A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury...

Between work and family my life is pretty consumed by the fires raging throughout Southern California. I have two nephews and my brother who are fire fighters and then, of course, my current job is admin support for a fire department. While obvious things like inspections, filing, and record keeping of the department must go on everyone is checking their emails for the agency bulletins and updates we receive about 4 times a day.

The updates let us know how big the fires are how many different agencies and people are involved, weather conditions at each fire, what major road closures might be involved...stuff like that. Reading the number of structures that have already been lost is unreal.

Where I live we can see the fire burning and it feels like you can reach out and touch it. Fortunately for us the wind has been blowing the smoke and ash away from us. Late this afternoon was the first time I felt that oily ashy charcoal taste in my mouth.

Seeing the dedication and concern of the people who fight fires for a living is pretty incredible. While our department has already sent out assistance (people and equipment) to the state and county agencies fighting the fires, we still have to have stations staffed with crews to take care of the every day calls here at home. There's no grand standing or excitement or adrenalin induced fevers here. It is a grim and silent place while people prepare for worst case scenarios and to relieve crews that are already out at fires.

I cannot remember when so many fires so close together have been burning at the same time. To realize that arson is involved is just unfathomable really. 346,000 homes were evacuated Sunday and Monday in the San Diego area. 346,000...more than a quarter of a million homes. It makes me livid thinking someone set that fire on purpose. All those people...all those homes. The NPR article I linked to above is reporting 1200 homes lost in San Diego area alone.

Hell has to have a special place for arsonists. How do you forgive someone who deliberately set a fire that destroyed your home? Your neighborhood? Your community?

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Blogger Holly said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I just can't even imagine the kind of person it takes to do something like that.

As for the fire fighters and so many others, I just can't say enough how wonderful they are. I really get all teary-eyed and emotional about it, especially after the big fire scare near my house last year. Those fire fighters were amazing..and continue to be. I saw a photo today of two firemen asleep on the driveway of a home they were protecting. Just laying out, right there in the driveway, with their suits still on..and man, I just lost it.

I think that picture touched me more than any of the others I saw.

7:27 PM PDT  
Blogger Dev said...

As far as forgiving, I'm not sure I could. Have you noticed how so many of these big fires are from arson?

7:49 PM PDT  
Blogger Lori said...

I couldn't agree more, Rosie. Our firefighters are simply amazing. Every year in October, we have these horrific wildfires, and they go in there year after year, stretched to the limit, and lay their lives on the line in 100+ degree weather in full turnout gear and do everything within their power to protect us and our homes. And they are usually completely successful.

That doesn't even include the other 365 days of the year when they go about their regular jpbs of protecting us and our homes in the course of everyday events. I said it on my blog, and I say it again... next time you see a firefighter in your area, stop and say a heartfelt thank you. They are truly awesome folks.

7:56 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristie (J) said...

I've been thinking of you all since this hit the news. I'm glad you're doing OK.

8:03 PM PDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

The Orange County fire is arson. I think I made my feelings pretty well known about that on my recent fire blog post. A$$wipe.

After the Yorba Linda fire back in May I pretty much decided that whatever we pay our firefighters in this state it ain't nearly enough. God bless 'em.

8:30 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, your thoughts, your prayers. They mean a lot.

10:06 PM PDT  
Blogger Sam said...

My dad's house was burned to the ground by an arsonist. He was away at a convention, but his car was in the garage, so the police called us and told us they thought he'd died in the fire. I was 14, and I'll never forget the two days of waiting to find out what had happened. And my poor dad - coming home to find smoking ruins. He'd built that house himself.
I HATE arsonists.

8:44 AM PDT  
Blogger Becky said...

I've not been watching the news like I should, so I didn't realize arson was involved. It's absolutely unconscionable that someone would do such a thing to jeaporadize people's safety, homes, investments and communities like that! Sick, sick people commit such crimes!

And it doesn't just affect people in the path of these fires...all that smoke billowing out over other areas unaffected by the fire itself can cause traffic accidents, freeway closings, breathing difficulty (asthma attacks), great financial costs for schools and institutions that have to be shut down or evacuated, etc.

I am truly thankful for all those dedicated and courageous firefighters willing to go into those conditions to put fires out. It's such physically demanding work. They are truly amazing.

10:38 AM PDT  
Blogger CindyS said...

I've been in a hole - I'm so very sorry to hear about the fire and the evac of so many people. I just heard it's the biggest evac since the civil war.

Thoughts and prayers for you and all those involved.

I only heard about arson late tonight and all I could think is - well, I won't type it.

Hope you are doing well


11:16 PM PDT  

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