Monday, October 22, 2007

Where there's smoke...

...there are fires. Fifteen, at last count (and the number is growing), consuming hundreds of thousands of acres between the Mexican border and north Los Angeles County. Homes are being destroyed, people are being evacuated (more than 250,000 in San Diego County alone) and firefighters are working beyond exhaustion.

No fires are close to my area, but the air is heavy with smoke. I'm grateful for that, even though breathing is difficult and my eyes are burning.

The light is indescribable. With the sun barely showing through the foul smoke, even the reflections on the waves seem to be on fire...



Some of the fires were caused by falling power lines in the high winds; others are being blamed on arsonists. That's a standard pattern here; when one fire starts, the sickos come out to start more.

I feel deep sympathy for those who have been displaced, hurt or have lost possessions in the fires.

But it also must be said that the disaster has been magnified by the foolishness of those who build in areas historically known as fire targets, whether the individual multimillion-dollar pads in Malibu (which, by reason of topography and vegetation, suffers such fires almost annually) or the tens of thousands of homes in developments built on what were once dry, open lands in known fire paths.

It won't be long before all these people are rebuilding in the same places. And then the whole sorry scenario will play out again.

9 comments:

Birdie said...

I've been following the news about the fires.... it always sadens me.

That picture is scary, too.....

You can't really blame the people who buy the places, but the ones who build and sell them... the buyers often don't know better (out-of-towners).

Take care!

sugarcane said...

I feel badly for the working-class folk who are displaced by the fires. Living paycheck to paycheck, then having no place to go, has got to be scary.

betty said...

My friend lives right in the middle of it. I talked to her today and they called for evacuation. She's waiting to see if they really have to go. Her husband's very ill so it's hard for them to just pick up and leave.
I'm glad it isn't close to you.

lowandslow said...

Remember the definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result." Rebuilding there is insane...it's gonna happen again.

joan said...

Goodness! I haven't been watching any news. How frightening. Be safe Scribbs.

emd said...

Yeah, Scrib. The light WAS indescribable. And, ash all over the place. My eyes are kind of burning right now. About 4 PM, I got a call...a friend of mine lives down in Vista, and is being evacuated right now...along with his two kids and their kids who live nearby. I turned on the news, and could not believe it. I-15 has been shut down, and they think they are going to evacuate like 300,000 people. Unreal.

Birdie said...

I'm afraid my folks will get affected by the smoke...especially my mom's asthma. During the last fire they had to pack up and be prepared to leave, even though they live in the middle of a big city, as you know! I know the town of Ramona well... a nice quaint little town which, from what I've heard, has been evacuated... unbelievable! it makes me cry....

MrScribbler said...

Birdie -- I hope your folks are safe from it and don't get too much of the smoke. I know Ramona, too...beautiful place. The whole thing is just too sad.

John said...

Opportunities for better ways to build in disaster areas seem abundant, but rarely happen.
I wonder where all those people go. The roads must be a mess. I hope some heavy rain shows up.
I hope the people make it through safely. And that the arsonists get consumed in the flames.