The Santa Anas are hot, dry winds that have their beginnings in Colorado. As they move west, picking up speed in the mountain passes, they lose their moisture. By the time they arrive here in southern California, they are very strong and very dry.
Just before 7 a.m. my RACES group was called out to provide communications for the Escondido Police and Fire departments. I had been monitoring our RACES repeaters and heard the call out for Strike Teams for animal rescue. The fire was big and out of control, being fanned by gusts of 50 miles-per-hour or more. I knew it would be a long and nasty one. Animal Rescue was busy transporting domestic animals and pets from the fire path. The county EOC, located in the San Diego Sheriff's Department, was acting as a communications center, coordinating the efforts of all RACES personnel, Animal Rescue, ARES/Red Cross, and ARES/Salvation Army.