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California on fire and burning rapidly

#1
SAN DIEGO - Faced with unrelenting winds whipping wildfires into a frenzy across Southern California, firefighters conceded defeat on many fronts Tuesday to an unstoppable force that has chased an estimated 1 million people away.

Unless the shrieking Santa Ana winds subside, and that's not expected for at least another day, fire crews say they can do little more than try to wait it out and react — tamping out spot fires and chasing ribbons of airborne embers to keep new fires from flaring.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071024...ldfires_200;_ylt=AuFxRxmYtQkXWXY9FlMansoL1vAI

Looks mighty scary on TV. Must be horrible for the people on the ground. Apparently, the fire has already consumed an area the size of New York City.

Camp Pendleton, the biggest Marine Corps base in the world is under evacuation notice.

What a disaster.
 

Attachments

#2
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the flames were threatening 68,000 more homes.
I wonder how much the clean-up will cost. I mean on top of the houses, there's the surrounding bushland etc.

Hope it stops soon.
 
#4
Won't be any fuss at all if it was in Louisiana ala Katrina.

A few people are losing multimillion dollar homes and now the who's who of the media is over there elbowing each other for position (especially the folks at FoxNoise all in an effort to paint a rosy picture of the goverment's efficiency.) Not to say the fire departments are not doing a good job, this might well prove the golden opportunity to paint over past mistakes the gov made and rob the FDs of the glory they so well deserve after all this is over.

It looks bad for sure, but the swiftness in which Homeland Security is tackling this makes me wonder if they don't see this as an opportunity to regain some dignity after the natural incompetency they displayed after Katrina.

Edited just a little bit.
 
#5
Devil_Dog said:
Won't be any fuss at all if it was in Louisiana ala Katrina.

A few people are losing multimillion dollar homes and now the who's who of the media is over there elbowing each other for position.

It looks bad for sure, but the swiftness in which Homeland Security is tackling this makes me wonder if they don't see this as an opportunity to regain some dignity after the natural incompetency they displayed after Katrina.
It would probably make for better looting too I'd say, and imagine all those pissy little handbag dogs running about smelling of burnt toe nails.
 
#7
I was in touch with a cousin who lives in SanDiego today. His wife's job closed due to fire and he worked from home on the computer. He said no need to evacuate today. There were fires to north, south and east. Problem is SantaAnna wind always comes from the east. He said smoke is very heavy. Wife has athsma and it is bothering her. They went to every drugstore/chemist they could find looking for masks but none to be had.
They're nice kids in 20's. I just wish they would put some clothes and the dog in the car and head for some other state with no fires for a while.

I'm not from there but California seems pretty well run, At least not the idiots running Louisiana during Katrina.
 
#9
There are reports that there were millionaires up in Malibu who refused point-blank to evacuate which meant that the authorities had to divert more resources to keep those morons alive. Accordingly, essential kit- such as air tankers- wasn't been able to make down to other fires- such as San Diego- in time, where the fires are reportedly much worse. Seems pretty typical of officials' response in LA County- i.e. bending over backwards to suit the rich and famous while everyone else gets fcuked. Incidentally. I really don't know why people live in Malibu. Mudslides when it's wet, fires when it's dry and being sat on a hillside with a house on stilts is possibly the last place on earth I'd want to be in an earthquake.

The San Diego Fire Dept had a much more down-to-earth and practical appraoch. "You don't want to leave? Well, you'd better get your garden hose. Via con Dios, amigo. You're on your own." Oddly enough, most people start playing ball.

Overall, though, it's been a bloody good effort as far as I can tell. Bush is coming here tomorrow- hopefully Arnold will tell him to leave the cash behind, get back on Air Force 1 and do one.
 
#12
I was in Camp Pendleton last month and there were a load of restrictions on the trg areas because they reckoned the place was so dry it was only a matter of time before it went up.
 
#14
The clan wotan was lucky enough to visit So Cal back in August. Beautiful area and extremely friendly people. Our prayers and best wishes to all those displaced (yeah, even the multi-millionaires). Losing a home is losing a home and not everyone there is rich, by any means.

From the reports we are receiving on the news here in Canuckistan, seems like aid efforts are going extremely well, but the poor firefighters are simply exhausted. They have put forward an outstanding effort and thankfully, we haven't heard of any lives lost. Hope it stays that way.
 
#15
Winds have died down enough for the water bombers to do their thing in SD. Until now the water/retardent was getting dispersed by 70kt gusts. Don't know about you lot, but I don't fancy mountain flying 150ft above burning trees in conditions like that. Big brass ones on those boys and girls- especially the DC-10 crew. Take a look at the footage from those guys- low and slow Flaps and slats hanging out and three huge engines that take a long time to spool up to power. Talk about being in coffin corner.

They do expect the fires to run, in part, until November unless it starts raining at some point. (We've had maybe 2 days of rain since March).

Wotan, FYI 2 dead from burns, at least 5 more from related causes (lung disease, killed in accident while evacuating, heart attack etc.)

Word is the that the fires in Orange County are acts of arson.
 
#16
Crab,

Very sorry to hear about the loss of life. It hasn't made the news up here, at least that I've watched/heard, but it is no less tragic.

As this may be arson, would the culprits, if caught, be liable to be charged with murder, manslaughter or some like offence? It won't help the dead, I know, but it may deter some firebug in the future.
 
#17
Another 6 bodies were found late on Thursday, but the story today has been FEMA's stage management.

They decided to hold a press conference. They provided a TV feed but gave the journalists a whopping 15mins advance notice. The "reporters" asking questions at the conference which aired on all the news networks were actually FEMA employees. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly Paxman on Newsnight stuff.
 

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