View Full Version : California Fires

Bel-Cam Jos
10-27-2003, 10:55 AM
For those of us here in So Cal, as well as those who have seen images and stories outside of CA, how have you been handling these outof-control blazes? Has your SW collection been protected, packed up, or insured? Hopefully, no one has been evacuated.

For me, the fires were visible in the mountains about 5 miles above my place. But now, it's so smokey that only the outlines of the tops of the hills can be seen, and luckily there does not appear to be any flames near me. I know people who have been evacuated, as well as some who lost their homes. Our area has been expanding east, which is right where the fires started. The school where I work was canceled Friday, as well as today; I believe we will need to make up those lost days sometime. Clothes smell like I've been in a smoke-filled casino for days, and my scalp needs Head & Shoulders from the fake "dandruff" ash (where's Chewbacca to distract the fires so Han can take them out? :happy: ).

Bad times all around. :( Thoughts are with those struggling through this.

10-27-2003, 01:15 PM
I'm joining the volunteer firefighters and getting assigned to a temporary unit today. For me, well I feel I have to help out.

I don't know what's going to happen, or what to expect, but I'll learn and do well to follow orders.

It seems the only right thing to do in all of this.

I know people who have been evacuated and who have their homes in harm's way.

Oh, my place is safe, but ash and smoke, red skies, and terrible air quality are above us all down here.

I'll give reports from the front when I get back.

These days have been interesting times to be a Californian, that's for sure.

10-27-2003, 03:52 PM
Best of luck to you all out there in that blaze. Yes BCJ, I do have renters insurance to cover my Star Wars collection. The only problem is, I only have a very small portion inventoried so far. I hope I never have to deal with the insurance agent on it. I thought about what I would take out with me if I ever had to evacuate in a moments notice due to some event such as you are going through.

10-27-2003, 09:16 PM
I live near Griffith Park, so I'm not currently in danger from the fires. When I went out last Friday, there was ash in the air from here to West LA, it was real freaky and set off my asthma a little. I got sick that day so I haven't seen the outside world since then, except for on TV. I know several people who have been evacuated and at least one who's lost his home - it's terrible.

10-27-2003, 09:47 PM
yeah, this stuff is pretty scary. I was actually up in NorCal over the weekend for a mountain bike race and we drove back last night. We saw fires right next to the road just north of LA, right behind the Six Flags. We also saw many firetrucks driving south from places as far North as Sunnyvale and Mountain View. When we came into Los Angeles county, we could already smell the fumes. I saw fires near the Marine base near where I live in San Diego. I guess yesterday where I live was actually in some danger. Scripps Ranch, the hardest hit neighborhood in all of California, is about 5 miles from where I live. Mission Trails Park, where I like to ride my bike and rock climb, and is within 15 miles of where I live, also got hit pretty hard. Today, there is an eerie glow filtering in from the outside, sort of like a perpetual sunset. The sun was a sickening pinkish-red color, but looks more normal now. There is ash everywhere, although it is no longer actually falling on my neighborhood. They told us to stay home from work/school if we were not "essential". The air is extremely unhealthy to breathe. It especially sucks because I don't have a car. Looks like I'll be riding the bus for a bit. When conditions get better, I'm gonna ride over to Scripps Ranch and see what is left. My collection is actually in New York, so it is safe. The MNF game, involving my team, the Dolphins, has been shifted from here to Arizona. Hopefully, this thing will come under control real soon. People have died, hundreds and hundreds of homes have been lost, SoCal is in a state of emergency, and will soon be a disaster area...I hope everybody down here stays safe.

10-28-2003, 07:11 AM

Glad to hear you are in no danger. Your town has been mentioned too prominently in the news as of late. I was wondering if you were affected. Happy that you're not.

I lived in Glendale (just below Montrose) in the late 60's early 70's. One year there was a fire that came down the hills very close to our home. There was lots of smoke and enough cinders to cause some concern over our wood shake roof. Scary stuff.

I hope they get a handle on this soon. Keep your hose handy!!

El Chuxter
10-28-2003, 12:08 PM
Aside from a steady snowfall of ash causing havoc with my breathing, I'm in no imminent danger. I'm right between the (contained?) Reche Canyon fire (about 5 miles south) and the huge Highland fire (about 5-10 miles north), and I work maybe 10-15 miles east of the Hemet/Lake Skinner fire.

10-29-2003, 03:31 PM
What a huge mess this has all been (and is). Just finished sweeping and hosing (again) the ash from my house, yard, car and eyes ...

