The Cedar fire spread along SR-52, almost reaching the eastern edge of our community. The Union-Tribune report of October 26 2003 included the following statement : "The fire burned 3,000 acres on MCAS Miramar , but no aircraft or structures were damaged, Miramar spokeswoman Lt. Carolyn Nelson said. The blaze moved aggressively along Highway 52, spreading west to Interstate 805 and east to Highway 125, forcing the complete closure of Highway 52 ".
The graphic on the right was used in UC Connection's presentation to the City Council on Aug 1, 2006. It shows what could have happened in South UC if the Cedar fire had continued to move further west of I-805, which might well have happened if the wind had not changed direction. This was the scenario that former Fire Chief Jeff Bowman discussed in a television interview about the Cedar fire. If the fire had spread further west through San Clemente Canyon, then I-805, SR-52, I-5, south Regents Road, and south Genesee Avenue would have been blocked to traffic! As a result, the entire community of 14,000 residents in South University City would have had to escape to the north and, as things currently stand, there would have been only one escape route: Genesee Avenue. By the same token, emergency vehicles would have had only one access route - approaching from the north, coming south on Genesee . Chief Bowman also wrote a letter in which he pointed out the danger to our community of having such limited access for emergency services.
And how close did it really get? The small image to your right is taken from a news report. You can see that it swept west, passing Miramar and stopping at 805, by which time it was both north & south of SR-52.
  Here is an aerial photo, taken from the east of I-15, looking west. It shows the junction of I-15 (running left to right) and SR-52 (top to bottom). The flames & smoke are engulfing Miramar. To the left of the photo (south of SR-52) is the Kearny Mesa community (Ruffin Road, Chesapeake Dr., etc.)
To the right is another photo of I-15, with Miramar at the top right.
  And here are the fighter jets.....

Oak Canyon, moving towards SR52


Clairemont Mesa Blvd & I-15.
  And the final image, to your left, is an animation that shows how the fire progressed between October 20th & 28th 2003. Red = active fire, yellow = fire damage.