One man who was there from the beginning of the park, and eventually, the toll road designs which fell upon San Onofre’s backcountry, is retired California State Parks ranger, surfer, and Senior Advisor to the San Onofre Foundation, Steve Long, who spent almost his entire outdoor career at Trestles.
Jacques Lord’s Re-Building Odyssey
A member of San Diego Environmental Professionals and a macrobiotic geologist who writes technical documents for environmental remediation projects, Jacques Lord first appeared on Treehuggers International in September 2007 to broadly discuss with Tommy the show’s goals and latitude for topics.
Barely three weeks later, Jacques’ world, and his family’s, was turned upside-down when they lost their home in the Westwood neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo to the Witch Creek Fire.
Opting for Half-Full on a Road Less Traveled
Nearly 18 months later, Jacques is nearing completion on re-building his home to the highest Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design standards, or LEED, as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In just a few months, Jacques will become one of the first homeowners in Southern California who has built to LEED standards from the ground-up, and perhaps the only homeowner who lost a home in the October 2007 wildfires to re-build in such a manner.
In addition to describing the step-by-step planning and building of his new house, overcoming obstacles from insurance companies and reluctant builders, and trying to find availablility and the right quantity of green building supplies with help from the California Center for Sustainable Energy and Greenspark, Jacques also speaks candidly about the frightening morning when he and his family found their lives changed forever.
The Witch Creek Fire destroyed over 1,000 homes the morning of October 22, 2007, mostly in Rancho Bernardo but also across Lake Hodges In Escondido, in Poway and Ramona, killing two people and injuring nearly 40 firefighters.
Blown to the west through the San Dieguito River Valley by superheated, ultra-dry Santa Ana Winds, the Witch Creek Fire destroyed nearly everything in the 200,000 acres it scorched, with showers of fire-setting embers arriving a full hour before the tornadic firestorm cell itself.
Always an inspirational, thoughtful guest, it is a pleasure to welcome our friend Jacques Lord back to Treehuggers International. You can read more about Jacques’ harrowing story here, and “a future we never chose nor planned.”
More about this post at:
- Our House Is Gone, Jacques Lord essay
- Jacques Lord: Environmental Speaker and Magician, Gig Salad profile
- U.S. Green Building Council, official website
- SDGE Agrees to Pay $6.4 Million for Damages in Witch Creek Fire (Ramona Patch; 9/18/12)
- In Fire Blame Game, SDGE Wants a Blank Check (Voice of San Diego; 2/14/12)
- Tons of Questions (San Diego Union-Tribune; 8/3/08)
- Experiences Range from Nightmare to Construction Plans (San Diego Union-Tribune; 4/20/08)
- San Diego Failing At Fire Safety (USA Today; 2/19/08)
- Power Lines Blamed for Witch Creek, Rice Canyon Fires (North County Times; 11/17/07)
- Raging Wildfires Sweep California Communities, interactive map (USA Today; 10/26/07)
- Witch Creek Blaze Hits R.B. Hardest (Pomerado Times; 10/25/07)
- Infernos Surge Toward Coast (North County Times; 10/23/07)
- Hundreds of Homes Consumed In Wildfires (KGTV-TV; 10/23/07)
- Witch Creek Fire’s Toll: 750 Homes Destroyed Or Damaged (San Diego Union-Tribune; 10/23/07)