Firestorm Memories Never Far Away

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCSanDiego

    Families continue to be reminded of their firestorm losses, almost every day.

    Somehow, all the rain the area has gotten this week makes it easy to forget how disaster struck San Diego County during the Cedar and Witch Creek wildfires. Fire victims, though, say the rains will never wash away their losses and emotional trauma.

    Although the Ernst family home on Oakfort Place is rebuilt, and the last home on their block destroyed by the fire is now under construction, it's been seven years since the Cedar Fire destroyed much of their Scripps Ranch neighborhood. The fire victims of the Cedar Fire in 2003 and the 2007 Witch Creek fire say they'll never forget the trauma.
       
    Firefighters don't want anyone to forget the risk. Despite an unusually wet October, a few days of hot weather and Santa Ana winds could dry out the moisture and make another wildfire a reality.

    "We've had Santa Ana winds certainly into December, January -- and as far as in to March -- and it's winds that cause us the greatest concern," said San Diego Fire Rescue Chief Javiar Mainar.

    "We're always saying, 'Remember when we had this? Wouldn't it be nice if ...' and those kinds of things," fire survivor Ed Ernst said. "They just won't go away."

    Mayor Jerry Sanders said the fire risk is a bit lower this year because city crews have cleared acres of overgrown brush in city canyons and open space.