Because of the Santa Ana winds, San Diego has been hit with a series of firestorms since the week of May 15. In San Diego County, the fires have burnt through 31 acres of land, including eight homes and an 18-unit condominium complex. Neighborhoods have been ordered to evacuate as spread fields of dirt and ash have dirtied the air.
The first fire, the Bernardo Fire, began on May 13 and was contained by May 18. The latest fire, the Coco Fire in San Marcos, was contained on May 22.
While the cause of these fires is unknown, the firefighters of San Diego County believe that the fires could possibly have been started by humans. 57-year-old Alberto Serrato has been tried in court and has pleaded not guilty on suspicion of adding fuel and helping spread one of the fires in Oceanside.
Not only have the fires affected San Diego, but also Orange County and Los Angeles. It was reported that the smoke from the fires in San Diego has clouded the skies in Orange County and Los Angeles where health warnings were announced to the public due to amount of smoke in the air.
Those who live in the area were warned not to take part in any unnecessary outdoor work, especially any activity that could potentially start a fire. People were also recommended to stay indoors whenever possible because the smoke and ash in the air can be harmful to one’s health. Police and firefighters are still fighting the flames in San Diego County even though this week has cooled down.
Lee Swanson from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said, “With the drought and weather conditions in Southern California, it is a matter of when the next fire will start, not if. Everyone should be prepared.”
By REEMA BZEIH