... nothing compared to what people up in the hills are dealing with. Stay safe everybody.

10-29-2003, 04:02 PM
Due to liability reasons, I've been told I don't have all the coursework/certification done to be a firefighter on the lines. Probably just as well: I am possibly more susceptible than most, to smoke disrupting my breathing. But all this makes you angry, makes you want to go out there and help fight the flames - just carrying the hoses and connecting the water, or directing traffic or something.

Well, a good cough and terrible headache later, I've tried to stay indoors and volunteer some time for the Red Cross to relieve victims and help orderly provide information.

I don't know if people volunteering are doing any good. People able to give money are doing better. Victims need things as simple as fresh underwear, soap, and razors, and we're having town meetings to educate everyone on how to get emergency checks from insurance companies or other sources to provide everyone with money for a lot of extra spending they hadn't been counting on.

Think about it: how do you go to your job and work when all your suits or work clothes are gone - you have nothing to brush your teeth with, comb your hair with, etc. If you've got funds, you can check into a hotel, and many are being charitable for victims, but you still need supplies, clothing, etc. Many people only rescued the car they escaped in. Pets provide additional needs, and so forth. Horses in our back country created a huge extra animal problem -feeding, storing, identifying rescued animals, etc.

If your town was bombed by the Al Queida, it would possibly look better than this (except, here, that too would have started the fires raging...)

I just plea with my fellow Californians to go out there and help at the relief centers. You'll be glad you did it, and you'll feel better about any of your own problems and petty difficulties in life, becuase this will put things in perspective.

K Star Wars fans: it's time to start acting like a Jedi.

10-30-2003, 05:11 AM
Cool, Tycho!

The folks of the Red Cross are some of the best I've ever come across in my 18 years of law enforcement. I think you'll see first hand what a dedicated, caring, and compassionate group of folks they are. There are volunteers from my local Red Cross (and fire departments, for that matter!) helping out in SoCal as we speak.

I salute you for stepping up to make a difference!

I hope they get a handle on this soon....I live 100 miles to the north and we're now getting smoke filtering in to plague us, as well! Incredible!!

10-30-2003, 08:51 AM
Tuesday, I left the SF Valley to go on a shoot waaaayyy out beyond Palm Desert (nearly 200 miles East of here). There was smoke blanketing the sky the entire way. Where we were shooting was nearly 100 miles from San Bernadino, yet the smell was as if someone had lit a campfire right next to me.

On my way back last night, the glow from the Big Bear area over San Bernadino erupted into towering flames licking high into the sky. This was from the 10 freeway which is miles and miles from the mountain. Truly frightening.

I know that for most of the world, seeing pictures on tv of flames probably doesn't seem that bad, but this is enormous. The firefighters have an impossible task to do, yet have won some spectacular victories. The property they've managed to save just north of me, up near Valencia and Simi Valley, was nothing if not miraculous.

With cooler temperatures and the chance of rain for today, we can only hope that this ends soon...

10-30-2003, 01:02 PM
I am sickened by these arsonists (if indeed it was was arson) and I wish safety for all of our SSG members affected by this. Be safe.

Disgusting. :(

10-30-2003, 01:42 PM
I did hear a report on the news that at least one of the fires was started by an arsonist. I hope they catch the person or persons responsible, and give them the appropriate punishment. What is the count now, I've heard 16 people dead already, plus I think a fireman lost his life battling the blaze. Countless #'s of homes destroyed, this is really bad, plus all the illness that is to come from the smoke that the citizens of California have to breathe.

11-03-2003, 10:51 AM
Is everything getting better out there in California? I went to the Bears/Chargers game yesterday. They had people asking for donations for the San Diego fire relief fund. I gave some of my change because of the people here at SSG who were effected.

Last report I heard on the news was that the fires were 80% contained.

11-03-2003, 06:53 PM
Thank you for giving a little.

We'll be picking up the pieces here for a long time, I'm afraid.

11-03-2003, 08:20 PM
Up here in LA county and vicinity, a nice dose of rain and cooler temps helped contain much of the fire. Although there are some hot spots in the Big Bear area and some residents still aren't being allowed back up the mountain yet. Had this weather come just one week sooner...

11-04-2003, 05:31 AM
Yep, I do believe they've officially declared 100% contained, now.

The down side is with the rains come the mudslides. This may be a nasty winter for the SoCal-ers, :(