Category Archives: Monumental Events

Cocos Fire update for Saturday

San Elijo Hills Updates

  • Edco Trash today
  • Alberstsons is open
  • Cafe Stoked is open today
  • The garage sale and charity event in the area is cancelled for this weekend and postponed to Saturday May 31st, 7-11am.
  • Pirate Party has been cancelled

What Firefighters Need

Energy drinks

We would recommend dropping off at Lake San Marcos Fire station on Rancho Santa Fe or Carlsbad Fire Station on Rancho Santa Fe.

Cal Fire Update

2,520 acres – 70% contained per Cal Fire *looks like the revised down the acres
Structures Destroyed: 8
Evacuations: Evacuations are in progress and remain in effect. Click here to get more:by clicking here.
Injuries: 3
Cause: Under Investigation
Total Fire Personnel: 1,000 firefighters
Total Fire Engines: 161
Total Fire crews: 30
Total Airtankers: 6
Total Dozers: 6
Total Water Tenders: 6
Incident Management Team: CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4


FIRE UPDATE: Preliminary Damage Assessment
Fire size currently 2,520 acres at 70% containment
Posted Date: 5/17/2014 9:30 AM

The Cocos Fire size is currently 2,520 acres with 70 percent containment. Fire crews are working around the clock to ensure safety and to get residents back to their homes as soon as possible. No serious injuries have been reported and 

Eight homes have been damaged or destroyed. While we know how devastating it for those residents who have lost their home, firefighter crews have worked relentlessly during this incident to ensure the safety of the community and save as much property as possible. 

Residents whose homes were lost or damaged can report to the recovery liaison office located at the San Marcos Library, 2 Civic Center Drive, open 7 am to 5 pm everyday for as long as necessary. The office can offer these residents help to obtain building permits, clear ash from swimming pools, safely handle food after a power outage and other recovery and rebuilding information. 

Updated fire incident:
Acres: 2,906 acres 
Percent Contained: 
Initial Damage Assessment: 8 homes damanged or destroyed 
No major injuries reported 
Total personnel deployed: 1,269 (regionally) 
Apparatus currently deployed: 
Engines: 164 
Fire Crews: 27 
Aircraft: 0 
Helicopters: 2 
Water tenders: 1 
Bulldozers: 11 
Other Equipment: 119 

North of Barham Drive, east of Twin Oaks Valley Road and west of and including South Hill Drive 

Residents on the west side of Via Vera Cruz, including neighborhoods of Lake San Marcos and residences to the east up to Via Vera Cruz 

Entry points into the neighborhoods listed above will be through Rancho Santa Fe, from the southwest and Discovery Street to Via Vera Cruz from the north 

Link to interactive map.: (Map is slow to load, please be patient.) 

Mandatory Evacuations still in PLACE for these locations:
Questhaven south of Elfin Forest through Harmony Grove and the area east of Twin Oaks Valley Road along Barham Drive and south into the Coronado Hills community. 

The evacuation centers located at Mission Hills High School at 1 Mission Hills Court. 

We understand that residents are anxious to return to their homes but safety is our highest priority and we will not repopulate areas until we are sure it is safe. For your safety, please do not enter evacuated areas, including surrounding paths and trails. 

Road Closures
Road closures have been issued for the following locations. Due to these closures, morning traffic is expected to be congested in these areas. Residents and motorists are advised to avoid these roads and use alternate routes. 

Twin Oaks Valley Road at Craven Road to San Elijo Road 
Elfin Forest Road from ½ south of City limits 
Questhaven Road from City limits 
Coronado Hills Drive (all directions) 
La Moree Road (all directions) 
Barham Drive from Woodland Parkway to City limits


San Marcos Proud-By Chris Orlando Council Member

The last 48 hours have been difficult for the residents of San Marcos. It has been gut wrenching to see our ridgelines and hillsides, the city’s defining features, completely ablaze, knowing how many homes and families are at risk or displaced. The families that have lost their homes have their community’s deepest sympathies.

But in the last 48 hours, I have also seen and experienced many things that have me incredibly proud of our city – proud of our firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, proud of our city staff and proud of our community and its residents.

As the fires started in San Marcos, the city’s fire personnel, sheriff’s deputies, and city staff were immediately on top of the situation – even though many of our local resources were deployed to help with other fires in the region. The city’s Emergency Operations Center was open within minutes and preparations for major evacuations were started. This was an event our fire, sheriff and city personnel had planned for extensively.

As the evacuations started, I watched neighbors helping neighbors, making sure everyone knew it was time to leave and had a place to go. Throughout the evacuation, they continued to check on each other and keep each other informed through emails, texts, phones calls and social media.

