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Fires Rage In Southern California — Again

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living in California means you will be subjected to some form of a natural disaster sooner or later. Whether it is devastating rains that bring flash floods and mud slides, earthquakes or massive wind driven fires.

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So you would think that we are always on the ready and well prepared. Unfortunately most of the citizens in Southern Cal are blissfully unaware and haven’t a clue of what to do when a natural disaster strikes.

Having lived through two major earthquakes I learned my lesson and have two separate survival kits — one in the trunk of my car and the other right beside my bed.

But nothing prepares you for a raging wind driven fire that suddenly ignites your neighbourhood.

Television News would have you believe that the entire city of Los Angeles is ablaze — such is not the case. There are four major fires burning in Los Angeles County; Sylmar and Brea in the north west and Yorba Linda and Corona in the south east. They are about 64 miles apart and about 40 miles in each direction from where I live — but I can smell the smoke in the air and my throat feels dry.

These devastating infernos are spread by the high Santa Ana winds, which blow hot embers over large distances. When it’s all over we could have over a thousand structures destroyed!

The images playing on my television set all day are of family homes being burnt to the ground. It is hard to imagine what it must feel like to see everything you own all gone. Tomorrow we will see countless victims being gawked at and morbidly interviewed on television.

My hat goes off to those thousands of brave firefighters who literally take a last stand to save someone’s family home.

The one image I cannot forget is of a lone firefighter bracing himself on a chimney of a yet un-burnt home holding a fire hose and spraying water on a raging fire just ten feet away — all to cool the air so the home he was defending did not burn as well.

I want to thank all of these brave men and women and also extend my sorrow and prayers to every one who has been displaced by these fires or lost a home.

Here are interactive maps of the Los Angeles County fires: CBS 2 News

Posted 2020PT 11/15/08


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