Thursday, October 25, 2007

Latest fire update

Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments on the last post. I'm watching the local news right now (10 a.m. PST), and Air Force One just dropped off President Bush at MCAS (Marine Core Air Station) Miramar, of Top Gun fame. He was with Dianne Feinstein, one of California's senators, and was met by Gov. Schwarzenegger. He and the Governator jumped in Marine One, the presidential chopper, to tour the fire areas.

I'm still working, although I did miss a couple of days because the soot went into my lungs. When I can't breathe, I can't sleep, and when I can't sleep, I can't safely drive. When I've been awake for 30 or 40 hours, I start hallucinating. Not a pretty picture.

Last night I was out working, and we're still busy. Traffic is very light, but there are still a lot of business conferences happening in San Diego. All of the out-of-town travelers are quiet and respectful and offering condolences, etc. There's a brown, smoky haze over the city, and the air smells like a camp fire.

Last night I drove a firefighter stationed on the U.S.S. Lincoln, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier HQ'd in Washington State. It has been here for a week, scheduled to leave this morning. He said he and some fellow firefighters asked their superiors for permission to go out and help the local firefighters, but permission was denied. They're needed on the ship. This makes sense -- a Nimitz carrier has a crew of more than 5,000, and is really a floating city. It can't be without firefighters. I thanked him.

Latest stats, as of this morning:

  • 1400 homes lost in San Diego County

  • 520,000 people evacuated in SD

  • Total fire destruction area, for all of Southern California, is the size of Great Britain. That seems doubtful, but it's possible.

  • Three people have died as a direct result of the fires, plus another eight in "related incidents". Maybe car accidents, fleeing? Another 20 have been injured, including some severely burned fire fighters.

  • Arson is blamed for two of the fires.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog!

Great Britain is 84,400 square miles in size, while California is over 158,000 square miles. If the burn area is the size of Great Britain, that means 53% of the state of California has been involved.

The last news report I saw that mentioned the size of the burn area said 719 sqare miles, which is 120% of the size of London.

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