Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The scene in Eastlake

Posted @ 6:47 AM

Several lines of fire snaked down the Otay Mountains in the early evening.
As many as a dozen fire trucks descended on Proctor Valley near the Rolling Hills Ranch neighborhood at 5:45 p.m. to fight the Harris fire.

Initially the plan was to set back fires, to beat back the blaze, but it wasn't to be. A half hour later a fire captain came back up from the fire line and said, "We've lost it."

Minutes later, Chula Vista police were carrying out mandatory evacuation orders for the neighborhood.

By 7 p.m. half a dozen trucks had moved into the Bella Lago subdivision of Rolling Hills Ranch to fight back a line of fire that had roared up the hill and was within 100 yards of vacant new homes.

Crews saved these structures, in large part because of a vacant graded dirt lot that separated the fire from the homes.

Firefighters were overwhelmed. At Bella Lago, Chula Vista Chief Doug Perry said, "This is more than any of us can handle. We just don't have the resources."

-- David Washburn

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