San Diego County, California

San Diego County- Four years to the day that the infamous Cedar Fire that roared down from the San Diego mountains at unimaginable speed burning 2,820 buildings and killing fifteen people, another set of fires born to similar weather conditions tore through the mountains region with metropolitan San Diego in it's sights. Two major fires, the Witch Fire and the Harris Fire claimed the headlines, but there were numerous other fires burning simultaneously throughout San Diego County, all being pushed towards the ocean by Santa Ana winds that reached speeds over sixty miles-per-hour. Some of these fires would merge into the Witch Fire and burn to within five miles of the Pacific Ocean claiming everything from barns, rural cabins to multi-million dollar mansions in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the United States. Firefighters were battling an impossible situation until the weather changed and the coastal marine influence replaced the hot, dry desert wind that was the driving force of these fires.

With fires spread out over hundreds of square miles of San Diego and personal concerns over individual safety of self and property only limited coverage was obtained by by San Diego News Photographer. However Joe Klein and Jeff Holtz graciously contributed images from their coverage to help round out this disaster of unimaginable proportions.

While the areas covered below are limited to only a few, remember that thousands of battles were fought by heroic firefighters, police and citizens as they fought to save homes, property and lives in conditions that were against all odds.

Images from the Fire Storm October 2007 * All images (C)opyright 2007 Sean  Wolfe, Joe Klein & Jeff Holz

Click "PICTURES" Image for Slide Shows (opens a new window)


Each PICTURES icon opens a new window. Simply close it when finished viewing and you'll be returned to this page. Photos by Sean Wolfe

10-23-2007 Eastern San Diego County - With the Harris Fire approaching the rural, populated area along Deer Horn Valley Road firefighters defend homes while attempting backfiring operations to slow down the fire front. Photographs by Sean Wolfe

Honey Springs Road    Deer Horn Valley Road    Firing Operation    Honey Springs Driveway


10-23/24-2007 Eastern San Diego County - With the Harris Fire now well entrenched in the area southeast of Alpine, firefighting operations now concentrate on structure protection and aerial assault.  Photographs by Jeff Holz.   


10-29-2007 San Diego, California    
Houses in a luxury community of Escondido were destroyed by the fast moving Witch Fire in San Diego County.  The wildfire has burned over 198,000 acres.  Over a thousand houses were burned to the ground.  Two fatalities were reported and forty firefighters were injured.  Sixty mile per hour Santa Ana winds allowed the fire to rapidly spread from structure to structure. Photographs by Joe Klein


10-29-2007 San Diego, California    
Houses in the upper middle class community of Rancho Bernardo were destroyed by the fast moving Witch Fire in San Diego County.  The wildfire has burned over 198,000 acres.  Over a thousand houses were burned to the ground.  Two fatalities were reported and forty firefighters were injured.  Sixty mile per hour Santa Ana winds allowed the fire to rapidly spread from structure to structure.  Photographs by Joe Klein


10-24-2007 San Diego, California    
The Harris Fire has burned over 90,000 acres.  The wildfire started on October 21 and is burning at Harris Ranch Road and both sides of Highway 94 in Portrero in San Diego County.  Over 200 home have been destroyed and there were 5 deaths associated with this fire.  Four deaths were undocumented migrants that were crossing into the United States from Mexico.  Sixty mile per hour Santa Ana winds allowed the fire to rapidly spread from structure to structure.  San Diego County Sheriff's deputies use cell phones to take pictures of helicopter water drops at the fire on Millar Ranch Road in San Diego County. Photographs by Joe Klein