Officials began preparations Wednesday night to burn down a home packed with explosives.
A federal judge on Wednesday denied a defense attorney's request to delay destruction of the home at 1954 Via Scott in unincorporated Escondido that was rented by George Jakubec, who faces a string of federal charges in connection to the case. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns allows authorities to proceed with Thursday's scheduled controlled burn of the home, which will, it's hoped, put end any threats to the neighborhood.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, sheriff's deputies and Escondido police officers began knocking on the doors of about 120 homes nearby, delivering evacuation notices. From that point on through the burn, which is expected to begin between 9-10 a.m. on Thursday, extra patrols will operate in the area, according to deputies. Residents who may have forgotten something will be allowed back in to the area under police escort, officials said.
Earlier in the day, electricity and gas service was turned off to the four homes on Via Scott in anticipation of the burn.
Evacuated residents have been told they can go to the Red Cross shelter at M. Gordon Clarke Field House/University Student Union on the campus of California State University, San Marcos, at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road.
Residents living in the "shelter in place" zone will be called at 8 a.m. Thursday using reverse 911, alerting them to the need to close windows and doors until, at a minimum, 3 p.m. At that point, they are to call 211 or check sdcountyemergency.com or tune in to local TV or radio stations to find out when air conditions have cleared sufficiently to go back outdoors.
Final preparations to the burn site -- and surrounding structures that may be threatened by the fire -- will take place overnight and in the morning, when the California Highway Patrol will shut down Interstate 15 in both directions, from the Centre City Parkway to state Route 78. While the CHP is hopeful the roadway will be reopened within an hour or two, fire officials will make the call on when it will be safe to resume traffic on the nearby freeway.
As for the burn site itself, officials said that state crew will be on hand to clean up any toxic materials left after the fire.