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: