Southern California is Burning… Again

Living in Southern California is generally laid back.  When we think of preparation for emergencies, we usually prepare for an earthquake.  However, we have been inundated with fires over the past few years and yet we still seem to be surprised and unprepared for these disasters.

The bigger surprises and lack of preparation will become evident in a few weeks when the rain comes (according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this will be a wetter and colder winter than normal – and they are right 86% of the time).  We will then experience mud slides and earth shifts – it happens nearly every winter after any big fires.

The fires in So Cal began three days ago with one along the coast (Santa Barbara area – northwest of LA), one last night in the Newhall Pass (near Magic Mountain and very near to our home – north of LA), and another this morning in the Corona area (east of La) and has spread in two directions; northwest (Yorba Linda) and southwest (Anaheim Hills – near Disneyland).  It is heading for the homes of several of my friends – I recognized the Anaheim Hills neighborhood of one of my friends while watching the news on TV.  Here are some maps (click on it) that currently show the fire areas.  I’ve been watching KNBC 4 (click on it) all day.

The most interesting quotes I’ve heard today – one newscaster, when mentioning that 500 mobile homes had burned in a primarily senior citizen park, said “They don’t own the land, so they have lost everything they own.”  How sad it that?  Another quote that caught my attention was from our Lt. Governor.  When he was asked what these people can do, he replied “Well, they can’t be uninsured.”  That seemed like a typically helpful remark from an elected official.

The smoke is thick and the winds are strong (we call them Santa Ana winds – they blow along the Santa Ana river canyon from east to west, rather than our normal breeze from the ocean).

My son is at a middle school conference and just a few miles from Yorba Linda.  He didn’t take a cell phone, so we are hoping those in charge will use good judgement if the time comes to evacuate.  Thus far, more than 20,000 people have been evacuated from the fire areas.

If you think about those affected by these fires, please pray for their safety and for some kind of peace through these very anxious times.

Several news services are reporting on our current series of fires and have posted photos:

It is being reported by Reuters:

And in Chicago:

And Kansas:

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6 responses to “Southern California is Burning… Again

  1. Don,
    I will be keeping you and those in your area in my thoughts and prayers. The photos are a real visual for us midwesterners. We don’t have fires like that here.

    Thanks.
    Most people think of California as one big city, but we have huge tracts of open space and much of it is made up of steep hills (thanks to our earthquakes) and deep canyons (thanks to erosion). Many of these wild areas are surrounded by city (and the Los Angeles area is a good example of this), which makes it really tough to get to the fire to fight it. You’d think we would know better, but we like to think we are living in the wild while living in the city – and the wild has lots of brush to fuel fires.

  2. I grew up in Malibu and have vivid memories of many fires. I remember my parents giving my brothers and I trash bags and telling us to put our clothes and one toy in them. We’d load the bags, photo albums and a file of pertinent papers into the cars. The dog went in, too. The cars were parked facing out of the driveway, then we armed ourselves with wet towels and beat embers into submission. Eerie memories. I wish your family and friends good luck and safety.

    I can’t imagine that kind of drill on a regular basis, although I’ve been thinking through the day about what I would take if I did have to evacuate. The flames aren’t that close to us… yet, but thanks for thinking of us. I’m getting worried about a couple of friends because the fire is in their backyard – literally. It looks like a war zone throughout parts of Southern California.
    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. watched some of this on the morning news – the scale of the devastation is overwhelming… hurricane-force winds with fire? impossible odds for the firefighters.

    The winds are supposed to calm this morning so we are hoping for the best. I have some friends who were in San Diego yesterday and I’m hoping they made it home last night.

  4. leavingevangeline

    I hope you, your family and your friends are all safe! We have to deal with fires in the summer when everything is dry…and the winds are high…but NOTHING like you guys do.

    It seems y’all have a lot of odds against you: Wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides….

    I’ve heard from one set of friends and they are fine, but I haven’t heard from the ones in the Anaheim hills. They are the ones whose street I saw on the news with the fires about two blocks away. I’m hoping they are ok.
    You know, we choose to live here so we have to take what we get. We get about 400 earthquakes a week in California, but don’t feel most (if any) of them. We do get fires and often they have been arson. The mudslides are the thing that are the most worrisome of them all.
    Thanks for thinking of us.

  5. HOLY COW, how can you guys BREATHE? Be safe.

    Today was much, much better – fairly clear. I hear that although all fires aren’t yet out, there are no more homes threatened (at the moment).

  6. Pingback: Weekly fruit salad ~ 20++ « SanityFound’s Rambling’s

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