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Monday, October 22, 2007

SoCal Burns

This seems to be unbelievably bad. The winds were so bad that they were uprooting trees and downing power lines, which is not the conditions under which fires can be controlled.

I'm so thankful that my brother moved out of the area. I can't imagine the worry that friends and family are feeling, much less the misery of those who are in the middle of it, including the families of the police and firefighters. (Note: it is a fundamental rule of blogging courtesy for those in the area to keep posting every few hours, whether or not they have anything to say. See ExurbanNation for the proper way to handle the situation.)

Links. Jim Klinge. News8, San Diego blog. And Still I Persist has updates and photos. Brokers Outpost. Broker burned out. Calfire Blog. CR at Calculated Risk says he's okay in OC but smoked up.

Fire map here. There's an amazing expanse of CA exposed to fires and/or smoke emergencies. Sedgewick is Santa Barbara County. Ranch, Canyon and Buckweed are Los Angeles County. Santiago is in Orange County. There's another in Riverside, and a whole bunch in San Diego County. GeoMac is good for perimeter info, but at this point it is overwhelmed and out of date because most of the SoCal fires are moving so rapidly. Don't use it or any other "official" sources unless you really need the info, because many of them have succumbed to traffic overloads.

Pray for them all. They are evacuating and in some cases re-evacuating. The official shelters are filling up, because over 250,000 people are under evacuation orders. It's extremely difficult for people who have animals, especially large animals like horses. In some cases the telephone lines have been downed from winds and falling trees, so the automated telephone notifications aren't working.


Thanks so much for the links. We had to evacuate our home in SD today, and we're scrambling to keep tabs on the fire threatening our area.

Lots of people sleeping in area high schools, Qualcomm stadium or Del Mar Fairgrounds tonight. We're fortunate enough to have found a hotel that took in our dog, but we're thinking of those others tonight.
It is surreal seeing it on the news- can't imagine what it is like to have to live through it- and I never evne thought of the fact that they have horses!

Reading recently of Georgia's tinder dry conditions, could SoCal's tragedy happen there? Is it my imagination fueled by the news, or are we having a steady delivery of tragic events? it seems like between hurricanes, floods, and fires there has been just so much misery.
David, we'll be thinking of you! Stay safe and check back in as you can.

Ilona, I was just thinking about the same thing. SD does have regular fires, but this is epic. As for GA, the south got burned already this year - our house almost burned down last spring. It literally came right up to the house. I'll never, ever cease being grateful to the firefighters who saved it. I guess the north could get it this fall. It's wet here, though - the gulf wind is blowing steadily over our area.

The truth is, our area needs the tropical storms, and we have been short for two years.

Around SoCal there are some ranches and horse country, and a lot of those are jeopardized now. In some cases people moved their horses once and now the escape areas are threatened. They need the winds to die down, then rain. The conditions are horribly dangerous for the firefighters. Just unbelievably dangerous.
Is there any chance this was arson?
At least a couple of the fires are reported as being arson.
So people have found an old fashioned way to pay off their Mortgage.
It's probably more firebugs. In a population of that size, there are sure to be 30 to 40. They are a weird lot.

The authorities seem sure that Santiago was arson.

So far by my count over 200 homes have been burned.

The winds were taking down power lines which caused some of the big fires. A lot of the fire planes were grounded sporadically because of wind and smoke conditions. The winds were so bad that some commercial aircraft had to divert.
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