Thursday, October 25, 2007
You can't go anywhere without hearing about the fires in California. Even here on the East Coast (in NC), we're hearing the news on TV, on the radio, etc. The devastation being caused by the uncontrolled flames and the Santa Ana winds is driving many from their homes for safety and in a lot of cases leaving many homeless.
My wife was actually born in San Diego, and her parents lived in Twenty-Nine Palms for a number of years while my father-in-law was stationed with the Marines there. Her aunt and uncle still live in Chula Vista, south of San Diego but north of the border to Mexico.
I've been to the San Diego area many times over the years - mostly for the Comic-Con and to visit my friends who lived there. Some have since moved from there, but others still remain there. I haven't heard from them all yet, so all I can do is hope and pray they're surviving the ordeal.
We were actually on vacation in Palm Springs back in 2004 during the late October time frame. I recall when the Santa Anas were blowing in. On the day we were to head out to come back home, we were driving back to John Wayne Airport through the mountains. We could see the smoke rising in the distance and of course were concerned with how close the fires might be or if they'd have an impact on our flight schedule, etc.
I can't imagine what the people are going through with the uncontrolled fires this year and every year. To know that something is on its way, heading for your home and family, and the only thing you can do is pack whatever might fit in your car and take off - that's just a horrible feeling. We sometimes get that here on the East Coast when hurricanes are heading in-land. Sure, there are things you can do to minimize damage like boarding up windows, etc. But, with fire, that's a whole other animal. Fire is the great purger with nothing to stop it other than the rains or other means of dousing. Unfortunately, combine the fires with draught conditions - which actually help the fires to spread to begin with - and you're talking about a disaster that is difficult contain.
I'm sorry to see a part of the country I love so much going through such pain. My prayers are with everyone there struggling to keep their lives together in the face of such tragedy.