Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California wildfire tragedy.

I talk about the horrors of the Aussie bushfires every southern summer, and a few months ago the terrible fires in Greece.

Now it's the USA's turn to suffer again, or at least California, from their regular wildfire season.

I remember a couple of years ago when Aussie firefighters went to the US to help fight very bad fires, they came back amazed at the amount of equipment, people, resources their colleagues there had at their disposal.

Even with that it seems they're in danger of being overwhelmed in Southern California. The conditions are familiar to us down-under with the driest year on record, high temperatures, then the high winds. It then only takes a lightning strike, a carelessly dropped cigarette or a campfire not extinguished properly - or an insane arsonist - to start the inferno.

The winds are what firefighters fear the most and meteorologists are saying the worst winds are still to come over the fire areas.

Sadly, one person has been killed and four firefighters seriously injured, plus over a dozen other people injured. Over 200,000 acres have burnt already, while the LA Times is reporting over half a million residents have been ordered to evacuate and Reuters says over 700 homes have been destroyed.

Fire is a terrible, terrible thing.

LA Times photo

Many more photographs plus the ongoing story at LA Times.

Addition on Wednesday...the LA Times is now reporting nearly half a million acres burnt, 1155 homes destroyed and five more deaths 'linked' to the fires. The good news is that winds are slowing, temperature is dropping and humidity is rising.

1 comment:

zetallgerman said...

Now news have emerged that the fire was caused by a 3year old boy, playing with matches... should those parents be held responsible? I'm not sure how justice shall be served in this case...