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October 25, 2007

Witch Creek Fire Day 5

Ramona residents are finally being allowed back home tonight after the Ramona Municipal Water District has held the evacuees hostage for an extra 24 to 48 hours. I'm too exhausted to write about the near riot that occurred, but you can read about it on the Union-Tribune's blog. I totally agree with the first comment on the blog -- It is dangerous, but it is all kinds of awesome.

Go Ramonans!

I was able to find a picture of the Oak Tree Ranch Mobile Home park on the Ramona Fire 2007 Blog that show a corner of my parent's house peeking out in the background. Friends have walked the property and say the house is in good condition without damage. I'm nervous though, especially after finding my parent's address on the San Diego County Confirmed Damaged and Destroyed Homes Assessment. It's listed as "moderately" damaged. My parents are waiting until tomorrow to go home, as the rush of 30,000 plus people tonight will be crazy, especially since IDs will be checked for every single car entering town.

Ramona still has no drinkable water and is under a boil order. No one is supposed to flush toilets and they are trucking in a couple hundred port-a-poties. That could get ugly really soon. Using OSHA calculations, the town should require about 2,000 portable toilets - we'll see how long the few hundred last. Bottled water will need to be brought in, and animals will require water from somewhere as well. It will be an interesting situation.

Our horses are going to move to my sister's work site tomorrow in Rancho Santa Fe. Until the situation improves in Ramona they will stay "down the hill" where resources are more readily available. Feed is still scarce and no one knows exactly how things will go over the next few days. The national guard is armed and patrolling the streets.

I'm going to attempt to fly down on Saturday, although my parents are going to make sure that they will be able to stay in their house tomorrow when they go back. If it is too badly smoke damaged they will be back in their hotel in Del Mar while it's cleaned. We'll all be volunteering to assist with evacuees, either human or animal for the next few days. My parent's church has remained open throughout the entire ordeal, providing food and shelter to firefighters and national guardsmen and women in Ramona, and now will do the same for those who have lost their homes.

I've heard from a few friends. My sister's best friend lost her home, as did her father. Several old horse friends have checked in - things are looking pretty good on that front. Most people I know had horses who were evacuated or are safe and have homes that are still there. My horseback riding instructor that lost her home in the Cedar Fire in 2003 stayed in Ramona and her house survived.

One of my close friends in Ramona appears to have lost his house. It's on the destroyed list. I believe his parent's home is also on the list. They live just a half mile from my parents. I haven't been able to connect with him and am trying to find someone who can tell me he and his family are safe and well. I'm sure they are, but I just want to hear his voice to know. Y'know? If anyone has spoken with Leonard Bowman in Ramona, or his parents, please send me an email and let me know if they are OK.

Posted by Ensie at October 25, 2007 10:09 PM

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