Friday, Oct. 26th
This morning I awoke to the sound of three large fire helicopters flying overhead moving to the Silverado Canyon area fires. Even though Orange, CA is out of danger and the fires are moving towards Riverside, there is a layer of smoke that burns the eyes and makes it very difficult to see when you're driving. I was out early this morning and all of Orange and Villa Park is shrouded is smoke. Visibility is very low and it staggers the imagination how little you can actually see. Sore throats and coughing are the orders of the day.
One arson was shot and killed by law enforcement officers when he fled the scene where he was attempting to start another fire. A chase ensued and the arsonist rammed the police cruiser, which, in CA, is grounds to use lethal force. As the news unfolds it is being discovered that there are a number of arson suspects, which means that a number of the many fires raging in Southern California was started intentionally. You really have to wonder what motivates a person to do such a thing!
This raises the ethical issue of whether arsonists ought to be charged with more than mere arson in light of the untold damage done by their deed, the inordinate man hours spent battling the blazes, the loss of personal property, and the loss of life. Given the situation it seems that the charges ought to include murder and attempted murder at the very least.
The death toll continues to rise as firefighters are now finding occupants in their burned homes. It remains to be seen how many actually perished either refusing to leave their homes or who were unable to get out in time.
There is also the "environmentalist wacko" part of the equation. Big Bear has been a tender box for years. Some hardcore environmentalists have lobbied to keep foresters from thinning out trees destroyed by the bark beetle on the grounds that it would disturb nature's equilibrium to do so. Their actions are just one more evidence that Americans have been intimidated into "caving" when it comes to the unreasonable demands of these folks. But they have an agenda and even a catastrophe of this magnitude cannot dissuade those who have imbibed of the Kool-Aid. These fine folks have so much influence that they have prevented the United State Marines at Camp Pendleton from performing certain training exercises because of the unrest they might cause to the eco-balance of certain sea birds. When you pass by Pendleton on I-5 you'll see a sign that states that the Marines are contributing to preserving the ecology of Southern California. Personally, I'd like to see something along the lines of "Training Marines to kill the enemy and protect Americans," but that's just me.
There will be more than ample opportunity for us to provide Deaconal assistance to those who have suffered loss. This will provide us with a true "hands on" experience and will separate those who merely talk about mercy ministry and those who don't talk about it so much, but when the chips are down actually do something about it.
The damage to Southern California in the aftermath of these fires has yet to be calculated. Damage is in the millions of dollars and the clean up will take quite a while. Outside of our house--and we were not in the line of fire this time--looks like a war zone. Drinking water has been affected in the hardest hit areas and those who want to get back to see if their homes are still standing are being prohibited. Trees are down, snapped like toothpicks in the near hurricane force winds, fences are down, and virtually everything is covered with soot and ash, even in the unaffected areas. Air quality is awful. Even when you're used to air you can chew as we are out here, it is evident that our air is contaminated exponentially.
Please continue to pray for Southern California and those who are in leadership. Our illustrious Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi has proved--once again--his incompetence by ascribing the wildfires to global warming. Several noted scientists said he was nuts. I'm thinking about running for LT Governor of California next year. It seems like a cushy job where you don't really have to do much except get paid to make ludicrous comments.
Labels: California Fires