These sites continue to be the best sources for recent updates:
New 8 Wildfire Coverage—news updates at top of page; scroll down for list of mandatory evacuation areas and shelter locations.
SignonSanDiego fire map (updated about once an hour)
If you have family in the San Diego area and are looking for more information about specific towns and neighborhood, a good place to check is the SignonSanDiego forums. Scroll down to find folders for each town.
Governor Schwarzenegger has arrived at Qualcomm Stadium where over 5000 evacuees are sheltering. Here are rough notes from his press conference (3:30 p.m. Tuesday):
First of all let me just say thanks for turning out.
Special thank you to Sec. Chertoff for coming w/ me from Washington,
and for being on the phone w/ me every day & being concerned about
the fires and how he can help.
Thanks other officials.
Will speak briefly. What made this tragic fire, this catastrophe,
actually doable is that we have had so much help. Unlike other
disasters, we have seen state, local, and federal govts come together
in quickest possible way.
Thanks firefighters, law enforcement.
300,000 people evac’d here in SD alone, over 500,000 evacs state wide.
President Bush called him to offer help, said Chertoff will help. He is
coming out early on Thursday to visit us, visit fire locations.
Now passing mic to Michael Chertoff.
Thanks officials. All have done a tremendous job in stepping up, making
sure we can get best assistance to these communities as quickly as
possible. American Red Cross has provided a tremendous amount of
assistance (supplies) through donations by American people who support
Still facing serious fires, weather has made it difficult, hope
tomorrow wind will die down & we can put those assets up there in
Brave first responders fighting to point of exhaustion to keep these
fires under control. If weather cooperates, maybe we can turn the tide
In the end of course, tremendous spirit of volunteerism, the
cooperation of people in shelters, is critical in assuring we can pass
this period of time w/ a minimum of discomfort & keeping our
I know people are anxious about what they’ll find when they go home. I
know there’s a request for a disaster declaration in the works; as soon
as that’s approved we’ll be working v. closely with the community to
restore communities that have been hurt.
Now FEMA Administrator Dave Paulison speaks:
Thank you. Someone asked me earlier, what is the diff. b/t what
happened in Katrina and what’s happening here today. One: lessons
learned in 2003 fires and from Katrina, we have to work together.
Nobody does disasters better than California firefighters, best
wildfire fighters in the world. Cooperation down the line, governor,
mayor, Red Cross, other agencies, going into it as partners–that’s
what will make the difference. Totally impressed w/ your volunteers.
Thank you & God bless you.
State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner speaks:
My heart goes out to victims, firefighters. As IC, my top responsibility is to help victims recover, so 3 major steps:
1) I’ve deployed from Dept of Insurance my consumer services experts to
be on the ground here in SoCal to be of assistance, help process
claims, cut through red tape.
2) Scam artists show up claiming to be contractors, investors–we will nip that in the bud to protect victims.
3) Will work w/ ins. companies to expeditite payments as quickly as
possible so people can get back on their feet. If you have any problems
w/ your insurance co, contact the Department of Insurance. I will make
sure ins. cos do what they are supposed to. Call us at 1-800-927-HELP
or online at insurance.ca.gov.
Mayor Jerry Sanders speaks:
Thanks everyone. Mentions good cooperation. Would also like to thank
Mexican authorities. Mayor of Tijuana sent 4 firetrucks. Gove. of Baja
CA called & said would send whatever help we needed. CMT, Mexican
electricity, is lending power to our grid. Truly a neighbor helping
neighbor situation. San Diegans helping San Diegans. Volunteers,
supplies, entertainments to shelters. Thanks everyone. We welcome the
help, welcome the partnership. Thank you all very much.
another speaker thanks everyone, praises governor.
Gov. thanks volunteers at Qualcomm. It’s one thing to evacuate people,
another to make sure have enough supplies. Toilet paper, toilets,
formula, diapers. We called immediately the Grocer’s Assoc &
challenged all the grocers to help. Within half an hour, they were
delivering supplies, tens of thousands of bottles of water, etc. Big
thank you to all of them. Thanks the Mayor, so organized with your
notepad always writing things down, making your phone calls, always a
step ahead, big hand to Mayor Sanders for great leadership.
Reporter: Sec, Chertoff, what’s the status at the border?
Chertoff: Anyone thinking of crossing the border w/ fires raging is taking an
exceptionally foolish risk. I’ve communicated w/ Mex. authorities to
get message out attempts to cross border now would be life-threatening.
Border patrol is covering border, Natl Guard has been pulled off to
help w/ fire.
Reporter: (can’t hear it)
Chertoff: First I would say, to those who have survived & whose loved ones
have survived, take a moment to hug & kiss them, saving lives is
most important. Second, look around if you’re in shelters, take comfort
in community is standing with you. Third, we do have mechanisms in
place, both state & fed, to get people assistance. Short term
rental, long term building assistance. Need to get a declaration
declared, that is in process, will get disaster recovery vehicles into position so we can respond at appropriate moments, take people’s applications.
Reporter: Have you had the chance to talk to the President about a price tag?
Gov. Schwarzenegger: President will come to help, is serious about that, no preliminary figures. We are going to make sure the people are not out there alone to rebuild.