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Archive for the ‘fire’ Category

Fire.  We typically think it a good thing, unless it engulfs a prairie, attacks our home, or comes from the sky in the form of a meteor – then it’s not so good.

At one point in my childhood, Dad drove a ’73 Ford Econoline van. That van experienced an engine fire once and after it was repaired, we all got to smell the result of the fire for 10 hours on the next family vacation.  

Today, uncontrolled flames are torching the landscape and cityscapes of Southern California. It is beyond our imaginations. The smoke, the fire, the smell, the devastation. Satellite shots of smoke trails and video coverage of firefighters battling the blaze do not do justice to the fire’s enormity and severity. 

More than a half-million people have been evacuated from their homes. A friend’s daughter who goes to the University of San Diego flew back to Minneapolis on Tuesday and isn’t sure when she’ll return.

Today the LA Times reported:

The scale of the relocations was most visible at Qualcomm, the 60,000-seat home of the San Diego Chargers. Cots lined concrete gangways. Tents were pitched near tunnel entrances, and the three-quarter-full parking lot ringing the arena was doubling as a campground. Mountains of disposable diapers, stacks of bottled water and other supplies were everywhere.

In three areas of the stadium’s second floor, medical teams were treating 350 to 500 patients from nursing homes, assisted living centers and independent living facilities, said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health.

Indeed, the crowd in and around the stadium appeared to be represent a broad cross-section of San Diego County: Longhaired motorcycle riders and retired couples from Rancho Bernardo; working-class families and others clearly middle-class.

Whenever people must flee to a football stadium for safety, I start to worry. Reminiscent of Katrina, will our state and federal governments fail to do what’s needed in support of the thousands who are losing their homes, jobs, belongings – and in worst cases – losing loved ones who got caught in the blaze?

Let’s pray the winds die down, a cooling rain falls over this part of the country and the fires subside so those affected can retake their lives that are, for now, dictated by the very same fire cave dwellers rejoiced in when they fell upon its discovery.

-end-

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