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Fire On Sycamore Drive, Twin Oaks Valley (3 December 2020)
Updated by W.P. Armstrong 12 December 2020
This fast-moving fire started on Sycamore Drive near Cox Road on a very windy day amidst a red flag alert. According to SDGE crew, a power pole weakened by rot was downed by strong Santa Ana winds. A high voltage line sparked in the dry brush, setting off the blaze. The fire swept through a preserve of native California sycamores (Platanus racemosa). This is one of the areas where I have conducted my research on ants of Twin Oaks Valley and a record-breaking mite: the world's fastest land animal! The area is less than a mile from the Wayne's Word headquarters. Quick action by the San Marcos Fire Dept. and Cal Fire put out the flames before they spread to nearby homes and Twin Oaks Elementary School. Of course, the red fire retardant (Phos-Check) dropped from Cal Fire air tankers and helicopter water drops helped enormously to extinguish the blaze and limit the fire to 3 acres. This fire was fanned by strong easterly Santa Ana winds (blowing from the east) and could have been much worse..
  Wayne's Fire Ecology Article: Ashes To Wildflowers  
  Sycamores of Sycamore Drive, San Marcos, CA

Following 3 Images:

Cal Fire Air Tanker Dropping Red Phos-Check Fire Retardant: These Are Grumman
S-2T, Formerly U.S. Navy Carrier-Based Planes Used For Anti-Submarine Warfare

Can you see a face in the bright red Phos-Check fire retardant drop?

Bell Helicopter: Possibly a Bell 205 A++ Type II

There is a faint power line running from the nearby power pole (red arrows) to the ground where the firefighters are standing. This is approximately where a power pole was standing prior to the strong winds that blew it over.

San Diego Gas & Electric repairing downed power pole at intersection of Sycamore Drive and Cox Road (5 December 2020). The pole was weakened by rot according to SDGE crew and was blown down by strong Santa Ana winds from the east. The sparking high voltage line in brush started a fire that burned toward the west. Luckily it burned away from housing development on east side of Sycamore Drive.

Two Post-Burn Images
Large California sycamores (Platanus racemosa) with blackened trunks will probably survive the fire. In fact, some of these old-timers have sprouted from previously downed trees many decades ago. In addition, this native species can stump sprout after fire. By the way, California sycamores can live for hundreds of years. A sycamore tree in California's Sycamore Grove Park (Livermore, CA) was dated at 300 years old. It was a seedling before the Spanish arrived in 1776. The Spanish word for sycamore is aliso and the scholarly taxonomic journal of Racho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is El Aliso.
This lovely grove of sycamores and open space is dedicated to the memory of three past residents of this area. Without their kindness and generosity these beautiful old trees would undoubtedly be replaced by houses or another form of urbanization.

This Is One Of The Survey Areas Where I Made Some Interesting Discoveries

A Record-Breaking Mite At Walnut Grove Park In
Twin Oaks Valley, City Of San Marcos, California
  The Mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis: World's Fastest Land Animal  
  Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley Part One  
  Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley Part Two