Post-Fire Report
October 27, 2007

Hundreds, if not thousands, of acres of the San Dieguito River Park were burned from the Witch Creek fire, which followed almost exactly the boundaries of the Park's focused planning area from Lake Sutherland to Rancho Santa Fe. The Park Headquarters located on Sycamore Creek Road in the San Pasqual Valley (at the northwestern edge of Poway) was completely destroyed (see photos below), including tractors, trucks and tools.  The office was a small woodframe structure dating to the 1920's.  In addition, the circa 1880 Sikes Adobe Historic Farmhouse was also lost.  Please see the article below for more information about the fire at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmhouse.  River Park officials and staff will be conducting an assessment of the extent of damage to the park in the coming days and weeks.  Dick Bobertz, San Dieguito River Park Executive Director, said, "Although this is a major setback for the River Park, we will turn it to our advantage to plan ahead in ways we might not have thought of before.  With our terrific staff and wonderful volunteers we'll put the pieces back together sooner than anyone would expect." 

We will update the Park's website at as additional information becomes available.

As soon as the River Park has a new mailing address and phone numbers we will upload that information.  In the meantime, you can reach most of the SDRP staff by email (click here for email address information).

 Our grateful appreciation goes to the many River Park supporters and volunteers who have rallied in this time of trouble with words of comfort to ease the pain.  We know we can count on everyone's continued support as we move forward to rebuild, reenergized to continue our mission to preserve and interpret the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley.

Below is a picture of all that remains at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmhouse, taken 10/23/07 at 7 a.m. by SDRP supporter Cathrine Laguna. (
Click here to see information about the Sikes Adobe, its history, its 2003 restoration and scenes from better days.)  Click here to see more post-fire pictures. All the wood on the farmhouse is gone, but the original 1870 adobe walls are still standing - probably as a result of the steel beams that the City of San Diego required our restoration contractor to put in place in accordance with current City code.

Note too that the windmill installed by the Escondido and Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Clubs did not burn! It looks like the garden beds built as an Eagle Scout project are still there too, along with Mrs. Sikes's palm trees.

Working with our dedicated Sikes' docents, volunteers, supporters, and consultant historians and architect, we will begin by stabilizing and protecting what remains at the site, then take the opportunity to do additional historic research where the ground has been cleared, and then begin the rebuilding process.

We know that many of you are anxious to get back out using the River Park's Coast to Crest Trail and other link trails.  Unfortunately, in most places the trails are still too dangerous for use due to downed power lines and burned trees.  Our ranger staff is currently evaluating the conditions of the trails.  Please check our website Trails page to find out which trails are open and which are closed.