San Diego County, California

Cocos Fire Recovery

On May 14, 2014 the Cocos Fire in north San Diego County scorched 1,995 acres and destroyed 36 homes in San Marcos and the Harmony Grove region of Escondido.   The massive arson fire began as a small ember, which was started in the backyard of a Washingtonia Avenue home.  In addition to the significant loss of property and other human impacts, the fire also imposed environmental effects.

As part of TECC’s commitment to land management within the Escondido Creek watershed, we are monitoring how different habitat types are recovering in the wake of the Cocos Fire.  Part of this entails a visual documentation of representative habitat types.  Every month we send out our volunteer amateur photographers to consistently capture pictures of affected grassland, oak woodland, chaparral, and riparian sites.  This effort is a five-year project that will continue until May 2019.  At the end of the project TECC will create a time-lapse video, comprised of all the photos taken at each site, which will visualize how that area is recovering.  In the meantime, you can follow the progress of this project here.  We will be posting the most up-to-date before-and-after photos for each location regularly.  The project will be used to help us monitor which native plant species are recovering naturally and which may require additional assistance due to severe ecological degradation.

We also commissioned a study to access ecological damage in the area.  Read more here:

Cocos Fire Recovery Progress

Click on the images below to see photographs of several Cocos Fire burn sites over time

Oak Woodland




Chaparral GigaPan