Just after official word came out that 75 residences have been burned by the Jesusita Fire, it seems that many more are in the danger zone. The fire is moving fast to the west, causing more mandatory evacuations (including Painted Cave and East Camino Cielo homes), and unconfirmed reports say that it has jumped Highway 154. Meanwhile, a mix of evacuees, stay-and-fight homeowners, looky-loos, and the media is causing traffic jams along Foothill Road and Cathedral Oaks, potentially exacerbating an already dangerous situation by blocking exit routes.
According to reporter Chris Meagher, who is watching from Via Chaparral just on the west side of 154, the Jesusita Fire is in “full-on freak-out mode.” He had been stationed on the other side of 154 in the Cocopah Drive area, where some residents were frantically packing their cars, and others were patiently watching the flames in their driveways. When it got too crazy for his taste, he tried to make his way up 154, where he looked to the right to see a wall off orange. He turned back after letting a column of police vehicles pass, their sirens blaring and lights spinning.
He got off on Cathedral Oaks, where cars were packing the street, as residents evacuated to the west and others watched the flames. A bunch of bulldozers and other equipment were trying to pass, but had to ask people to move since the road was blocked. Meagher can’t imagine that some of the homes in the Northridge Road and Ontare Road area aren’t already engaged in a fire battle, but could not confirm as much.
Among other related chatter on the police scanner requiring response, a motorcyclist has crashed at Foothill Road and La Cumbre and an elderly relative is refusing to leave an endangered home.