Grand Prix Fire

A Rancho Cucamonga centered photo journal of the Grand Prix Fire with statistics, maps, and links to other photo journals of the southern California fires.

The Grand Prix Fire, also called the Fontana or Rancho Cucamonga Fire, started on Hunters Ridge above Fontana, California, at 2:30 pm, Tuesday, October 21, 2003, by arson . It burned North to Lytle Creek and Devore, and west at the urban/wildland interface above Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, and LaVerne. The portion in Los Angeles County is called the Padua Fire. It joined with the Old Waterman Fire, started Saturday,October 25, by arson north of the city of San Bernardino, and has burned NE to Lake Arrowhead and North to Hesperia. The combined fire is referred to as the Grand Prix/Old/Padua Fire. The combined Southern California fires, including the San Diego and Simi fires, is the most costly natural disaster in California history. (11/5/03)

Here is our experience with the fire around the city of Rancho Cucamonga.

Cucamonga Peak on fire
Cucamonga Peak looking north from Banyan and Morning Place
Saturday, October 25, 2003, Photo by Tim Woolf

Photo Journal Contents

Grand Prix/Old/Padua Fire Statistics (through 11/12/03)

Fire updates of the Grand Prix and Old Fire can be found on the IncidentControl website, and the CalMAST page on the Grand Prix Fire. The rains in the last 24 hours have shifted fire worries from fire to mud slides.

Grand Prix Fire

Old Fire

Padua Fire

These statistics are now included in the Grand Prix Fire and are included here to give a finer snap-shot -- they may no longer be an accurate snap-shot.

Total Southern California Fires

Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin October 29, 30, 31, November 1, 2003. IncidentControl November 5.

Fire Perimeter

Grand Prix Fire Perimeter 10/31/03
Source: California Mountain Area Safety Taskforce (CalMAST)

Other Websites

Here I hope to link to other personal websites as I find them that give a unique personal perspective on the Southern California Fires, especially the Grand Prix Fire, Old Fire, and Padua Fire. If you know of any such websites, please email me with the link.

Information Annealing

Phoschek ® not Phosgene: Phil, a firefighter who has fought wildland fires for 33 fire seasons and who was on the Grand Prix fire, where he spent 14 days sleeping on the ground at the Glen Helen park fire staging area, pointed out that fire fighters drop Phoschek, not phosgene as I stated. A little research showed that Phosgene is a poisonous gas used extensively during World War I as a choking (pulmonary) agent. Among the chemicals used in the war, phosgene was responsible for the large majority of deaths. On the other hand, Phoschek ® contains ammonium polyphosphate (a fertilizer) plus emulsifiers, corrosion inhibitors, and a dye -- and is used as a fire retardant. The error was at the bottom of fire02.htm, and I fixed it by changing "phosgene" to "fire retardant".


Email: Jerrold Foutz,
Website: Switching-Mode Power Supply Design,
Original: October 25, 2003, revised November 12, 2003