Devastation

I took this photo of the La Canada Flintridge fire yesterday from 40 m (64 km) away.

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Since then the fire has increased to an area of over 35,000 acres (142 square km). Over 10,000 homes are threatened, some power lines are down, a number of communities are being evacuated.

The high heat does not help; temperatures have fallen from over 100 F, but the weather forecast predicts temperatures still in the high to middle 90s range for the next few days. More than 1,800 firefighters are up there, battling the flames, ten helicopters and eight air tankers are dropping water on the blaze, a DC-10 is unloading fire retardants in certain threatened areas.

Everyone is hoping for lower temperatures, more humidity and that the winds stay down. We all are following the reports and updates with knots in our stomachs.

4 Replies to “Devastation”

  1. No hopes of that, I’m afraid.

    They are bringing in some planes from Canada now, so-called Super Scooper water-dropping tankers; those should arrive here on Tuesday.

    It is not looking good right now, the fire is spreading steadily in all directions. One problem is Mt. Wilson – the fire has approached to about 2 miles from there; if it should get to the top, then quite a number of important communications towers are in danger.

    Right now firefighters are trying to protect the communities in the Foothills plus Mt. Wilson and to keep the fire within the boundaries of highway 14 and Interstate 5.

  2. Yes, it certainly does. One huge problem is the urban-wilderness-interface (I don’t know how to express this any other way). People want to move into areas where they should not live, because while those areas are pretty, they are also dangerous when fires start.

    I grew up in a city with a river running through it, which is prone to flooding. When you visit this city, you will notice that a comparatively small river is running through wide, wide areas of meadows. I have often heard visitors say “Why is nobody living there? It is so beautiful. What a waste of space. Houses would bring high prices.”

    These beautiful meadows, these wasted spaces are flood meadows! No building permits are handed out for this very reason; and nobody living in the region would even contemplate such a silly thought.

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