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> So Calif Burning: 23 fires, 2800 homes destroyed, 800 sq miles scorched


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Posted: Oct 25 2007, 08:58 PM
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With smoke still visible from space as seen by the Space Shuttle Astronauts, over 700 square miles have burned this past week in Southern California and over 23 fires, mostly all intentionally set by arsonists, caused over 1 billion dollars in damage to over 1500 homes and businesses and displaced 500,000 people.

10,000-15,000 people began camping out at Qualcomm (NFL Chargers) stadium in San Diego with relief goods arriving from hundreds of volunteers and good samaritans... that is until the police began checking I.D.'s and now the number staying at the stadium is down to 200-300 people.

Apparently, there were some people at the stadium collecting a free lunch!

10 fires are mostly contained but we are told by the experts that some of the fires will continue to burn well into December.

The Air Quality is very poor in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and surrounding suburbs.







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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: Oct 26 2007, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE
Reward of $150,000 offered to find California arsonists
Death toll reaches eight as two more bodies found in burned home
26th October 2007
QUOTE
user posted image
Armageddon: With the sun blocked out by smoke and flames, LA looked like the set of a summer blockbuster disaster movie last night

Rewards totalling $150,000 (£75,000) have been offered for information leading to the arsonists who started at least two of the deadly fires raging in southern California.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were today investigating the fires as the death toll from arson reached three.

The charred remains of several other homeowners and evacuees have been found, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 12.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a $50,000 reward on top of the $50,000 offered by both the FBI and ATF.

Angry fire chiefs today said lives could have been saved if firefighters were not dealing with the result of arsonists' work.

Chip Prather, chief of the fire authority in California's Orange County where 23,000 acres have been burned in the Santiago fire, said: "I wonder, frankly, if we didn't have this arson-caused fire here, how many of our resources might have been available to respond to other parts of the state, and how many people might be alive today had our firefighters here been able to be in San Diego."

user posted image
Trails of destruction: A satellite shot of southern California shows the scale of the fires

In Los Angeles, police arrested a man after witnesses said they saw him lighting a fire on a hillside. Authorities said Catalino Pineda, 41, was seen starting a fire in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday and then walking away.

As fire crews used a break in the weather to bring most of the fires under control yesterday, President George Bush surveyed the devastation and met some of the estimated 500,000 people who fled their homes.

Mr Bush flew over San Diego - one of the worst-hit areas - with Mr Schwarzenegger and visited burnt out neighbourhoods.

"There's no question a lot of people are suffering, and there's no question there's been terrible losses," Mr Bush said.

About 2,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged since Sunday, when wildfires began breaking out.

"These fires are among the worst disasters in California history," MrSchwarzenegger said.

user posted image
Out of control: High winds drive hot embers through the scrub in the Malibu Hills, spreading the blaze area wider and wider

A suspected arsonist was shot dead by police as FBI agents revealed several of the fires that have forced one million people from their homes in southern California had been started deliberately.

The news came as two burned bodies were found in a San Diego area home, bringing the death toll in California's five days of wildfires up to at least eight, officials said today.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender said the bodies were found in Poway, a town engulfed by the big Witch fire in the northern part of the county, and had not yet been identified.

One death from the wildfires was reported in southern San Diego on Sunday.

At least five other people, mostly senior citizens, have died in the evacuation of half a million people, the largest in California's modern history.

Police said officers killed a man, a suspected arsonist, during a chase as he tried to escape when challenged in the city of San Bernardino.

A motorcyclist who police say set a small fire in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains was arrested but investigators said they did not know whether he was connected to any of the larger fires.

FBI agents confirmed that a huge fire in the town of Santiago in Orange County that destroyed 10 homes was started on purpose in two different places.

A £35,000 reward was offered for information to trace the arsonists today as a break in the weather finally allowed firefighters to make progress after virtually conceding defeat to the series of wildfires that have been fanned by fierce winds.

President Bush arrived in California after declaring the country's worst nightmare since Hurricane Katrina a "major disaster".

Insurance companies estimated that property worth more than £600 million has been destroyed in four days of fires.

More than 1,500 homes and more than 700 square miles of land have been scorched across five counties, from Ventura in the north all the way down to Mexico. The office of emergency services said 28,000 homes were still threatened.

Many residents along the coastline from Malibu to San Diego, through the inland canyons to the mountain playgrounds of Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs, returned home last night to find just burning rubble.

Thousands more waited anxiously in makeshift evacuation camps, not knowing if they had lost everything they own.

