Grand Prix Fire

The following pictures of the Grand Prix fire around Rancho Cucamonga were taken Saturday morning, October 25, 2003 between 9:30 am and 10:00 am. It was dark enough so the flash went off every picture.

Location

Map
Map by Yahoo used in accordance with their terms and conditions.

The map shows our home at 6233 Callaway Place, Alta Loma (Rancho Cucamonga), California, located a block south of Banyan, which is the southern border of Chaffey College, and one block East of Haven. Above Chaffey College are the Deer Creek/Haven View Estates, homes zoned for horses selling between 1 and 1.5 million dollars. North is Cucamonga Peak. We are one block East of Haven and one mile west of Milliken. Our daughter and son-in-law live near Banyan and Milliken (Morning Place).

The fire is burning in the blank area at the top of the map which is the southern slope of Cucamonga Peak. It came in from in from the east and when we went to bed last night was burning on a north/south line just above Rochester. All homes North of Hillside within Rancho Cucamonga were on a voluntary evacuation Friday. During the night it made it to Milliken and when we got up this morning (Saturday) was continuing towards Haven, which it shortly jumped, resulting in a mandatory evacuation of all homes east of Hermosa in the northern part of Rancho Cucamonga.

Photographs

House looking East
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Our home looking East into the fire's smoke. The smoke had made it so dark the flash went off showing white flecks of ash falling from the sky.

Looking North from house
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Looking North from in front of our home with a good view of Cucamonga Peak in the Cucamonga Wilderness Area. You can see the fire line above the lamp post -- which is burning due North of Milliken.

North from Banyan and Callaway
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Walking North to the intersection of Callaway Place and Banyan. Banyan has been a major East/West corridor for fire fighting equipment. To the right of the tree on the left third of the photo you can see the fire burning at the north end of the Deer Creek/Haven View Estates. To the left of the tree you can see the water tank at the top of Haven. A few minutes after this photo, the fire was burning around the water tank and headed west.

East from Banyan and Callaway
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Looking east along Banyan towards Milliken and our daughter's/son-in-law's house. Fire fighters had started a backfire north of Banyan early this morning covered by Channel 4 news and the camera panned to show the nearest homes to the backfire. Several hundred yards away was our daughter and son-in-law's tract of homes. They are sticking it out in their home, although the smoke is quite heavy.

East from Banyan and Callaway
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Another view looking East along Banyan from Callaway Place. The white fence is the horse trail used sometimes by the people in Deer Creek Estates for horseback riding, but mostly used for walking and jogging.

North from South edge of Chaffey College
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Between the Chaffey College and Banyan, the college has a buffer zone of native vegetation to preserve the native flora and fauna. This is taken at the start of the super-dry shrubs in that area. The nearest building is the start of the buildings on the southern end of the campus.

Chaffey College Stadium looling NE
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Looking NE toward the Chaffey College Stadium.

North from Banyan and Callaway
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Another view showing the fire burning on the north edge of the Deer Creek/Haven View Estates. These estates are heavily planted in trees with a lot of Sycamore trees. These people had to be very nervous, but I bet there was a fire truck in every driveway to make sure they did not lose any homes.

South from Banyan and Callaway
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Looking south down Callaway Place toward the 210 freeway a couple of blocks south. The freeway was closed yesterday from Milliken to the east. We left home yesterday morning to walk at Ontario Mills. No trouble leaving, but there were several street closures including Banyan, Milliken, and the 210 freeway coming home and we had to snake our way through back streets to get home. No fire to the south, just a lot of smoke.

Spectators at Banyan and Callaway looking South
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Fire draws spectators. Here is a group at Banyan and Callaway -- complete with telescope. When we scouted the area last night before we went to bed in order to assess how worried we should be, we drove through the Deer Creek Estates. We saw dozens of home owners clustered together watching the fire and doing the same assessment. We figured the fire would have to get the Haven View Estates, then the Deer Creek Estates, and finally Chaffey College, which was not going to happen, before it got to us. Later, after seeing how the Old Waterman fire hop-scotched around San Bernardino neighborhoods destroying 450 homes, we decided this was a dumb assessment. We are in a neighborhood with lots of mature vegetation, including Eucalyptus trees killed by disease, which go off like bombs in a fire. Flying embers could have set our neighborhood off without touching the Deer Creek/Haven View Estates or Chaffey college.

Heavy equipment moving East on Banyan
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

When the fire crossed Haven, they loaded up the heavy equipment and it came tearing down Banyan to get to the new fire line. About 12 bull dozers came roaring down Banyan.

Heavy equipment moving East on Banyan
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Here comes another one.

Ash on spa cover
Photo by Jerrold Foutz

Smoke and Ash. We have kept the windows closed and air conditioning on for five days in a row now to keep smoke out of the house. Each morning Dolores hoses down the patio and spa and mists the air. Then we open the patio door for about a half hour to get some oxygen in the house. Too much smoke to do this today. This is the overnight accumulation of ash on the spa. Now at 3 pm, it is about twice as thick. It is now a little after three pm and time to get this up on the web. Still dark outside with smoke and ash. No sun today.

THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!


Email: Jerrold Foutz, foutz@smpstech.com
Website: Switching-Mode Power Supply Design, smpstechnology.com
Original: October 25, 2003, revised November 12, 2003