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Old 10-23-2007, 01:26 PM   #41
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Good luck and take care Laurence!

My sister in Orange is having to wear a special mask for her asthma.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:34 PM   #42
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ah well, thank goodness someone decided to add some perspective.

I hope you guys all stay safe..

A very sad thing about the arson. In Italy, I am sorry to say, it's even worse and more complicated (the fires aren't worse but this summer has been very bad and dry for us as well); firefighters themselves have been suspected (certain response squads are paid on a per-fire basis, yeh?), and landowners have been suspected for other motives linked to development. They had to pass a law that said that any burned-out area could not be re-built upon for X number of years to discourage 'speculation' of this nature. Of course, who's looking and whether there is enforcement is also suspect. Another terrible scandal is that 75-80% of the fire-prevention force in Sicily takes off the month of August like everyone else.
Weren't there some very bad arson fires in Italy this past summer? I recall seeing an article in Gente about a seaside resort that burned in Calabria or Campania (can't remember which) and they showed pictures of the incendiary devices used. For the life of me, I will never understand why people commit arson.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:52 PM   #43
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laurence sorry you have to leave your house but at least grandparents get to play with the kid. leave some room in the car; sounds like you might have to take bright eyed with you.

ladelfina, i recall seeing a tv report on suspected fires in italy. at the time the suspects were developers, not firefighters.

isn't it something to think that any arson or other variety of terrorist would even bother to cause so much pain & destruction. i realize i'm just lazy but if i was an arson or a terrorist i would just wait it out on the sideline and let nature take its course.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:54 PM   #44
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isn't it something to think that any arson or other variety of terrorist would even bother to cause so much pain & destruction. i realize i'm just lazy but if i was an arson or a terrorist i would just wait it out on the sideline and let nature take its course.
You would be amazed what people will do to make a payment or pay for the next fix.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:57 PM   #45
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As in many situations here and elsewhere, it's "follow the money".
The Raw Story | Organised crime suspected in Italy's fires

I used to wonder too, why there were heaps of open rotting trash bags on the public beach. Then I put two and two together: the pay beach right next door to the public one charges 12-15/day. Guess who went to the pay beach the next day? and, hmmm WHOOOO could have thrown that trash there

Another reason for fires is farmers/shepherds clearing land that's overgrown with brush and it "gets out of hand". (They don't have GWB!)
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:45 PM   #46
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If anyone has friends or relatives in the San Diego area and is checking on their neighborhood for fire damage check out kpbs.org/news/fires. Click on the interactive map to see where the fires, road closures, etc. are.

Friends of mine in Fallbrook got back to their house this afternoon not knowing what to expect. It turns out their property is OK but a house just 100 yds or so away burned to the ground. A grove of eucalyptus bordering their property was on fire and ready to blow (those things literally explode from all the oil in the tree) and he and a neighbor doused it out with hoses. Just goes to show how seemingly randomly the fire can move to one house and not another.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:28 PM   #47
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I live within the city limits of San Diego. The fires are to the north, south and east of the city (nothing but ocean to the west). The air quality in the city is not very bad considering the number of fires. To the poster who is going to travel to the city, unless things get a lot worse, I wouldn't think the current situation should interrupt their trip. I ventured out today to the east to look over the city, but I couldn't see much but smoke from my vantage point on Mount Helix. To give you an idea of how dry it is - the urban freeway, I-8, I drove out on had a fire on it when I returned 45 minutes later - probably from a cigarette butt thrown from a car. My signature line has new meaning this week.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:52 PM   #48
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Well, we've returned home, and things are a lot better here, most of the local news is saying things are looking up and that we are getting a handle on the fires, but the national sites like MSNBC make it sound far worse. The winds are gone and the fires are turning or burning out. Lots and lots to do, and a little town called Julian - known for a mean apple pie - is in trouble out east of us, but things are looking up. A lot of my friends have checked in as having been allowed back into their houses. Keep your fingers crossed!
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:57 PM   #49
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Well, we've returned home, and things are a lot better here, most of the local news is saying things are looking up and that we are getting a handle on the fires, but the national sites like MSNBC make it sound far worse. The winds are gone and the fires are turning or burning out. Lots and lots to do, and a little town called Julian - known for a mean apple pie - is in trouble out east of us, but things are looking up. A lot of my friends have checked in as having been allowed back into their houses. Keep your fingers crossed!
This is good news! I'll be hoping for the best, for you and others in California areas threatened by wildfires.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:06 PM   #50
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Thanks Riskadverse, for your advice on my trip to San Diego. And thanks laurencewill for the update on how things are going with the fires. I am happy to hear that things are getting better.

I finally heard from my friends in the area that their house was spared, they were lucky. I continue to send thoughts and prayers to everyone else in the area!
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:18 AM   #51
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Welcome back, Laurence, I'm glad you guys are sleeping in your own home tonight... hopefully the air will clear up over the next few days.

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A grove of eucalyptus bordering their property was on fire and ready to blow (those things literally explode from all the oil in the tree) and he and a neighbor doused it out with hoses.
I've heard that eucalyptus' high oil/water content make them a potent fire break. A local kid's campsite was saved from brushfires years ago that swept up the whole hillside but couldn't gain traction in their eucalyptus grove.

