Tag: wildfires

Post-Fire Post

(Cut and paste diary from comments-that-would-not-stop on dkos,, but begun here in a comment to my man on the spot, ta da

CatfishBlues, who said

May Gray

We’re in almost drizzle conditions, everything is moist but no run-off. That should really help the firefighters out today


I said

Just got a report from our house sitter.

Man, did we ever get lucky.  And it’s hard to know how much fire fighting had to do with it.  There was a lot of grass in the very large yard next door–it’s burned.  There is burning underneath the huge pine tree and a lot of trees are blackened.  We had just taken out loads and loads of dead material out of that pine and a lot of kindling from beneath the pine.  I’m quite certain that we would have had no chance if we hadn’t done that just last week.  The grass is burned right up to the house on the downwind side of the house.  She said that looks as though the firemen did a controlled burn there.  So, a lot of blackened trees, some of our plants right next to the house are completely gone, but no damage to the house.  I’m thinking most of the charring is more from the heat than the actual fire.

We picked up one tip which a fireman gave her as she was leaving.  He said to leave the lights on in your house in case they have to come back in the night or in heavy smoke, it helps them find the house and see what’s going on better in fighting fire.

So, that’s how the Jesusita Fire affected me.  There is going to be a lot of clean-up, and we’ll be doing some new planting near the house, but we’ll be able to sit on our patio and from there it’ll look as though nothing happened.

General news:  Still foggy, high humidity, calm air, low temperatures.  Fire is 40% contained and everyone can return home except those in the highest reaches.  The southern part of the fire–toward the ocean, must be contained.  And the evidently prevented its spilling over the ridge along Camino Cielo.  My guess is that the fighting is now on the east and west fronts, which are in residential areas.  They are estimating complete containment by Wednesday.

I can’t wait to hear the stories of all the firemen did in this blaze.  The number of houses still standing in the midst of burn areas is incredible.

Thanks to everyone for all the support of me and of everyone affected by the fire.  It’s really good to have a place to turn.

A Warm Heart-Felt Over-Flowing



Firefighters Make Heroic Stand at San Rocque and Foothill.

The morning brings welcome news that densely populated neighborhoods of delightful adobe homes with small gardens have been largely saved from the fire, at least as of the early morning hours.

Calling from the field around 1 a.m., reporter Ethan Stewart, standing just below San Roque and Foothill called the area a “ghost town on the State Street side.” The fire was making a run down San Roque toward downtown.

The fire is only a few hundred yards from Foothill in the San Roque area, but doesn’t appear to be burning any houses at the moment thanks to the firefighters concerted effort to hold Foothill Road.


An hour later, Stewart said that all things considered it seemed somewhat quiet thanks to firefighters’ heroic efforts. The fire is still being held off Foothill Road.

This is referring to an area where the houses are much more densely packed–charming adobes with small yards packed into neighborhoods leading right into the downtown area.  Working 24-hour shifts, the firefighters seem to have averted a catastrophe in the night.  A heavy helicopter presence was also reported in the swirling winds and blinding smoke.

Anarchism and the Fire Department

In my last post in my “Quotes for Discussion” series, I posted quotes from both 19th Century and current anarchists.  In response, both andgarden and Meteor Blades brought up the issues of private firefighters and private police forces.

While I didn’t mention it at the time, of course there are many private police forces.  And not simply mercenaries like Blackwater; anyone visiting a bank, a shopping mall, or a gated community is familiar with private security guards.  But I didn’t think there were private firefighters out there.  Naturally, I was wrong

“What we’re trying to do here is provide our policyholders an additional level of protection,” said Stan Rivera, director of wildfire protection for AIG Private Client Group. The average home insured by the unit is valued at $1.7 million.

AIG this year expanded its Wildfire Protection Unit to 150 ZIP codes in California and Colorado, up from 14 when it was formed in 2005. The unit has had the busiest week since its inception as fires burned at least 719 square miles (1,861 square kilometers) from Santa Barbara to San Diego, destroying 1,342 homes and 34 businesses and causing at least seven deaths.

