Sunday, October 28, 2007
Southern California wildfires: of the worst fire disasters in Californian history
If any of us needed another proof for how real global warming impact is I am sure, as sad as it is, the recent events in southern California might "help" on that. According to france24, a French international news channel broadcasting on a 24/7 basis, it seems that the Californian Firefighters are getting the upper hand on one of the worst fire disasters in Californian history, thanks to "cooler temperatures, calmer winds and spots of drizzle". Thus, most of the 23 fires that have erupted since last Sunday, leaving seven dead, destroying 1,800 homes and displacing 640,000 people, had been staunched or contained.
There is also an economical aspect to this with a very large price tag: According to france24, San Diego County officials estimated the property damage at "more than one billion dollars" but the insurance industry guys say it may go "as high as 1.6 billion." Think about all the solar power electricity we could have get for this price tag.
Furthermore, for me and beginning this morning, there is also a personal aspect for this story. Earlier today I got a heads-up from my friend Leena of ConceptisAddict about a very special post that was made by a member nicknamed agree, in Conceptis' Puzzles and Life forum. Reading this post I immediately felt this bitter-sweet taste. I felt sad for what is going on in California but at the same time also felt happy to see what we have been doing in Conceptis in the past 10 years can really bring a bit of joy to people in when they need it most.
I thought I should dedicate my daily post to the people of California and bring this touching text to your attention. It was written by a person who has to cope with the meaning of this news in his very real day to day life. I hope things will turn out well for you, agree. I am sure the entire Conceptis community is here hoping with me as well, feeling pretty much the same as I do:
"As many of you know, Southern California was ravaged the past week by wildfires. As my wife and I were packing up to evacuate our home, I grabbed a folder of Conceptis puzzles that neither of us had gotten to. Over the next four days, with little to do but worry about our home and those of our friends, having these fun and challenging puzzles really helped ease the stress and pass the time. Fortunately, our home and street were untouched by the fires. I'd like to thank Dave Green and all the folks at Conceptis for creating these puzzles and website - and also thank susie_cc, lekahe, cyclone, wisdemol, izakkay, and all the others who have either directly sent me their puzzle archives or links to them."
The above satellite image from nasa.gov shows the wildfire area as photographed yesterday October 27 (More images of very high resolution here). Following is a set of updated photos taken just yesterday and two days ago by Spencer Platt of AFP.
A woman walks her dog past a destroyed home in Rancho Bernardo, California (October 27):
The remains of a destroyed home are seen in Rancho Bernardo, California (October 27):
Smoke and clouds camouflage the morning sun in Oceanside, California (October 27):
San Diego firefighter Paul Moscoso puts out a small pocket of fire in the remains of a destroyed home in Rancho Bernardo, California (October 27):
Two men walk past the remains of mobile homes in Fallbrook, California (October 26)