It's been a dry summer. The good news is that we haven't had to cut our grass in over six months, but the not-so-good news is that every hillside around here is either brown or gray from lack of water. The trick now is getting enough rain to soak everything and start it growing again, without washing entire hillsides down into the gullies.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:02 AM   #52
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Let's hope the Santa Ana winds subside today. This is a tragic event which will affect many with higher insurance and higher taxes, not to mention the loss of a lifetime's memories. My best wishes to all of you who have to deal with this tragedy.

I was watching the activity at Qualcomm.

cbs5.com - Qualcomm Stadium Just Fine For Fire Evacuees

The similarities ended there, as an almost festive atmosphere reigned at Qualcomm Stadium.

Bands belted out rock 'n' roll, lavish buffets served up gourmet entrees and massage therapists helped relieve the stress.

Not even close to the Superdome during Katrina. Why they even have a meditation area there! Amazing.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:08 AM   #53
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I just found out that two of my female cousins took my 90-year-old uncle out of Rancho Bernardo and they are all staying at a motel in Kearney Mesa. One of them also has a condo in Rancho Bernardo, and doesn't even know if it has burned down or what!

They said that in driving out, there was fire on both sides of the road that met at the top so it was like driving through a tunnel of fire. But then, as kids my cousins sometimes had a tendency to exaggerate (as did I) and I have no idea whether or not they outgrew that. Either way, I am sure they were scared to death.

From what I understand, the winds should be lessening soon or have already. I hope so, at any rate.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:44 AM   #54
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I helped my mother-in-law pack up her house last Saturday to move to TX. She lived in Ramona, CA. We left her house around 8am Sunday, her husband was told to evacuate at noon, I think the house burned down shortly after that. Pretty crazy to say the least.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:17 PM   #55
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I helped my mother-in-law pack up her house last Saturday to move to TX. She lived in Ramona, CA. We left her house around 8am Sunday, her husband was told to evacuate at noon, I think the house burned down shortly after that. Pretty crazy to say the least.

Good timing at least, the memories were packed up and safe!

So far the mood in San Diego is very much one of coming together. The phone and email is rattling off like crazy. One house has so many friends packed into it I want to head down with a couple bottles of Patron and get the party going! We'll see how long it lasts as relief turns to boredom and the drudgery of the cleanup.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:51 PM   #56
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Just got a call from my gal who is running her Mom around to doctor visits in Palm Springs. She says it is 100 degrees at 12:30 and the air is sparkling clear, reminding her of the air down there in the mid-60s. This thanks to the Santa Anna winds flushing the bad air out to sea. OTOH, no one can reach some other relatives who live in Santee - he has very minimal lung capacity, so hopefully they have headed for the good air.
Heard that the damage to homes is reckoned at one Billion dollars, which is just awful and a national disaster. Also just looked up the 2006 Iraq war cost, which looks to be $165,237,672,014 and counting (The Age of Consequences What Is a Civil War and Who Decides If It Is?). Or maybe it was only two Billion every week of the year - Congressional analysis puts cost of Iraq war at $2 billion a week - The Boston Globe

Just to keep things in perspective..
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:25 PM   #57
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Just curious, on an event like this what do you take out of the house?
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:13 PM   #58
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Just curious, on an event like this what do you take out of the house?
Pictures and insurance paperwork. Then you go down the list of momentos. A good thing about LBYM is we don't have much in the way of material things to cry over! The walk in closet's contents could be completely replaced with $1k, all the furniture is discount store specials, no fine china, no diamonds other than the one on DW's finger, etc. We love electronics, but the computers hold the pictures so that's 2 for 1.

I hope a lot of people take this as a lesson of what really matters. If you can walk away from it with a smile, why slave away to buy it in the first place?
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:46 PM   #59
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I've heard that eucalyptus' high oil/water content make them a potent fire break. A local kid's campsite was saved from brushfires years ago that swept up the whole hillside but couldn't gain traction in their eucalyptus grove.

After a quick check on wikipedia I wouldn't be planting eucalyptus as a fire break if I were rebuilding in Rancho Bernardo:

"Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable (trees have been known to explode) and brush fires can travel easily through the oil-rich air of the tree crowns."

and

"Fire is also a problem. The 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm which destroyed almost 3,000 homes and killed 25 people was partly fueled by large numbers of eucalyptus in the area close to the houses."
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:50 PM   #60
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Just curious, on an event like this what do you take out of the house?
Probably the same as for a hurricane evacuation. Each evacuation list is very personal. You take what you need, and what you care about that cannot easily be replaced, that will fit in the car. For those who like longer lists and are wondering what they might take, here are some items from my hurricane list:

money, wallet
clothes, shoes, deodorant, toothbrush, hairbrush
camera and charger, cell phone and charger
laptop computer w/ charger, phone connection line, ethernet cable, mouse
software and CD's (including backups and digital photos), DVDs
food, water, snacks for the trip, canopener, coffee cups
files and important papers, photos, diplomas, address book
dissertation, thesis, authored materials, one or two favorite books
back taxes and papers from prior years
art and sculptures, favorite lamp
bedding and towels

When I first evacuated for Katrina, I had my laptop and two days' worth of clothes. Not good! This list was developed after that, and used after the look-n-leave five days later, and again a couple of weeks later when I evacuated for Hurricane Rita.
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