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Historical Resources Damaged by Fires in fall, 2004

The people of San Diego County continue to deal with the results of the terrible fires of October 2003. Over 300,000 acres burned in the five days during the worst wildlands fire in the history of San Diego County. In addition to destroying homes and businesses, trees and vegetation, the October fires damaged and exposed sensitive, unique cultural resources such as archaeological sites, historical features and buildings, and traditional Native American cultural properties. These now-vulnerable resources are at risk of destruction from exposure, weathering, and erosion. For hundreds of years, this thick growth of trees and brush has hidden the remains of the villages and settlements of San Diego's native people, as well as historical sites. With the removal of the protective plant cover, historical resources are now vulnerable to destruction by weathering, relic hunters, erosion, sedimentation, and off trail public use.

Padre Dam or the Old Mission Dam survived the fire, but not the fire recovery efforts. The Dyar House, formerly the visitor center for Cuyamaca State Park, was completely destroyed. Many people hiked and rode bikes or horses in the Goodan Ranch area. Last year County Parks restored the water tower. Everything in the ranch compound burned, the house, the barn, outbuildings, and the water tower. Boulder Oaks Open Space Preserve was acquired by County Parks 30 days before the fire. The Boulder Oaks House was built in 1916 and was empty at the time of the fire. We must encourage public agencies and individuals to take the necessary steps to protect and preserve these irreplaceable resources.

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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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