At the evacuation center at Mission Hills High School gym, I watched volunteers, many who had been forced by the fires to leave their own homes, stream in with offers of help, and our local businesses send trucks loaded with food and supplies. I talked with seniors who had slept on cots, but were in good spirits, patiently waiting until they could go home. I saw kids who I knew were scared, but who remained calm and brave.

Throughout the event, I interacted with a city staff that was steady, in control and working hard to get their public safety teams the resources they needed, to help those that needed assistance and to get the public current and accurate information – working day and night even though many of them had evacuated with their own families.

The morning after the fires started, I shook hands with firefighters, who were exhausted and covered with grime, but couldn’t wait to get back to the fight. I talked with our fire chief, who knew every detail of the battle and was marshaling every resource he could to fight it.  The coordination among federal, state, county and local agencies has been impressive.

We toured the burn area this afternoon. Seeing Cal. State San Marcos and the many homes that were saved surrounded by a moonscape of destruction underscored the heroic efforts of our first responders and those that came from our neighboring cities and jurisdictions to join the fight.

This emergency and the recovery that will follow are not over, but we will get through it and be even tougher after.

Cities that have faced devastating events have been described as strong. San Marcos is strong. After watching our firefighters, our sheriff’s deputies, our city staff and our community in action in the last 48 hours, I would add another the word to describe how I feel about our city: Proud.

Chris Orlando
Council Member – The City of San Marcos

Fire in Double Peak area of San Elijo Hills

The San Marcos Fire started (3:30pm) behind Cal State San Marcos. The fire looks to have moved west into Hanson Property and Double Peak Park. Evacuations ordered for San Elijo Hills. Cal Fire air support and 30 engines are on scene. We are posting updates and photos on our Facebook page

and Twitter @sanelijolife

San Marcos School District has closed all schools on Thursday and hope to open Friday.


City update:

Cal Fire brings in DC 10 to drop from the air (Fire Retardant)

Sounds like Mt Whittney the tall peak east of San Elijo Hills has burnt like it did last fire in 2007. Fire looks to be moving east towards Harmony Grove

Update from County Sheriff

This is the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department with an emergency message and evacuation information on May 14th, 2014 at 6:30pm. There is a wildfire burning in the Elfin Forrest, San Elijo, Cal State San Marcos, and Discovery Hills area of San Marcos. The fire department is actively working to suppress the fire but there is concern that the fire may spread so an evacuation order has been issued for your area. All residents can evacuate to Mission Hills HS at 1 Mission Hills Ct or San Marcos Middle School at 650 W. Mission Rd.  If you need emergency assistance in evacuation, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information call the San Diego county Information Line by dialing 2-1-1 or visit their website at

San Elijo Hills Fire- Double Peak Park


San Elijo Hills Town Center


The conceptual revamped plan Home Fed (San Elijo Hills Development Company) submitted Thursday at a City of San Marcos hosted workshop included a reduction in commercial space by two-thirds.  Approximately nine retail units isolated to San Elijo Road. The units are to face the existing Marketwalk. The retail spaces are marked in red on the diagrams. The proposal did not include any retail on the opposing side of San Elijo Road, Elfin Forest Road or Baker Street.  Home Fed plans to increase the number of residential units: condos and lofts to 70- 80 units.  Originally 28 residential units was the plan for the town center. 17 additional units are proposed for the estate lots near Double Peak Park and Montage area and are part of the planning process with the City of San Marcos.

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There was a consensus of outrage over this plan from 70 plus San Elijo Hills Residents who attended the meeting.  The majority expressed their interest in buying into this community as a self-contained community.  This plan has drifted from the original vision of the San Elijo Hills town center/square.

Jeff O’connor, Director of Operations of Home Fed said they have taken on the advise from experts, consultants in the field.  They want the businesses to flourish.  He said the current businesses are doing okay, they want to see the business achieve success. Home Fed has active builders who are interested in building out this new concept now. Home Fed would need to take meeting feedback and apply for formal application with the City in the next 60 days. San Marcos City approvals can take up to 18 months. The project would be built by premium third-party builders and match the quality and aesthetic standards of San Elijo Hills. The design is subject to approval by the City. The project would be market rate for sale town homes. Local commercial firm Flocke & Avoyer will market the retail spaces for lease. Some of the retail space would be designed to accommodate restaurants; including grease traps, exhaust venting. No guarantee that restaurants will be interested and some local San Elijo Hills restaurants have historically struggled. The new plan has lower daily trips because of the decrease in retail 1,700 vs 2,300. Each town home would included garages and on site guest parking. See parking plan photo. short-term parking management would be part of the City requirements,. The additional children would fall under current San Marcos Unified School District attendance maps and would tend to be pedestrian because of walking proximity to the San Elijo Elementary and San Elijo Middle School. Keep in mind attendance boundaries are adjustable as we have recently seen in San Elijo Hills/San Marcos.