The improving weather has allowed for a greater aerial assault on the flames with helicopters and air tankers dropping tons of water.

Just one death has been directly attributed to the fires, a man who refused to leave his home, although six others died during the evacuations and about 50 people have been injured, including 20 firefighters.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1811




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 26 2007, 03:54 PM
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And the lessons NOT learned from all of this will be:-

Take the insurance money and build another house out of wood on the same plot of land in the same fire-prone area, do NOT take fuel reduction measures, do NOT install your own water supply and water-curtain fire system and then blame the authorities when it all burns down again.

It amazes me when so-called intelligent people spend heaps of money on houses and then take no precautions to ensure the house's safety during inevitable fire seasons.

The forests of Australia have evolved to burn. Many species cannot germinate unless their seeds are first exposed to fire. We have huge bush fires every year and most years only a few houses cannot be saved. Also we have few deaths anymore. Most people take precautions and Australia has introduced a flee or fight strategy where people are encouraged to decide early whether to leave their homes or stay and fight the fire. Fuel load reduction and ember defeating strategies are broadcast in the media. Many smart people are designing water curtain systems into their house plans. These systems include on-site water storage, internal combustion pumps (because the electrical mains can fail) and curtain water recycling.
You know a feller orta go to SoCal and make a fortune as a fire prevention consultant. How about yer Hoss?




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Posted: Oct 26 2007, 04:44 PM
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It amazes me when so-called intelligent people spend heaps of money on houses and then take no precautions to ensure the house's safety during inevitable fire seasons.

I hear ya.... in the old days here in Amerika, the idiots would install flammable wood shake shingles on their rooftops to give their homes a woodsy atmosphere and blend in with the surrounding trees and woodlands.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to make your home less prone to burning... especially if you live near the wilderness.

But what really gets me is ... why would you want to build or live in a mobile home in a trailer park inside tornado or hurricane prone areas?

Are all of those people simply morons or mind controlled sheep?

Didn't they ever read the tale of the wolf and the 3 little pigs?




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 26 2007, 04:46 PM
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PS - take note of the satelitte photo above and how grateful I am that the smoke is mostly going offshore.




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 27 2007, 03:21 PM
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Every news report on the fires I think about ya Pupp and hope they stay away.




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Posted: Oct 27 2007, 04:46 PM
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Hi uggliozzi, would ya believe we had some light rain today!

The latest news report I saw this afternoon was that we are down to 5 fires which are still out of control.

The smoke hasn't been as bad as it was a few days ago.

When I took my daily walk I wore my red bandana over my face like a Wild West Gangster... the looks from everyone was funny.!
But it helped to protect my throat from the itchiness of inhaling all that smoke and ash.




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 28 2007, 03:37 PM
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I saw an in-depth report on the fires yesterday and I think that the US wild-fire fighting methods are well and truly last century. The crews are going in with axes, hoes, rakes and beaters - no wonder the fires are so hard to put out. They need bulldozers, tankers and high-clearance, four-wheel-drive pumpers. All the fighters appear to be professionals also - that limits the number of people you can put on the ground.

The US is lucky the fires do not move as fast as Aussie fires. I watched a five-minute interview with a fire chief which was conducted about 20 feet from the fire front. In a Aussie fire they would have been crisped nicely. The fire only made about two feet of progress in the five minutes.

There was one pearl of wisdom when a ranger said that the lack of controlled burning increased the fuel load and made fires more ferocious than they would be if the area was burned regularly. Much of Australia's forest is deliberately burned during cool weather at seven year intervals and fire break burn-offs are conducted every year.

In Oz each rural area has a fire-fighting unit(s) made up of ordinary citizens. They are subsidied by taxpayers but raise an awful lot of money by their own efforts. They train in their own time and put themselves on the line for no pay. (Our lifeguards are volunteers also). The rural fire services are so well organised that they could take over the country if they traded their hoses for guns. Maybe this is why the US does not have an organised, nationwide, citizen-based rural fire-fighting organisation - the central dictatorship cannot permit the existence of a potential citizen-based alternative. In other words, forest, houses and lives are lost because the dictatorship does not trust its own citizens.




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Posted: Oct 31 2007, 11:31 AM
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We still have 7 fires uncontained.
QUOTE
A child playing with matches and arsonists started California blaze
Jack Malvern
Times Online
Wed, 31 Oct 2007 
QUOTE
A boy playing with matches started a fire in north Los Angeles County that destroyed more than 15,000 hectares (38,000 acres) and destroyed 21 homes last week, according to Californian police.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, confessed to starting the Buckweed fire, north of Los Angeles, on October 21 but claimed it was an accident.

