The Fires This Time: Open Thread Edition
The original Correntewire post about the fires in our SoCal neck of the burning woods is here.
A.M. UPDATE: Corrente's Shystee posted a link (in comments) to Calitics, where one can find more information and related articles.
If you have anything at all to say on this subject, or news you would like to share, please do so.
Sign On San Diego has updates on the situation down south
And don't forget the Gulf Times which declares itself to be "Qatar's top-selling English language daily newspaper"
UPDATE: for anyone familiar with the Lake Arrowhead/Running Springs areas this link could interest you. It is transcription of what is on the scanner vis a vis the Grass Valley and Slide Fires...
UPDATE 11:00 a.m. PDST: Running Springs (still in the San Bernardino Mountains, just south of Lake Arrowhead) has seen a lot of homes destroyed since last night. The fire retardant-dropping DC-10 has made one successful (apprx. 15 minutes ago) pass and drop above Running Springs. Seeing that large aircraft pass less than five hundred feet above the trees is amazing, and then rising up after the drop as it nearly disappears in the massive smoke clouds--fingers crossed, ancient demiurges invoked, sighs released.
UPDATE 12:45 p.m. PDST: Modjeska Canyon is under attack from fire, and according to a report on ABC-7 it has been successfully evacuated. Named for Polish actress Helena Modjeska, it is a somewhat hidden and much treasured piece of California, immediately adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest. My grandparents built a cabin there in 1951--they lived there until 1968. In my backyard here in L.A. sits the old, black railroad/school bell that used to be on their property. It was used by the volunteer firemen to warn of calamity. Many memories for me up there: the stream that courses through there, the Bird Sanctuary, stories of 19th Century bandits' exploits as they were chased by early versions of California law enforcement (read the white guys). It is a vulnerable spot and difficult to defend.
Sorry if this seems like a protracted family tragedy for moi, but my story is not unlike other natives here in SoCal. Our stories intertwine, from refugees in San Diego to Lake Arrowhead, Agua Dulce/Saugus, Lake Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, Malibu and on. My mother was raised in Malibu--it was her parents who moved to Modjeska. Mom & Dad can't check on their property in Ramona (northeast San Diego County) as the entire community has been evacuated. One of my sisters has a condo near Foothill Ranch, west of Modjeska Canyon--her area was evacuated. My ex and her husband's home in Lake Arrowhead is more than likely one of the hundreds that have burned to the ground there. Me? I'm off to Lake Castaic: my wife, Donna, has rescued a corgi mix who is due to be released today. I'm thinking of naming him Prometheus.
UPDATE 6:30 p.m. PDST: Just got back from Lake Castaic area (with the rescued corgie mix--Donna [my wife] will not allow me to name him Prometheus, but his name has yet to be determined). Smoke was still rising in Castaic--first I noted large, billowing whitish smoke clouds around 3:30, which then went dark rather quickly. Helicopters were dipping down into Lake Castaic and drinking deeply before zipping off to the fire to spit all that water on the fire--the smoke went whitish again in short order.
Looking at the sunset through all that smoke was like tweaking the color function on my iPhoto all the way to the red zone. Smoky, red, blood orange, brackish, like a bbq in end times. Pretty beautiful, actually.
I spoke with my son--he told me the fire chief in the Grass Valley area seemed to be of the opinion that most of the Deer Lodge Park homes escaped the inferno--the fire took a turn (perhaps) around that section north of Lake Arrowhead and, as they say, gave my ex's house "a miss." I hope that is the case.
I'll leave this post sticky for a couple more hours (if no one protests) and then take it down by 9:00 p.m. PDST.
UPDATE 9:30 p.m. PDST: Going offline to spend time with my wife. The rescued corgie (Wally--don't ask) is with us, and our other dogs are pissed off about this development. Oh, well.
Many fires continue to burn throughout the southland tonight, with San Diego still the hardest hit...in future years there will be future fires as well. That's how it's supposed to be here, and had been, for thousands of years. The difference perhaps being that the brush didn't get as densely overgrown as there were no "managers" who practiced fire suppression. We screw with natural patterns at our peril (sound of me getting off my high horse and onto my soapbox). What is happening was predictable, not a fluke. Burn, baby, burn.
Perhaps in the future people will be advised to never be a sucker for an inside straight and never buy a house where the realtors have singed eyebrows.
More fire stories as the week progresses, but probably not by me. I am--you guessed it--burned out.