Poinsettia Fire 5 Years Later

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City of Carlsbad first responders commemorated the five year anniversary of the Poinsettia Fire this week by holding a wildfire disaster drill in the city’s emergency operations center and reminding residents to double check their own preparedness plans.

On May 14, 2014, during an unusually hot, dry and windy morning, a fire broke out off Poinsettia Lane across the street from Alga Norte Community Park. Within minutes flames had jumped El Camino Real and were headed west to the beach.

Lessons learned during major wildfires in 2003 and 2007 enabled Carlsbad’s first responders to contain the Poinsettia Fire to a 600 acre radius, surrounded on all sides by neighborhoods and businesses that could easily have burned. In the end, the city lost 11 homes and one apartment building, along with several businesses. Tens of thousands of residents safely evacuated, the city hosted emergency shelters for people and their pets, and no major injuries were reported.

Today, the city’s habitat preserves are making a comeback, homes have been rebuilt, and emergency preparedness continues to be a top priority for the city. Wednesday’s emergency drill included staff from all city departments, each with specific assigned functions to perform during a citywide emergency. Member of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team were also there, supporting staff just as they would during a real emergency.

How You Can Stay Prepared

City emergency officials took to social media this week to remind community members about the importance of staying prepared for emergencies and providing resources to help.

Additional preparedness tips are available at Ready San Diego.

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