The Southern California Fire Fight

Not to be over-dramatic but there are few words to explain the devastation occurring in North San Diego County these past few days.

Fueled by record-breaking temperatures and Santa Ana winds, a good portion of our county is currently under fire… literally.


On Tuesday a brush fire erupted just southeast of Rancho Bernardo, Ca.  Within hours the #bernardofire ripped through canyons and around houses towards the coast.  Overnight the fire was almost completely stomped out… without loss of major structures and no loss of life.

We woke up the next morning to a new fire in Carlsbad, Ca… from what I hear from the news the #poinsettiafire stole about 15-20 condos, an industrial business or two and about 20 homes.  About 20 miles north of Carlsbad is the #pendletonfire (for which I don’t have much information).


unknown source of photo – from local news channel


Mid-afternoon a fire broke out in San Marcos, about a mile from where I grew up.  This is a picture from my church …

Photo shows the #cocosfire which broke out in Coronado Hills (San Marcos, Ca). this is near Cal State San Marcos University. Photo taken by M. Richardson, taken from Mission Hills Church, San Marcos, Ca.


Throughout the day… the rest of these fires popped up, all in North County.  So my out-of-town readers understand the scale of this, it would only take approximately 35-45 minutes to drive from the “Highway Fire” to the “Lakeside Fire” (via the 15 freeway, without traffic).   Yes, in one day.  Yes, the speculation of “ARSON!” was in full effect by the end of the day.

unknown source of photo – from local news channel


Thankfully the Escondido, Scripps Ranch and Lakeside fires were knocked down quickly.  And the danger from the Bernardo Fire appeared to be diminishing,.. all due to the efforts of our first responders.  Thank you!!!  Thank you…


Later in the evening, we headed out with the dog for a brief walk. This is what we saw from our neighborhood.   The picture below depicts what the #cocosfire (San Marcos fire) smoke plume looked like as of 6:15 pm on Wednesday May 14, 2014.  We live approximately 6-10 miles from where the fire was at this point.


photo by Lori Tisdale. Looking west from Hickory Ave / E. 4th Ave, towards the #cocosfire


This morning I woke up in a prayer mode, logged on to social media, share some informational tweets and was happy that there was no news regarding new fires.  And on the way to work, I proceeded to take the long route to the freeway so I could capture this shot…

photo by Lori Tisdale. Looking west from La Terrazza Blvd towards Harmony Grove.


I went to work (20+ miles southwest from where I live).  I have been listening to the police scanner app on my phone for most of the day.  You see, I have quite a few friends working for both the Escondido Police and Escondido Fire departments … so, yes, I am a police scanner freak.  Don’t judge me…


Before I left the office I took this picture … looking back towards home.  Tears stung my eyes… and the sight took my breath away.  I stood there and prayed and pleaded with my Heavenly Father … to protect our first responders, to hear our cries for no further damage, to show us what good He is going to bring from this… this is devastating!


Photo by Lori Tisdale. Looking northeast towards San Marcos, Ca from near Del Mar, Ca.


I drove home… tears still in my eyes.  Still listening to the police scanner. Still praying…


photo by Lori Tisdale, looking towards Palomar Medical Center from La Terrazza Blvd


And this is what we know right now.  The blue area indicates the current evacuation area, as of 1:15 pm on 5-15-14.  West of 15 freeway and south of 78 freeway is under orders to evacuate.  The red area represents the  burn area for the #cocosfire.   We live to the east of the 15 freeway.  I am believing we will be safe…

5-15-14 evac order
(Source of graphic unknown – from a local new channel.)


But several of our friends have been evacuated from their homes, with one last spray from the garden hose and a quick video on their cell phones.  Several of our friends are waiting for loved ones to come home from work.  So many of our friends are on their knees… praying!


God is hearing our prayers!  There is a distinct absence of both loss of life and no known injuries!  And even with all of these homes and all of this rough terrain, I believe there have been less than 50 structures lost at this time.  My heart is breaking for those who lost their homes… but they have their LIVES!!!  This is just amazing… and it shows me that God is hearing our prayers…

So I ask of you… please pray with us?!


And I will believe this … and pray this over my friends looking for hope and bravery and strength…

“The Lord is my strength and my personal bravery.” Habakkuk 3:19


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