We're pretty cool about a lot of things in California.
Ordinary Celebs don't impress us. If you're loaded with Money, Fame and Power, we're all like, "whatever dude". One reason we're so cool about that stuff is that all of us who've lived here a while can say, "Remember the Coyote Fire?" or "Remember the Northridge Quake?" It's the stuff we all live through together - no matter where in the world we live - which can literally level the society we share. Trust me, mountains of fire moving at the speed of the wind and the earth trembling underfoot makes mere mortals of us all.
I was thinking about a couple of things I wanted to blog about today. But I had to answer an email from concerned neighbors in Canada. Then as I was getting started to write, the phone rang and a dear friend in New Hampshire needed to know that we were OK. So it finally got through to me what my blog is about today.
California is on fire.
I'm fortunate to be sitting in a place tonight that isn't currently under threat. I can take the time to write to you. Tonight, to the South and East of here there are people watching helplessly as the fire consumes the ridges above them with towers of flame 100 feet high. Fire crews are scrambling to establish defensive perimeters and police units are cruising nice suburban neighborhoods ordering 1 million people to get out - NOW! People watch, wondering when they should leave. Children are in their PJ's, sitting next to boxes of family photos and treasures, wondering when they'll be bundled in to cars to flee - where?. And always, we watch the wind. A shift in the wind means salvation, or total destruction.
(Later)I'm currently listening to KNX in Los Angeles. Damage is extensive - 1800 houses destroyed as of 8:10 PM (Pacific Time) Tues. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned. Weather calls for lows tonight in the 50's - 60's high tomorrow in the 90's. 68,000 homes threatened. 45 injuries - mostly firefighters.
These fires are being fought, but they are in fact largely out of control. It is hot today. Temperatures are ridiculous on the fire lines, and fires generate their own blazing winds.
If you haven't lived it, you just can't know it. I'm sure people who lived through Katrina know what I mean. I was shocked by the pictures - but I didn't live in them.
I've got fire stories to tell. But this fire story doesn't belong to me.
Pray for mercy on the fire crews tonight from all over the west who are putting their lives into a desperate struggle to save the homes of people they don't even know.
Pray that everyone has a chance to get out alive.
It might be hard for you to understand what's happening. Imagine an area larger than some eastern states burning down to dirt. Then imagine how you could help.
We might be hard to impress. But Californians aren't too proud to be grateful when neighbors pitch in to help.
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