If you’ve been following these River Park 30th Anniversary posts by year, you’ve noticed that the years leading up to and including 2007 were a time of great progress and expansion in the San Dieguito River Park. And although that progress continued through most of 2007 with extensions of the Coast to Crest Trail through Santa Fe Valley, ramping up for the Lake Hodges Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge and restoration down at the San Dieguito Lagoon – the year was punctuated in October by the devastating Witch Creek Fire. In addition to the 247,800 acres burned, over 1,000 residential structures lost and 2 fatalities (source: Wikipedia), the River Park experienced a loss or damage to nearly all of its assets, including its administrative offices, nearly all equipment and vehicles, Sikes Adobe (which was just recently restored), dozens of trail amenities, and hundreds of acres of restored habitat.
Showing the resilience and resourcefulness of the park, its volunteers, partner organizations, and government member agencies, the River Park rebuilt over the next few years and despite the setbacks, continued on with its major projects already underway.
Some of the images post-fire (click to enlarge photo):
Sikes Adobe – notice wooden windmill somehow escapes the flames showing how random wildfire can be
The River Park “Fleet”
The map below shows the western finger of the Witch Creek Fire covering nearly the entire footprint of the middle portion of the San Dieguito River Park