Fires are Burning

This was the evening news from Armageddon…

After discovering a suspicious man in a brush area on the San Bernardino campus  of California State University, police attempted to detain a 27-year-old on suspicion of arson.
Following a chase, officers opened fire and killed him, police said.

“They thought there could be the possibility that he’s an arsonist,” Patterson said. The area “is in the path of the fire.”

Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across southern California, authorities said Thursday.

As wildfires were charging across Southern California, nearly two dozen water-dropping helicopters and two massive cargo planes sat idly by, grounded by government rules and bureaucracy.

A news crew was taping a cabinet meeting at the White House as the president was giving a briefing on the California wildfires. The news crew taped Cheney as he appeared to be nodding off.

“There’s all kinds of time for historians to compare this response to that response,” Bush said during a tour of the state’s fire-ravaged communities.

A lot of people are going to lose their homes today,” San Diego Fire Capt. Lisa Blake predicted earlier.

According to estimates, nearly 1 million southern Californians have been displaced in the biggest evacuation in state history as a result of at least 16 simultaneous wildfires. More than 350,000 houses have been evacuated.

People who need it can get help with “home reprayer – repair,” said the president, handing out the FEMA phone number and Web-site for victims of the wildfires.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger is right. These fires are going to go out… but there are still going to be needs and concerns,” Bush said. “We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.”

These fires are going to go out, and hard work will remain, but I am not counting on Bush to set things right. After the jump, I will tell you what you can do right now to help the people hurt by this crisis.

Wooooonderful Things

California Wildfires

Governor George Bush toured the damage today in California popping up like Alfred E. Newman from one ruined dream to the next, smiling while walking on the remnants of people’s destroyed lives and livelihoods.  In his photo op he said that the Federal Government has every intention of helping out.  Once again leaving himself an out.  The man that will commit to nothing but illegal war and torture.

So what’s a burned out homeowner to do in these troubled times of global warming?  Luckily the White House was quick to respond with a hand written list.  Experts say the handwriting looks a lot like Barbara Bush’s style but will need at least three tv talking heads to confirm their hunch before coming forward.  Jump to see the list. 


My hear truly goes out to those suffering as California burns.

My husband lived there, and agrees that it is one of the nicest pieces of real estate on Earth.

This essay was originally a response, and got trashed as unsympathetic.  It is not.  But a comparison needed to be made here folks.  Not all are rich and white, but one has to wonder if the response would be as quick in the slums or barrios of LA, as it is up in LaJolla, Del Mar, or San Diego.

This is about GWB’s administration, FEMA and the response.

My heart still bleeds for thousands in danger in California, but I still have to offer this food for thought.

FREE SERVICES and MORE for CA Fire Victims

I live in CA, and am luckily up north.  I am fortunate that my friends and family in So Cal are safe.  I have been receiving a lot of info regarding services, benefits, and more, and wanted to share them with you all.  Hopefully, you can share this info in kind, with those you know who are in need, or maybe can take time to donate or volunteer with these efforts.  Continue beyond the fold, please…

Also in Orange
First in Awesome

Live Blog- The California Fires

For any southern Californians, or friends or loved ones of southern Californians, who need a place to talk, commiserate, or check in, please use this as an open thread. Our thoughts are with all of you.

The Texans Next Door

I was bummed several years back when some stupid, racist, loud, Republican Texans moved in next door.  (There goes the neighborhood!!)  They put up a 15-foot flagpole right in the middle of my view up the valley – an otherwise “pristine” view.  Do I hate my country?  Am I patriotic?  Me, I think nations and empires are ephemera – they pass in the blink of an eye compared to the mountains that snag rain out of the clouds and send it down to water the landscape.  How we all live has, should have, to do with things much deeper than lining up behind a flag.

I asked them to move the flagpole.  Offered to pay for it.  The reply?  A nasty letter from a lawyer.  And they hoisted Old Glory up, and left it there for two solid weeks – day and night, through storms including a hailstorm.  They were gonna show me!  Violate the basic rules of respect for the flag to spite me!

Lovely, life here in the bucolic countryside.


A coupla years later, in 2003, we had a medium-sized forest fire nearby which flared up on the 4th of July.  Named the Encebado fire, it was started by lightning and burned about 5,400 acres.