Dec. 7, 2017
Extreme weather warning extended
Extreme windy and dry fire conditions continued in Scripps Ranch today, leaving local streets cluttered with fallen branches, leaves and other debris. There have been scattered reports of fallen trees with no property damage at this time.
The National Weather Service has extended a Red Flag Warning for inland San Diego County due to very low humidity and strong winds until 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.
San Diego County had escaped large brushfires that have devastated areas in Ventura County and Los Angeles earlier this week during this critical period of hazardous fire weather fueled by Santa Ana winds. But today, predicted as the peak of the dry winds, brought about more fires in Southern California, with several breaking out. There was even a brush fire in the Orange County seaside community of Huntington Beach today. Unfortunately, a large fire exploded near Bonsall and is now a 2,000-acre monster and is pushing smoke throughout North San Diego County. Named the Lilac Fire, this blaze has destroyed 20 structures so far. High winds are pushing this fire west from 1-15 and it’s spreading and uncontained. Another fire, named the Liberty Fire, is now burning near Murrieta and has consumed 220 acres. A small brush fire also broke out in Oceanside.
Strong surface high pressure over the Great Basin will continue with periods of strong Santa Ana winds and very low humidity through Sunday. Winds will gradually weaken Friday and Saturday, but critical fire weather conditions will linger in some inland areas through Sunday.
The strongest and most widespread winds are expected tonight, with areas of northeast to east winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 50 to 60 mph. Winds will be gusty through Friday morning, but not likely to be quite as strong. Minimum humidity is expected at 5 percent with very poor overnight recovery.
The strongest wind gusts will be along and below coastal mountain slopes and below passes and canyons. The offshore flow will continue early next week with low humidity, but generally lighter winds.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop will have extreme fire growth and be very difficult to control. Avoid any activities that could spark a fire.
UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography has placed 19 cameras at rural locations throughout San Diego County. The public can monitor possible fire activity by accessing the views from these cameras at hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras.
Correction: Scripps Ranch News previously reported that a planned power outage was set for 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. due to the high winds. However, SDG&E planned the outage for certain areas of Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa based on planned electrical work, not due to high winds and fire danger. It just happens to coincide with tonight’s extreme weather conditions. If your area will be affected, you would have received a letter in the mail from SDG&E in advance.
EMTs respond to medical emergency
Dry winds were blowing recklessly as cars filled the streets. Children with their parents packed sidewalks Thursday afternoon near Miramar Ranch Elementary School during school dismissal when a siren from an ambulance pierced the air. The ambulance driver carefully maneuvered through crowded streets in response to a medical emergency at the very end of Ranch View Drive at approximately 12:15 p.m.
A fire truck followed about 5-minutes later. EMTs and firefighters entered a residence set back from the street. No fire was visible, and the responders did not take firefighting equipment with them. The firemen and EMTs were able to arrive at the home in a safe manner, parking in the packed cul-de-sac, but no further information is available at this time.
Residents feel earthquake jolt
Some Scripps Ranch residents were awakened early Thursday morning as a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck about 9 miles northeast of Julian at 2:32 a.m. according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Many residents also felt a quick jolt and heard a sound like a sonic boom on Wednesday afternoon as a brief 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Julian at 4:33 p.m. in the same area. The two quakes are from the same fault, but no injuries or damage have been reported so far from either of the incidents.
Pearl Harbor survivor lives in Scripps Ranch
Most know Bob Dingeman as “Mr. Scripps Ranch” because of his many, many years of work as president of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, and his unquestioned dedication to this community. Many know that he is a retired Army colonel, but not as many know that he is a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, 76 years ago.
Dingeman was attending the University of Hawaii in the school’s ROTC program. He was present when Japanese bombers and fighters attacked Pearl Harbor. In an interview this spring, Dingeman said he grabbed an old Springfield rifle and began firing at the attacking planes.
“One plane was shot down fairly close. I shot at it. Whether I hit it is problematical. The end result: it crashed,” he said.
Dingeman declined to speak more about that tragic day.
“I won’t dwell on the things I did because they bring up bad memories,” he said.
Read more about the incredible military career of Bob Dingeman in a three-part series published in August on ScrippsRanchNews.com: