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Two become one

The Grand Prix Fire and the Old Fire have merged, and spreading west towards La Verne and San Dimas. (link -- Carl's representation of the area affected by fire -- 37k) Thousands have been evacuated, and thousands of houses are destroyed. KABC-TV is reporting up to 250 structures damaged or destroyed. Schools in Fontana will be closed, and some schools in Rancho Cucamonga will be closed. San Bernardino has been declared a state disaster area, and federal officials are considering the same. Also, the Vla Verde fire is raging and growing as well as a fire in Scripps Ranch/Poway area of San Diego County.

Locally, the smoke and ash are worse. Jen and I both woke up with sore throats. The house is starting to smell like smoke inside. When stepping outside, the smoke immediately attacks the senses. Jen is pretty much able to go outside only for a few minutes before needing to come back inside. Because of the location on the wast end of the fire, Jen is really wondering if her school is going to be closed Monday due to the smoke and whatnot. That's about three miles from San Manuel Indian Casino which was evacuated yesterday.

We have an update from the friends I spoke of yesterday who were evacuated from Rancho Cucamonga. Aparently, the wife left with the cats and the important documents. The husband stayed behind. Fire had gotten to the back wall of their neighbors across the street before it was extinguished. The houses were saved, but the firefighters wouldn't let the wife back into the area. All of this was Friday. Haven't heard anything more from them, but at least they were safe then.

Again, keep the firefighters in your thoughts, as well as those who have already lost their homes.