The overwhelming suggestions from residents attending the meeting: Larger storefronts with more depth and storage space, full-scale restaurants.  The homeowners expressed businesses on the three streets is a non-negotiable if you want to create a town square atmosphere and bring residents in to shop in San Elijo Hills.   You need to figure out how to draw the critical mass in, to shop in San Elijo Hills. One resident suggested a large pool to host swimming meets, volleyball courts, etc for sporting activities.  A teen center was another suggestion. The three streets being directly across from Marketwalk on San Elijo Rd, around the corner on Elfin Forest and the other corner Baker Street.  The suggestion is to have an open space in the middle of the businesses instead of residential.  The businesses could also open inward to the center, have grass, table & chairs, fire pits, maybe display movies, etc.

The lot next to Chevron is slated for more residential.  Homeowners expressed concern.  Who wants to live next to a gas station and if we are going to have all these businesses where is everyone going to park?  The recommendation by the homeowners: a parking structure in the lot next to Chevron.

Home Fed is in the process of purchasing the lot slated for the church site.  They plan to build 18 residences, a green belt and tot lot.  There are two aqueducts running through the site which limits the building capabilities.  One speaker mentioned a tot lot is not advisable with the busy streets. Church of The Hills appears to be selling this site back to Home Fed.

Home Fed took notes, Jeff said they are going back to the drawing table and will host another meeting once they have a revised plan in place for homeowner feedback. We suspect more meetings and homeowners surveys are in the works.

Keep in mind Home Fed is deeply invested in San Diego County with 6,000 units in the works in Chula Vista, another project online in Santee and they use San Elijo Hills as it’s prize example of its work. We suspect they have a lot of reasons to care about the successful completion of San Elijo Hills.

San Elijo Hills this is your chance to shape the future and your participation and education in the process is critical to the success of the project.

Join the discussion at


New San Elijo Elementary School Well

San Elijo Elementary  School Well

San Elijo Elementary School Well

Have you ever noticed the steady flow of water along  the back gate of San Elijo Elementary School (SEES)?

Last year they discovered a natural spring on site.  This occurred during the construction for the new building on campus in addition a geyser of water just shot up from the ground one early morning.   The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) drilled a new well in the middle of campus (see picture, of simple utility box). The well is now supplying landscape irrigation for the entire SEES campus at no real cost to SEES.  This should be good for the grass and the school garden!

The San Marcos School District  is now considering  the possibilities of drilling a well at San Elijo Middle School and other schools in the district. This could be good news for the fields at San Elijo Middle.

Mountain lion spotted Wednesday night around 7:00pm

Large mountain lion spotted Wednesday night around 7:00pm. In the vacant Altaire lots in upper San Elijo Hills.

The following safety tips are provided by the California Department of Fish and Game. They are based on studies of mountain behavior and analysis of attacks by mountain lions.

  • Don’t hike alone.
  • Go in groups, with adults supervising children an keep children close to you.
  • Observations of captured mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children.
  • Keep children within your sight at all times.
  • Don’t approach a lion.
  • Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation.
  • Give them a way to escape.
  • Don’t run from a lion.
  • Running stimulates a mountain lion’s instinct to chase.
  • Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact.
  • If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so that they don’t panic and run.
  • Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.
  • Don’t crouch or bend over.
  • A squatting or bending person looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal.
  • Do all you can to appear larger.
  • Raise your arms.
  • Open your jacket if you are wearing one.
  • Throw stones, branches or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back.
  • Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.
  • Fight back if attacked. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands.
  • Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.
  • For more information about mountain lions, contact the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), case of emergency call 911 and DFG at 916-445-0045

2 Accused In San Elijo Hills Sav-on Pharmacy Robbery Arrested – KGTV San Diego

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A man suspected of robbing the San Elijo Hills Albertsons supermarket pharmacy of prescription drugs Tuesday while claiming to have a concealed pistol was arrested a short time later, along with his alleged getaway driver.

READ MORE via 2 Accused In Pharmacy Robbery Arrested – San Diego News Story – KGTV San Diego.

SEH 911 has a condensed recording of dispatch call 

UPDATED Article from NC Times


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