Monday, October 22, 2007

Fire update

It's 10 a.m. and the fires around the city are up to 100,000 acres with 0% containment. More than 250,000 people have been evacuated. The mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, said on live TV that nobody should leave home unless they absolutely must. Most shelters are full, so the city opened Qualcomm Stadium for evacuees. One news report just came out that said some people are showing up at Qualcomm corporate headquarters instead of the stadium. These are probably the same ones who think professional wrestling isn't fixed.

And it gets worse. From AP:

    In many cases, crews couldn't begin to fight the fires because they were too busy rescuing residents who refused to leave, fire officials said.

    "They didn't evacuate at all, or delayed until it was too late," said Bill Metcalf, chief of the North County Fire Protection District. "And those folks who are making those decisions are actually stripping fire resources."

    One blaze devoured more than 5,000 acres in northern San Diego County and forced the evacuation of the community of Ramona, which has a population of about 36,000. Several structures were burned on the edge of town and sheriff's deputies called residents to alert them the fire was approaching the city, San Diego sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust said.

    "The winds are up, it's very, very dangerous conditions," San Diego County spokeswoman Lesley Kirk said. "Fires are popping up all over the place."

I've always been sensitive to the Santa Ana winds. I'm allergic to the particulate matter that floats in off the eastern deserts. With the smoke on top of the dust, I'm basically down for the count. I can't breath, and as a result can't sleep. I haven't been to sleep since the day before yesterday. I sneeze every sixty seconds. My cell phone isn't working due to high volume, and this internet connection is crawling because it uses the cell system. My problems are nothing compared to the people who are losing all their worldly possessions, so I'll curtail the whining now.

The high winds mean the fires can't even be fought. No aircraft can get airborne because the winds are 20-30mph with gusts of 50-70mph. Ground crews are not fighting the fires, either. They're evacuating people in front of the fires and also hosing down houses. We're all just waiting for the winds to stop, which isn't expected until tomorrow or the day after.

There are still no reports on injuries or the numbers of houses lost, except that one person is known to have burned to death in the Harris fire. He is believed to have been an illegal immigrant who had just walked in from Mexico.

Apparently fire crews are coming here from around the state. Los Angeles is getting hit hard, too. The Governator is scheduled to visit San Diego to assess the problem this morning. He has already labeled seven California counties as disaster areas, which opens the federal money tap.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.