Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California wildfires burning out of control

Half a dozen people are dead, thousands of homes have burned, and there's no end in sight as the southern California wildfires rage on:
Fires sprang up today in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, and more evacuations were ordered in Orange and San Diego counties. As many as 10,000 people sought shelter at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, where food and blankets were available, and there was entertainment for children.

Weary firefighters fought major blazes that have burned since the weekend in seven counties, and officials said containment was days away at the earliest.

In an area as large as Southern California, officials remained focused on how to cope with their individual disasters, and there was little information for the region as a whole. But most officials agreed that all of the numbers grew overnight. There were more fires, more evacuations, more damage and more fatigue among firefighters.
Federal aid is on the way following a disaster declaration by Dubya. Bush has scheduled a trip out to California for Thursday. (Fortunately for everyone, Brownie is no longer in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

Southern California Wildfires
NASA satellite photo of wildfires

The Santa Ana winds continue to pose a formidable obstacle to those trying to fight the fires, which have already burned an area the size of New York City. The weather, the loss of electrical transmission facilities, and the dry conditions continue to cause huge problems. It sounds like the region is overwhelmed.

Bill Richardson has offered help on behalf of New Mexico - it would be nice to see California's neighbors and other states in the west come together to provide support for the firefighting and disaster recovery efforts.

They seem to need all the help they can get.


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