Diane Hecht, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said: "He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire."

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be be presented to the district attorney's office. He is believed to be under the age of 13, according to Reuters.

Sergeant Hecht said she did not know whether he was arrested or bailed by detectives.

The Buckweed fire, which was initially believed to have been caused by fallen power lines, began in an area near Agua Dulce and quickly spread by fierce desert winds. It was among more than a dozen major wildfires that killed 14 people, destroyed 2,176 homes, and blackened 206,980 hectares - an area more than five times the size of the Isle of Wight - from Los Angeles to the Mexican border.

Police have arrested five people for arson during that period, but none have been linked to any of the major blazes. Four of the blazes, two of which are still burning, have been listed as having a human cause, according to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Detectives said an arsonist also set a destructive wildfire in Orange County that blackened 11,500 hectares and destroyed 16 homes. Investigators believe the blaze was deliberately set because they found two ignition points within a short distance - a common sign of arson.

Authorities are seeking the driver of a white pickup truck spotted in a canyon area around the time the fire broke out, but stopped short of describing the driver as a suspect.

Officials offered a $285,000 (£138,000) reward to anyone with information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.

Firefighters had surrounded all but four of the blazes yesterday, and the remaining ones were more than 90 percent contained. The largest, which was 99 per cent contained yesterday, was the Witch fire near San Diergo, which consumed 79,000 hectares and destroyed 1,121 homes.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/worl...icle2777479.ece




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 31 2007, 05:08 PM
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I used to work with a guy who lit fires. He was a real nice guy, hard working, easy going, a bit slow but he lit fires. We were drivers at the time and every time he went into the surrounding countryside he would light a fire.

He's been in prison with no change to his behaviour. Even with his history it took the authorities months to identify him. The public was no help - he was driving a one-ton van with red, white and blue stripes and a blody great big company logo on it and it was reported as a small white van with a red stripe. When he was caught last time, they sent him to the psychs again. I bet he is back on the streets just as bad as ever.

To talk to him you'd think butter would not melt in his mouth - he is the arch-sweetypie. You'd hate to think of him locked up but he is a danger to the public. Luckily none of his fires have killed anyone - what of the future?




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Posted: Oct 31 2007, 08:05 PM
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Hiya Pupp .. waving.gif

I hear ya Mark ..
I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney .. ( its the place you see most often
on the news in the states when Oz is on fire .. shock.gif )
The stats on the percentage of fires lit by pyro's is disturbing to say the least ..
The majority of the big bush fires here in the mountains are lit by kids in the school holidays ..
There are also 2 cases that I know of where a volunteer fire brigade worker
lit fires .
When the fires break out in the school holidays .. you can be reasonably sure
it was kid or kids ..

Hi there Uggi ..

I see in your post that at least no one was hurt ..
No humans anyway .. rolleyesNEW.gif

The damage to small furry critters, birds, reptiles and flora is IMMENSE
and ultimately affects our eco system .. esp in terms of rainfall .
eg .. no trees .. no rain ..

So the ''angel'' you spoke of .. in fact caused mortal damage to our threatened
flora and fauna ..
I live with the threat that these F*****s cause every time they light up .. clubinhand.gif

I'll see if if I can find a pic of the fires 3 years ago that burnt all the way
to the front of my house ..

Nodstar* MARVINBlinkNewEmot3.gif

This post has been edited by Nodstar on Oct 31 2007, 08:05 PM




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Posted: Nov 1 2007, 12:05 PM
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It is indeed sad to see the damage done to not only irreplacable homes and personal human belongings, but also the environment.

A good point was raised here though:

Why DO people continue to rebuild fire-friendly houses in areas that are notoriously fire prone? - a paraphrase from "Uggliozzi"

Is it the lack of money to make the necessary modifications? Do they not care? Every year we see some area in CA go up in flames (certainly not to this extent...) and every year we see the same brave ash covered faces saying, "We just have to rebuild".

Perhaps I have a lack of understanding as I've never really set down roots myself, but why do people insist on staying in natural disaster areas?

Accidents happen. So soes Nature, but to discover that it was arsonists? I was enraged! Who goes out and starts crap like this? headbanger.gif

The above mentioned gentleman who has a penchant for "fire-bugging"? Kids?Someone (or thing) with a darker-than-most motive?

Perhaps we should have listened to Bill Hicks more...


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