Saturday, May 17, 2014

The New Ruins of Carlsbad

Poinsettia Fire advancing east toward Alga Norte Community Park
Last week, I visited the "Ruins of Golden Hill." This week, I saw the ruins of the Poinsettia Wildfire in the making as it burned two dozen homes and apartment units.

When I last experienced wildfires, in 2007, I left my wife, safe and sound, in Santa Cruz to return to our home in Carlsbad. About 20 minutes before getting home I saw the power of these infernos when I drove through the Horno Fire as it jumped the 5 Freeway at Camp Pendleton.

This week's Poinsettia Fire, along with the other San Diego County wildfires, were tiny compared to 2007. But, size doesn't matter if it's your home that burns.

I first heard of the Poinsettia Fire when I was about 20 minutes away in Del Mar at a Tech Coffee meetup. My wife left school to get her mother and evacuate. I went to see how close the #PoinsettiaFire was to our house.

I watched the fire fight for two hours at the intersection of Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road (yellow X). Several helicopters continuously scooped up water from the La Costa golf course and dropped it on the fire a couple thousand feet away. It didn't take long to halt the fire's easterly advance --- mainly due to the Johnny-on-the-spot skilled airborne fire fighters along with the shifting winds and small fire line threatening to jump Alicante Road.



The Poinsettia Fire had one fatality discovered by firefighters while checking for hot spots. What's odd about this fire is where it started. This area of Carlsbad hasn't had a major wildfire in 40 years which begs the question, "How did it start?"

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