October 29, 2007

The Fire Coast

East of Pala, looking south towards the Rincon Reservation from Palomar.

The wind was still savage when we went to bed at ten, the sky swept clear, aglitter with stars. Anacapa flashed its warning light. The cypresses, pines and eucalyptuses were noisier than the surf. Cats' fur threw sparks when stroked. We slept in spite of the sinister atmosphere.

I woke up abruptly at four to see a fierce glow in the sky . . . God, the whole face of the mountain was burning, in a long line just below the summit, and moving toward us on the wind. Fear dried my mouth. I knew doom when I saw it.

The passage above [by Lawrence Clark Powell] and this post's title were taken from an essay written in 1996 by Mike Davis.

Those are clouds in the photo, not smoke. I took that shot during a cold July rainstorm in 2006, on a drive through the country that burned this week. [You want a fire photo, go here. Or here, to see what happened to the countryside above. More L.A. Times photos.]

Here are a few links with some of the most comprehensive information on the fires: lists of homes destroyed, emergency contacts, insurance news, water safety bulletins, animal care and quite a bit more.

Google Earth + Fire Overlays
Click here for links to [free] downloads of Google Earth and an [almost] real-time fire overlay. October 23 screencaps show the fires at their early worst.

Not always the most current information on wildfires --- but it's official.

San Diego 2007 Wildfires Wiki
Everything about the San Diego wildfires. Hundreds of useful links.

San Diego County Emergency Homepage
Essential, continuously updated information for San Diego County. Fire maps, water safety, evacuation centers, cell phone notification sign-up and much more.

San Diego Fire Recovery Information
Official site with information for affected residents.

Excellent coverage of the San Diego County fires: forums, maps and emergency information.

News 8 Wildfire Resource Page
More information for San Diego County residents.

Orange County Fire Authority
Updates on evacuations, fire status, arson investigation and more.

Rim of the World
Detailed information on Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs and other communities in the San Bernardino mountains: fire damage reports, forums, scanners, more. Continuous updates.

SoCal Mountains
Information for the Big Bear Lake area and other San Bernardino mountain communities. Fire information, damage reports, weather, scanners, live chat and more. Continuous updates.

San Bernardino County Emergency Homepage
Information on evacuations, school closures, utilities, assistance and more.

Wikipedia: October 2007 California Wildfires
Hundreds of wiki-facts and links. Continuous updates.

We need more of this, if you ask me. Sheep and cattle, too.

Last, but far from least: the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

Colin Fletcher wrote that Fortune is infatuated with the efficient.

Defensible space.

Papers, prescriptions, pets and photos.

Be safe.

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