County Star.


KABC Channel 7 Los Angeles, the ABC affiliate has some information on the Agua Dulce fire:

AGUA DULCE, Oct. 21, 2007 (CNS) – With firefighting resources already stretched thin by a massive blaze in Malibu, a 10,000-acre blaze tore through brush Sunday afternoon near Agua Dulce, threatening some homes, county fire officials said.

About 800 evacuations have been ordered, and 3,800 homes are said to be threatened, according to county fire officials, who say two structures have been lost.

Evacuation centers have been set up at Quartz Hills High School and Saugus High School.

Another place to check for information is the web site of the Ventura County Fire Department.

The City of Malibu is updating its web site regularly. As of 6:00pm PDT there was zero containment of the Malibu fire. Our Lady of Malibu and Webster Elementary School were said to be under threat. No word on their status since then.

There’s pretty good reporting going on at the web site of the Malibu Arts Review magazine.

KNBC has a stunning slideshow of viewer-supplied photos.

3 comments… add one
  • James Link

    Hello. My name is James and I’m a sixth grader. I’m working on a project on Southern California Fires, October 2007. I came across this article and it was very helpfully for my research. But I have one question for you. Do you know some of the causes of these fires? Because there mus have been some way the fires started.

    Best regards,

    James Stevenson

  • Thank you, James. Here’s a cached copy of an article from the online newspaper The Christian Science Monitor which should provide some information for you.

    The two most common causes of California wildfires are people and lightning. I believe that the most recent fires in Southern California have been determined to have been caused by human agency, i.e. were arson.

  • Laurel Jones Link

    Chill chill… I think that if i was in california in 07 then i would be dead… so not chill! anyway whats chilling? Cause im so freakin chill!

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