Saturday, October 27, 2007 : SAN DIEGO – Wildfires rampaging across Southern California have burned more than 17,200 acres of land on the Yuina, Rincon, La Jolla, San Pasqual and Pala reservations, according to Bureau of Indian Affairs official Jim Fletcher, reports Indian Country Today.
Fletcher said another 8,960 acres have burned on the Capitan Grande, Mesa Grande, Santa Ysabel, Barona, Jamul and Inaja-Cosmit reservations. Thousands of tribal members have been evacuated, many to as far away as San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium which according to observers, was well provided to meet the challenges of the disaster. The 45 bison in a herd kept by the Mesa Grande are on the loose and tribal members remain evacuated. Fires caused water mains to burst at La Jolla. Fletcher has scheduled a meeting with tribal leaders and federal officials Oct. 30 to determine the extent of damages and plan the relief effort. He was particularly concerned about Mesa Grande and La Jolla who don’t have access to gaming revenues to help in rebuilding.