Current status (as of this morning, Wed. Oct. 31):
- Fire continues to move east and north
- About 200 homes still threatened; 15 homes destroyed
- Mandatory evacuations continue for several canyon areas
- Acres burned: Approximately 28,445
- Containment: 90 percent
- Full containment expected: Sunday
- Full control: unknown
- Firefighters on scene: 1,948 firefighters, 167 engines/trucks, 32 handcrews, 18 bulldozers. 634 officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. 100-plus officers from California Highway Patrol
- Aircraft: 12 helicopters, 8 air tankers, 13 water tenders
This gives an idea of the enormous number of resources currently deployed to the fire that's been burning for 11 days now. (There are still 5-6 other fires - out of the original 20 - that are still burning.) Ash in the burned areas is as much as a foot deep. They want to light backfires in the unburned brush in the rugged, steep hillsides near the northeast corner of the perimeter in an effort to destroy any fuel that could reignite the wildfire. This is necessary in anticipation of high winds that are expected on Friday. We're having a lot of humidity, though, and the brush is too wet to burn, so we're hoping for lower humidity to light the backfires and burn the brush in a controlled manner before Friday.
If all goes well, the fire may be contained by Friday. In addition to the fully burning areas, there continue to be dozens of small and large fires - random hot spots - throughout the rugged and nearly inaccessible terrain that they are fighting. In the topo map above, I've circled the area of my daughter's home in Lake Elsinore, with the wildnerness of the Cleveland National Forest between her and the fire. The fire is still 8 miles away and isn't advancing as before. We're so grateful.
Today's simple pleasure: No more smoke smell in the office - woo-hoo!