San Diego Heatwave Again. Fires and Hot Wind.
Canyons like this one are where the fires thrive with houses just above the ridge line.
Lest we think the fires only effect those working on them or losing homes, let us look.
This just gives an idea of the disruption that the fires cause and you can imagine it is only the tip of the iceberg. School closures, graduation delays, huge smoke danger, monumental costs, and now we think loss of life. But there is what we call a fire in the air and tempers flare and life just cannot adapt fast enough to keep an even keel.
05/16/2014-03:30:AM PST Shelters Providing Assistance to Almost 250 People 05/16/2014-12:40:AM PST Evacuations Lifted for Del Dios Corridor, Mt. Israel Areas of San Marcos 05/16/2014-12:15:AM PST Some Evacuation Notices Lifted in San Marcos 05/15/2014-06:52:PM PST All Carlsbad Evacuations Lifted 05/15/2014-06:48:PM PST Fallbrook Evacuation Order Lifted 05/15/2014-06:04:PM PST Most Evacuations Lifted in Carlsbad 05/15/2014-05:13:PM PST Further Fire Evacuations in Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton 05/15/2014-04:59:PM PST Cocos Fire Road Closures 05/15/2014-03:58:PM PST Additional AlertSanDiego calls made in Cocos Fire 05/15/2014-03:50:PM PST New Fire Aboard Camp Pendleton 05/15/2014-03:05:PM PST Portion of Del Dios Highway Closing for Evacuations 05/15/2014-02:57:PM PST County School Closures for Friday 05/15/2014-02:40:PM PST Base Housing evacuation order has been lifted 05/15/2014-02:13:PM PST New Evacuations in the Cocos Fire 05/15/2014-01:40:PM PST Tips to Reduce Exposure to Smoke, Particulate Matter.
Over 11 significant fires in a span of a workweek and less. 3 fires still burning out of control and 10's of thousands of acres lost to fire. At least one hundred structures destroyed and all of this in a time that is not considered fire season. Some 2,000 firefighters and at least that many in direct support like police and sheriffs' deputies, administrators and about 2,000 volunteers. Over 35 agencies involved and of 25 thousand calls into a 211 number just for the fires. Several small fires with two arsonists arrested and one known at large after burning down a church in the craziness of the times.
How fast can a fire move here?
Our major freeway has two fires literally on it.
How they have kept it open is clearly a miracle. For without it we are in very deep transportation problems including rescue, safety and enforcement vehicles. Think this way, there are over 200 law enforcement personnel just to make sure that looting in evacuated areas does not occur and that returnees do not jump the gun.
3,000 more evacuated within the last three hours out of the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
One of the amazing factors is that we are still in the highest state of fire alert "Red Flag Warning" that will last through the weekend for most areas. Temperatures are frequently only in the high to mid nineties throughout the county. But you could not tell there is a decrease as the winds have shifted and it is a more muggy heat (better for fire danger-worse for tempers and comfort).
Friday nights with a semi full moon and extreme temperatures are trouble for peace keepers. Count on it that there will be a murder tonight caused in part by the weather conditions.
Power usage is way up and that means power lines are overloaded and that causes heat and sometimes sparks.
Cars are overheated and that creates hotter undercarriages and exhaust piping with over the deadly dry grass can cause a fire in a heartbeat.
Do fires effect your life?
Do you think that fires like this here effect you where you are?
Yes we are talking about the gold rush land of California, and there is fire on the mountain.
Just a short prayer.
Oh Lord heal our wounds and salve our pain as we pray. Let us reconcile and lend hands to those in need and those with those in need. Help us to send our best wishes and prayers to them. Help us to not forget them in the coming months. Give the responders strength to carry on and to continue to do well and keep them safe as you have from harm. Remind us that there is no value on property without life and protect all creatures great and small from harm.
And we give thanks in gratefulness for your protection and how you have kept so many good families safe and have helped to show us how to work together in order to survive natures calamities.
Go ahead fight a fire in this terrain, near impossible.
Controversy and the DC10
Even amidst the victories and celebration over the protection and saving of lives and property so far reigning over the firefights there emerges and an age old issue. Why were several assets not used earlier and more frequently to fight the blazes? There was stupendous inter agency cooperation among the agencies that truly participated.
But we are left with a problem that nags and it is at it's core involved in this statement: "Wow those military helicopters really were great and that DC10 really stopped that one fire in it's tracks after we finally got them going"
The way the "system" still works is that we meet fires with a graduating escalation of resources. In general terms that means that until the fires have wreaked enough havoc that a local state of emergency is called and thereby a State of Emergency then Federal resources cannot be used. A wise politico explained that we cannot have the Feds, especially military intervene in state affairs until asked for by the state. And we can be sure that the bureaucracy has made a mountain out of that mole hill.
Truly we must raise these issues and come to better solutions.
The fires were all located in the Northern part of the county. Escondido, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside and Camp Pendleton areas.
Weather has changed as of this writing being finished.
There is a dew this morning for the first time in over a week. There is the seasonal marine layer reaching miles into the land. And the temperature will be about fifteen degrees cooler with now resounding wind. The fires will be controlled, all of them, by the evening news cycle. We will begin anew week tomorrow and it will be a better week than the last one.
Our community should stand tall and walk forward from this to do even better next time and that is very important. For we live and have built our communities in a land of Coastal Desert and the fires were here long before us and will go on long after our brief inhabitance, it is the way of the desert. Some plants here require for germination a temperature only fire can provide. So we had better stand tall and plan for the next fire which is only time away.
One last sad observation. Our local TV stations did their best to report these fires and it was a horrible situation. They have been so busy staffing our news flash evening reports with cutsy cutsy little hot bunnies and stars that when the time came to really be a reporter they all to a one failed miserably and acted like the amateurs that they are. I do not get TV but I went to search for them and was shocked and appalled by the worthless nature of what came across.