Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fire Update - cautiously optimistic ...

Thurs. night, Oct. 25, 2007

Big, big, BIG thank yous to all of you who have commented and are praying along with us for all those affected and praying the fire is contained soon.

The change in weather today is really helping. Last Sunday, the fire spread 15,000 acres in 24 hours, but now, it's only spread 1500 acres over the last 24 hours. They're saying they might have it fully contained by Tuesday. The weather is much cooler and I could see the sky today - hurray! More moisture in the air, too; we even had a two-minute drizzle this afternoon. Cooler weather and lighter winds really help our firefighters in their battle of these blazes.

The science of firefighting is really amazing to me. They've set up a fire command post in a public park, with the firefighters living, eating, showering, sleeping there for now. Those in command are very strategic in how they fight a fire like this, now that it's less chaotic than when it was first blazing and the Santa Ana winds were sending flames leaping in every direction. To counteract the fires going down the hills into the canyons, they're lighting backfires to go up the hill in Silverado Canyon, so the two directions will hopefully consume one another. They've sprayed foam fire retardant on the ridge top to help contain it and have dropped fire retardant along 2.5 miles of the county line. (Lots of cell phone transmission towers on the ridgetop.) Eighteen bulldozer crews have dug about five miles of firebreak line at the northeast edge, with about ten more miles to dig. The fire will continue to burn within that area; lots of "ancient fuels" - old growth forest - in Cleveland National Forest due to the fact that we don't have a lot of recent fire history there. It's still a threat and the mandatory evacuation order in Silverado Canyon is still in place; fire is too unpredictable to take any chances. The slower advance of the fire makes me hopeful, though, that it won't reach my daughter's home before they're able to contain it.

In a news conference this afternoon, Gov. Schwarzenegger commended all those who have worked so hard in fighting these fires. (I last heard there are still 10 burning throughout SoCal.) He also commended all the volunteers: people who have brought food, supplies; nurses, doctors, cooks - so many people helping in so many ways either through volunteer command posts or individual efforts. Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) sent a breathmobile to help those dealing with reactions from breathing our smoke-filled air all week. The insurance companies have been issuing announcements as to how to contact them for claims. One resident has already received a check from his insurance company for the loss of his home, and the insurance company has people in the field contacting homeowners proactively.

The governor also said they'd prosecute to the fullest extent any arsonists (two fires, including the Santiago, are cited as arson,; two others are deemed suspicious), looters, scam artists, fraudulent contractors and loan agents. There's already been a number of arrests of people taking advantage of others' tragedy. The ATF arrested several scam artists and in doing so, found that some were wanted for attempted murder, too. Our government dollars at work in such a positive way.

So, we're hopeful, and praying the weather continues to be good. Thank you for your continued support. It's good to know that I can count on friends for kindness and prayers.
Today's simple pleasure: Seeing raindrops on the patio!

Photos: Sullivan, Yamanaka, Vasconcellos - Orange County Register


dec0r8or said...

I'm still sending out positive thoguhts and prayers, Rose. A friend of mine just got an email request to go out and help fight the fires. He just finished his training program last month. He's not sure if they'll need him for sure yet, but he's ready to go if they do! Those firefighters are amazing.

Lynn said...

Today's Great Blessings:
Knowing you and yours are well and safe.
Praying for the safety, well-being and continued better weather and diminishing fires of all of SoCal. Bless the strength of the heroes who are fighting these fires, the evacuees, and all those trying to help everyone.
Much love to you.

Amber said...

Continued positive thoughts, Rose! The smoke hung over Las Vegas while I was there last weekend, and we even saw some at the Grand Canyon!

I also find fireighting fascinating. I highly recommend the book "Fire" by Sebastian Junger. (He's the man who wrote "The Perfect Storm".) He wrote the book 10 or 15 years ago, so technology has changed a LOT since then...esp in terms of modeling and simulation, but the basic courage of the hotshots still remains an amazing lesson in dedication and bravery.

Rose said...

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers. I'll have to check out that book, Amber. The movie Backdraft showed how out of control, powerful and horrifying fire can be. I've always raises a hand in prayer when a firetruck goes by me.

Britt-Arnhild said...

I am thinking of you.
How is the situation now?

LADY LUXIE said...

I am amazed. If a fire like that would blaze in my country my goodness!..I don't think we have half the resources to contain such a disaster. I think my whole island could possibly perish..Property can be restored...a more beautiful home built over a ruined one..but a lost life can never of course be brought back. And even though there were is still a blessing that they were very minimal....In my country fire fighters don't even have the proper suit to wear...

Last night I was thinking of you... Around 8:00 pm while I was taking my usual walk..

I was thinking of you because i wanted to smile at the other ladies walking as well...but nobody seemed to mind me..or wanted to smile..So I just walked my way without doing so....siigh...

Lynn said...

You are such a special and important friend to me, Stream Sister, Heart Friend, Soul Soother.
Thank you for being you, and for being my friend.
I love you too.