Our thoughts are with our many friends in Southern California today, where winds up to 100 mph have aggravated fire season, igniting uncontrolled blazes in Malibu, Orange County and the San Diego area. A quarter of a million people have been evacuated from outside San Diego, according to the AP.

Thousands of houses have already burned, and many comics folks are being affected. Scott Dunbier blogs about the hard decisions he has to make as he and his family face evacuation

So far we’ve been lucky. 4000 homes in San Marcos, our town, have been evacuated, including a couple occupied by friends. I don’t believe any have burned. As of right now the fire is not coming closer to us; we’ve gotten no reverse 911 call that instructs residents to get out fast. The smoke is getting closer but the news says the fire in our area has “calmed down.” We’ve packed up important papers, photo albums, artwork, external hard-drive, trying to figure out what are the most important to us. It’s a very slow Sophie’s Choice, picking out what we love and need the most. One I hope we don’t have to make.

Needless to say, this is a choice we hope no one ever has to make. Our continued good thoughts for all involved in this tragedy.


  1. Thanks for the well wishes. There are no fires where I live, and likely won’t be, but I’m at home today because my place of work is under mandatory evacuation. Which mean my patrons and co-workers all have homes being threatened. :(

    But…don’t forget San Bernardino County! (everybody always does…..grumbles.)

    There’s also fires in Santa Barbara County now as well. :(

  2. I see the smoke from my window as I type this. There’s ash all over like some strange dry snow. My eyes are burning an my trout is closing up. The wind is rattling the glass in my windows with every gust. I have to go to work, and I don’t even know if any of my students are going to show, because there’s fire all around them, too. What a day.

  3. Isn’t San Bernardino County the largest county in California? I grew up in the Palmdale/Lancaster area and it seems like these brush fires are worse now then they ever were when I lived out there. My thoughts are with everyone effected by this fire.

  4. Yeah Rick – I agree, the fires are worse than ever because most of them are set by stupid arsonists – per the Orange County one from what I heard this morning.



  5. San Diego County’s got eight fires going right now; they say the fires are already worse than the devastating Cedar Fire that ravished the county in 2003. The Cedar Fire was previously named the worst wildfire the state had ever seen–that honor now goes to the fires raging throughout San Diego County at present.

    There’s also been a declaration of state of emergency in seven So Cal counties. I’m at work as I’m essential personnel, communicating with the media regarding our university’s activities. Otherwise, everyone else has been evacuated due to air conditions and the affect everyone would have on traffic in the area.

    It looks like “Soylent Green” outside right now. The drought, the Santa Ana winds, extremely warm weather, and other dry conditions have exacerbated the wildfire conditions.

  6. Every October sucks for us because the Santa Anas kick up and the arsonists wait for the very first day of the hot winds and strike en force (half my neighbourhood in Laguna Beach was decimated by the ’93 firestorms so I get edgy every October). I sat on the roof of our office today and watched as the Orange County fires crept over the hills. Toward lives and homes and businesses and the tollway. Our office evacuated not because of danger of burning but because we stopped being able to breathe – the smoke is thick and everywhere.

    My home isn’t currently in danger, but a 30-degree shift in wind direction and I’ll be biting my nails along with everyone else, since I’m only four miles from the blaze currently.

  7. Just heard some good news coverage, at least for us; the fire in San Marcos has been 100% contained, residents can return home. The rest of the fires still look bad but we’re not sure to what extent, the power went on us for an hour and couldn’t keep track.

  8. Of course, two seconds after my last post here, it is being reported that the fire in Econdido, five miles away, is flaring up again in a couple of areas…

  9. If I was a prayin’ man, you folks in San Diego would have ’em. My old neighborhood in Rancho Bernardo is under compulsory evacuation, as I understand it. That didn’t even happen for the Cedar fire, though I could see the fireline from just a few miles from my (then) home.

  10. Same situation here in our part of OC as described by Christopher Moonlight.
    The sky has no color at all beyond a glowing orangey light. The smoke had been billowing from beyond the other side of the hills (Irvine) but that isn’t the case now.
    Small gritty ashes fall from the sky like snow flurries and are everywhere. We haven’t had “ash-snow” since ’03–but ashes are far better than glowing embers!
    The smell of smoke is all-pervasive. Burning eyes and headaches have been the order of the day.
    Cory implemented the “Fire Plan” last night and we had all our important stuff gathered and stacked in case we had to abandon ship.
    Today I spent a lot of time going through The Beanworld Archives doing a sort of triage. Even though the days are far scarier vis a vis wind and fire…the night time is spookier–at least for us.

  11. Real-time update map:

    I just spoke to a friend in San Diego. She’s lived there all her life and says she’s never seen anything even remotely like it. The BBC report this AM said that Ramona might be “utterly consumed”. Terrible, terrible times for the people there–my friend sounded scared out of her wits. She’s also got severe asthma and allergies, so even going outside is quite dangerous in the smoke. Hang in there, folks!


  12. I’m lucky as I’m in Pacific Beach a few blocks from the ocean and not near any of the fires. The air outside did smell like a charcoal, but that’s starting to clear up. Hopefully the Santa Anna winds will diminish as they believe they will and the fire fighters will be able to do more work in the air.

    Yesterday, the mayor said that people at Qualcomm Stadium needed items. So I got in the car and bought about $500 worth of blankets, water, dog food and face masks and drove them over to the stadium. When I got home, my elderly neighbor said he wanted to help, so we went and got 36 cases of bottled water and took that load over to the stadium.

    There are some times when you just have to do something to help. If any of you have the ability, please donate to the national charities in the name of the San Diego Fires.