Local wildfire survivors assemble care packages for fire victims in Northern California

SAN DIEGO - A group of Scripps Ranch residents, some of whom lost homes in the 2003 Cedar Fire, are scheduled to assemble care packages Sunday for survivors of the deadly blazes in Northern California.

According to the group, Out of the Ashes, the packages will contain a system to help fire victims organize important forms, receipts and documents required during the recovery process. The system was used by Scripps Ranch residents after the Cedar Fire and passed on to those who lost homes in the outbreak of wildfires around the county four years later.

More than 300 homes in Scripps Ranch were destroyed by flames on Oct. 26, 2003, a day after the fire broke out in the East County mountains. The flames were driven by fierce Santa Ana winds toward populated areas.

In Northern California -- faced with similar weather conditions over the past couple of weeks -- more than 5,400 homes were destroyed and 4,100 damaged. The death toll stood at 42.

Scripps Ranch Civic Association president Bob Ilko and former president Wes Danskin plan to drive the boxes up to Santa Rosa on Monday.