Old Wildfire - 2003

California's worst brush fires

The Old Fire was a wildfire that started on October 25, 2003 in the San Bernardino Mountains of the U.S. state of California. It was one of at least a dozen wildfires burning around Southern California at this time (which included the Cedar Fire, the largest fire in California history). Fanned by the Santa Ana winds, the fire burned 91,281 acres, destroyed 993 homes and caused 6 deaths. The final cost of the fire was forty-two million dollars. A USFS report on the "true" combined costs of the 2003 Old Fire, Padua, and the Grand Prix wildfires which burned at the same time was nearly 1.3 Billion. When cleanup, watershed damages and other costs were considered beyond the mere "bill" for firefighting and property damage, wildfire impacts are now much higher in costs.

The fire threatened San Bernardino and Highland, as well as the mountain resort communities of Cedar Glen, Crestline, Running Springs and Lake Arrowhead and forcing upwards of 80,000 residents to evacuate their homes. This was one of the many fires that hit Southern California in 2003 causing billions of dollars of insured and uninsured fire damage. Fire insurance rates in the outlying areas went up dramatically after these fires.

Disclaimer: Data source USDA. Use this map and borders for reference only. CCCarto is not responsible for data errors or omissions.