October 22, 2007 was the morning many of us in North County woke up to a realtime nightmare. A police loudspeaker blaring orders to evacuate. An infernal red glow in the hills above our homes, or, worse, flames at our backyard fences.
October 21 marks the tenth anniversary of the most destructive fires in San Diego County history.
On October 21, 2007, a fire broke out in the Witch Creek area east of Ramona. By four o’clock the following morning, the Witch Creek Fire had reached the San Diego City limits, where, merging with the Guejito fire which had broken out in the San Pasqual Valley on October 22, it tore a path of destruction across the county.
Rancho Bernardo, my neighborhood, was in the middle of that path
My household was fortunate. When the evacuation ended, we had a home to return to. 365 of our RB neighbors did not.
The Rancho Bernardo Historical Society will mark the tenth anniversary of the firestorm with an exhibit at the Rancho Bernardo History Museum starting October 20.
The exhibit will include a display of newspaper front pages from that fateful week, along with photographs from the museum archives taken by officials and residents on the scene as the fires raged. There will also be photos and documents from earlier fires in the Rancho Bernardo-Poway area in the 1960s and 1980s, as a reminder of the ever-present danger of fire in our region.
In addition, the exhibit will include quilts made in memory of the fire by Rancho Bernardo residents who lost their homes during that horrible week.
The exhibit will run for about three weeks in the museum, located in the Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, San Diego 92128. I urge all my readers to attend, and to remember. As the blazes going on right now to the north remind us, the danger of fire is part of our history and our daily lives.
Get Updates Automatically-Become A Follower of the San Diego History Seeker
You can get updates of San Diego History Seeker automatically in your email by clicking on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner of the blog page. You’ll then get an email asking you to confirm. Once you confirm you’ll be an active follower.