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2003 Cedar fire

The 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County was the state’s worst in 75 years. Here, a water-dropping helicopter attacks flames in the town of Descanso, east of San Diego. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Duncan McFetridge covers his pickup truck as smoke billows in the background in the town of Descanso. McFetridge decided not to leave the area during the 2003 Cedar fire. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A firefighter is silhouetted against flames (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The remains of two people were found in the shell of this car. Authorities believe they tried to get to a nearby reservoir to escape the flames in the 2003 Cedar fire near the Lake View Hills Estates area of San Diego County. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Judi Richardson of Crest, left, gets a hug from friend Pat Brady in what remains of her burned-out home, which was destroyed by the 2003 Cedar fire. She had rebuilt it, using 22-pound adobe blocks for the exterior and 3/4-inch Spanish tile for the roof, after a fire tore through eastern San Diego County in 1970. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
A cross and flowers are left in memory of John and Quynh Pack, who died at this site during the Cedar fire. Six of their neighbors also died in the remote canyon neighborhood known as Strange Way. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Crest resident Judi Richardson rescues her cat Cali from the debris of her home. The cat survived by hiding on a neighboring property that didn’t burn. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Greg Cooke finds his childhood piggy bank with Susan B. Anthony coins amid a burned-out storage shed along Muth Valley Road in San Diego County’s Wildcat Canyon. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Homes lie in ruins in San Diego’s Scripps Ranch neighborhood after the Cedar fire in 2003. (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)
Kate Trongale discovers a photograph while sifting through the rubble of her Loire Valley home, which burned to the ground in the Cedar fire. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
The branch of a burned tree overhangs the site of the Cedar fire. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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