View Full Version : Southern California flames threaten Miramar, Hundreds of military families displaced

10-28-03, 05:49 AM
Southern California flames threaten Miramar, Hundreds of military families displaced
Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story Identification Number: 20031027193843
Story by Sgt. A.C. Strong

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.(Oct. 27, 2003) -- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar personnel are working with San Diego County firefighters and thousands of personnel from across the west coast to contain and control fires that have broken out in Southern California counties, including their local areas adjacent to the air station.

During a late afternoon press conference, San Diego Fire Division Chief Rob Ballard stated that they are using "every available resource to combat the fire," with flames sometimes reaching more than 100 feet, which is being pushed by strong Santa Ana winds.

Hundreds of military families and thousands of fellow San Diegans have been evacuated. Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and San Diego area Naval facilities are welcoming military families who have been displaced.

Though 10-15,000 people have been evacuated, according to San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano, there have been no major incidents during the evacuation processes. He said the cooperation has been "a model example of a community working together."

San Diego City Council member Jim Madaffer, District 5, whose constituents reside in Tierrasanta, thanked the police and fire departments for their efforts in the community that includes some military public-private venture housing.

"They are a very tight, close-knit community, who has acted with great courage ...," said Madaffer. "You can be assured that these people will rebuild with courage and honor."

Monday, President George W. Bush designated four California counties a major disaster area making federal money available for disaster-struck people in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties.

California Governor Gray Davis said that his heart goes out to the families that have lost so much in what he describes as "the war zone" in the Southern California Area.

According to Davis, there are currently 110 engines fighting the fires in San Diego County, 40 more are on order. Davis requested additional support from Arizona and Nevada governors, requesting every available resource here to knock down the fires so people can continue on with their lives.

"Our highest priority is to put the fires out ... and put families lives back in order." John Garmandini.

"The fires are still going on. When police and firefighters tell you to get out, get out," said fire officials at the press conference. "The only thing that cannot be replaced is human life."

The Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society is prepared to accept offers of assistance for military families. To contact San Diego-area offices of the NMCRS call (619) 556-8283 or (858) 577-1807.

To contact the San Diego Red Cross call (619) 542-7400.