Border Fire highlights federal firefighting failure
The massive Cedar Fire that struck San Diego County in 2003 was a disaster in more than one way. Besides killing 15 people, torching more than 2,200 homes and burning 273,000-plus acres, the fire exposed an awful failure of coordination among local, state and federal firefighters. In 2007, an even bigger conflagration beset the county, with seven fires burning simultaneously, torching nearly 370,000 acres and about 1,600 homes and killing 10 people. But the response was much improved, with local and state fire resources used in effective ways to minimize the loss of life and property damage.