Calif. reservations hit hard by deadly fires
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Several tribes in California have been hit hard by deadly wildfires in the southern part of the state that have burned more than 600,000 acres. More than half of the reservations in San Diego County are threatened or have burned, and power is out on several reservations, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

"It's devastating," Jim Fletcher, a Bureau of Indian Affairs director told the paper. "We've never had fires that have taken so much life and so much land."
'Devastating' losses reported on county Indian reservations (The San Diego Union-Tribune 10/30)

An active blaze on the La Jolla Reservation has forced an evacuation. The Paradise Fire has destroyed 117 homes and 100 structures on the reservation and in a nearby community.
Winds Push Paradise Fire Away From Palomar Mountain (Channel 10 News 10/29)

The Paradise Fire has claimed the life of one and critically injured a man from the San Pasqual Reservation who recently returned from Iraq. Steven Lovett, a Navy hospital man who was stationed with a Marine unit, 21, was injured while trying to save his girlfriend, Allyson Roach, 20, and her family. Allyson's sister Ashleigh, 16, was killed trying to escape.
'He's a hero' - Navy corpsman and friend badly burned in fires (AP 10/29)

On the San Pasqual Reservation, 67 of 68 homes have been lost. Earlier reports of damage to the casino were inaccurate.
Hard days ahead for drained crews (The San Jose Mercury News 10/29)

The Barona Band of Mission Indians has lost 40 homes. Eight people have been found dead just oustide the reservation. Arson is suspected in the fires but no arrests have been made.
12 Killed in Cedar Fire Had No Warning (The Los Angeles Times 10/30)
Mountain Resorts Under Siege (The Los Angeles Times 10/30)
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The Rincon San Luiseno Band has lost 20 homes on the reservation, which was evacuated on Monday. The entire 16,000 acres of the Capitan Grande Reservation burned but no homes or structures were reported damaged.

Half of the Viejas Reservation has burned but there have been no reports of damage to homes or structures. The San Manuel Band is worried about erosion due to damage to almost all of the vegetation on the reservation.

The Jamul, Santa Ysabel and Mesa Grande reservations have been reported to evacuate. A fire was threatening the Sycuan and Jamul reservations but both escaped major damage.
High Winds Subside; Aid On The Way (NBC San Diego 10/27)

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association ( has created a disaster fund for the tribes. "Our hearts and prayers go out to these and other tribes that suffered so greatly in the fires," said CNIGA chairwoman Brenda Soulliere.

The account has been set up at the Borrego Springs Bank in La Mesa. The bank ( was founded by tribes.

Donations can be made to:
The Disaster Relief Fund for Tribes
Borrego Springs Bank
ATTN: Joanne McBride
7777 Alvarado Road, Suite 114
La Mesa, CA 91941

Oklahoma's 13 tribes with firefighting crews are on call to help fight the fires. Indian crews have been dispatched 130 times this year alone, mostly to the Southeastern U.S.
Oklahoma Indian firefighting crews ready to help (The Oklahoman 10/30)
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