Category Archives: San Diego Firestorms

Editorial in San Diego paper attacks state and federal help

My sister has said she heard rumblings about the ineptitude of the state and federal fuckwits the last day or they are more interested in having a pissing contest with each other about control than knocking down the fires and saving homes. This editorial in the Union Tribune today lays it out pretty well:

Surviving disaster

Why wasn’t more key help prepositioned?

October 24, 2007

The response of local authorities to the horrific San Diego County wildfires has been a sharp improvement on what was seen during the 2003 Cedar and Paradise fires. But we’re not sure the same holds for state and federal officials.

It first became apparent last Thursday that the expected Sunday ar rival of hot, windy Santa Ana conditions would put drought-stricken Southern California at grave risk. Sure enough, wildfires broke out in many areas. Why weren’t U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard planes already at nearby airfields and ready to drop water or retardant, by prearrangement of the Pentagon and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Instead, The Associated Press repor ted that the Pentagon’s OK of the governor’s request for such planes to help in San Diego County did not come until yesterday morning. The planes won’t join the fight until this morning – six days after exper ts first warned of a possible Santa Anafueled conflagration and nearly three days after the Witch Creek blaze began its rampage from Ramona west to Rancho Santa Fe and south to Poway. This is inex plicable.

California has led the way in coordinating regional efforts to attack blazes that threaten to overwhelm local fire departments. But given the increasing frequency of catastrophic wildfires, perhaps it is time the interagency approach gave way to a centralized authority in which, at a time of crisis, a fire czar could dispatch resources on a moment’s notice instead of having to tend to bureaucratic niceties.

Such a fire czar could also be an advocate for better funding. In May, five former U.S. Forest Service chiefs warned Congress that inadequate resources imperiled fire suppression efforts. In a telephone interview yesterday, Dan Smith – a senior official with the National Association of State Foresters – painted a grim picture. Between drier conditions, a decline in forest health and the millions of homes built in recent years in fire-prone areas, preventing huge wildfires is “more difficult and more complex” than ever, Smith said. “I hope the appropriators … understand the big picture.”

We hope so, too – because when it comes to both funding and functionality, the big picture needs a close look.

Thank God, its coming out now..while the firestorms are still raging. I hope folks take notice and bring it to the forefront. Shades of NOLA my dear reader…which I had hoped wouldn’t happen.

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The firestorms..1 million displaced..

They are still burning..people are still living in places they shouldn’t have to. But my sister is back in her home, my dad is cranky but safe and my asthmatic sister is staying with a friend until the air quality cleans up a bit. This article blames the drought and global warming for the severity of the wildfires. I don’t know about all that..but I do know they seem to get worse each time, being a native Californian..I have seen far too many of these bastards.

Almost a million people have been displaced in SoCal. Over a thousand homes and businesses have been lost. They are saying almost 20% of San Diego’s population has been displaced.

But Michael Chertoff had to make a guest appearance in San Diego. Thank God FEMA or Homeland Security wasn’t involved in the evacuations..who knows wtf would of happened.

Its all been pretty orderly. San Diego County actually had to issue a press release that they had enough supplies that were donated and for folks to check the other evac centers to see what they needed if they were in the giving spirit.

Fucking awesome how people pull together in times like these ain’t it? Oh..guess what..

Bush is going to make an appearance San Diego..Happy happy joy joy on that tid bit eh?

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10,000 spend the night at Qualcomm Stadium

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMy family is in San Diego. My sister and her family, whom I was just visiting last week, has been evacuated from her home. Another sister is on standby to evacuate. My dad, who isn’t in the best of health, is hemmed in by freeway closures in the north part of San Diego county due to the fires. This is a personal fire for me obviously. I couldn’t probably get down there due to all the fires and carnage between my home in the San Joaquin valley and San Diego. Roughly half a million people are evacuated from their homes in San Diego county.

So, I watch the live streams on the internets..from San Diego and Los Angeles. Firestorms that can do as much damage as a massive tornado in the midwest my dear reader, but on a much larger scale. The difference is..a tornado just touches down and then nature takes it away..not so with firestorms. I call my family every hour or so. I silently freak out at what I witness live and in burning color.

Four years ago this week was the Cedar fire. It was a horrible week long firestorm that took lives and hundreds of homes. These fires in San Diego have claimed at least one life and roughly 600 homes and 150 businesses. Friends lost their homes in that fire. Some lived with my sister, who has been evacuated this time, for weeks.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBack to the big sleep-in at the “Q”. There hasn’t been a “Katrina” debacle yet. People are being fed and sheltered, they do not want for anything..except of course for this hell on earth to end. Michal Chertoff has of course been on the ground, surveying everything and sending in supplies to make sure San Diego doesn’t have a Katrina-like situation. The schools are also temporary homes for the displaced who have no where else to go, and most of those are full by now. People and pets are crowded into places with other victims of the firestorms..getting to know folks that are also afraid that their homes are gone when all this hell is over.

Its much too much reminiscent of the Cedar Fire for me..and I am sure for many of them, since the fires are taking some of the same paths they took 4 years ago. A few of my friends are suffering through PTSD at this point..the horrible nightmare of 4 years ago rushing back to them.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI feel so helpless, I can only sit and watch..and call them all..saying always that I love them..and they respond back the same. Its not the rich that are suffering like the Malibu fire in L.A., these are hardworking middle class families who have mortgages that are losing everything. Its the fear of losing everything that haunts them all as they sit somewhere unfamiliar with strangers in the same boat.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUnlike a tornado or hurricane..this will go on until the weather changes and the fires run out of fuel. They won’t run out of fuel until they burn to the ocean my dear reader..and that is what they are doing.

If you pray..pray for them..pray for all that are caught up in this hell on earth.

Tags: San Diego Fires, Qualcomm Stadium,