Thousands of Californians have been evacuated as firefighters struggle to contain wind-swept flames.
When I reported on the Los Angeles area fire, threatening the famed Getty Center Museum, I was deeply worried that the Santa Ana winds would ignite another blaze somewhere in the vicinity of my hometown, San Diego.
This fear materialized the day after that post, and a retirement community and equestrian center were the first victims in the area’s rural community of Fallbrook:
Flames were practically on top of Dick and Joan Marsala’s home when they got an urgent knock on the door and were told to leave.
The couple, in their mid-80s, grabbed only a change of clothes and medications before fleeing Thursday through wind gusts and smoke as fire swallowed the row of mobile homes behind their place in the Rancho Monserate Country Club north of San Diego.
It’s a story that has played out in communities across much of Southern California this week as ferocious winds whipped sparks into massive infernos that have killed one person, destroyed more than 500 buildings, killed dozens of horses and forced hundreds of thousands of people to run from fires that have burned nearly 250 square miles since Monday.
This particular blaze has been tagged as the Lilac Fire and so far has incinerated over 4000 acres, burned 85 structures, and killed 25 horses. The equestrian community has been hitting social media hard, to find transportation and accommodations for the animals.
This one especially caught my eye:
Anyone in San Diego with extra space? https://t.co/md6vXsWcLZ
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 8, 2017
There is little containment of this blaze or any of the other wildfires raging through this state:
Thomas Fire: The Thomas fire in Ventura County, the largest of the six blazes, started Monday night as a 50-acre brush fire in foothills east of Santa Paula and grew to 10,000 acres in just four hours. The fire had burned 132,000 acres of land by Friday morning and was just 10 percent contained.
Creek Fire: The Creek fire has incinerated over 15,000 acres, and has damaged or destroyed at over 60 structures. Over 150,000 residents have been evacuated and some 2,500 structures are threatened. The blaze was 40 percent contained.
Skirball Fire: The Skirball fire has burned 475 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Friday morning; firefighters had have managed to keep it from breaching containment lines.
Liberty Fire: The Liberty fire scorched 300 acres of land and was 60 percent contained as of Friday morning.
Rye Fire: The Rye fire has scorched over 6000 acres and was 35 percent contained as of Thursday night. Over 5,000 structures are still threatened by the flames.
In response to this disaster, President Donald Trump has now declared a state of emergency in Southern California.
Trump’s order authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide leadership in coordinating disaster relief efforts.
“This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering that the emergency may inflict on the local population and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures,” a White House statement said.
Despite the president’s support, the comments from some on social media are quite contemptible:
Has anybody else been thinking about the possibility that the #Californiawildfire and @realDonaldTrump are the same thing?
Both are bright orange, massively destructive, and trying to render public lands unusable.
— Crambazzled Shotclog (@TheOysterSlayer) December 8, 2017
It’s about time you recognized a California wildfire. It must have burned near one of your cronies homes since it hit Bel Air. Douche
— allice (@verbalese) December 7, 2017
Dear,@realDonaldTrump don’t visit our state and make things worse. It’s already bad enough as it is.
— Shaelan Bowers (@shaebowe) December 8, 2017
These tweets clearly show that irrational hate of President Trump burns with more intensity in some people than compassion or wisdom.DONATE
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