Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Viejas prepares for changes in the winds

Posted @ 6:40 PM

Sandwiched between the Witch Creek fire to the north and the Harris fire to the south, Viejas officials are preparing in the event a change in the weather brings fire to the reservation.

If that happens, the plan is to protect tribal members in the tribal recreation center and employees, neighbors and travellers coming in off Interstate 8 in the casino.

"We're digging in our heels," said spokesman Bob Scheid.

The casino is operating on reduced staff, but has become a place where truckers and RV owners have gathered, unable to continue east on Interstate 8 because of high winds.

"We're providing a place for people who may be trapped," said Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz, noting that the valley in which the casino and recreational center sit don't have a lot of vegetation for a fire to consume.

-- Onell R. Soto

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