The fires are still burning in some places. More fires may come. The immediate danger and the massive, wind-driven firestorm that swept Los Angeles for nearly two days is over. People are going home, some to devastation and some to relative normalcy.
Some of my thoughts:
The Santa Ana River is some sort of parkland that knifes into the heart of Yorba Linda. It allowed the fire to spread deeper into the city than it would have otherwise. Parks are nice, but perhaps some wide and well-maintained firebreaks are in order.
Many of the homes that burned had the required fire resistant roofs. The heat was so intense that radiant heat was starting fires inside the houses, through windows. And, while the roofs were resistant, the underside of the eaves were not. Kinda like putting sunscreen only only your front and not your back, too.
You folks in the fire area ought to make sure your local firefighters do not want for goodies for the next several months. Working in 90 degree heat and 70 mph winds in fire gear, which adds 30-50 pounds, is nearly superhuman. A great many of you owe your homes to these men and women and you should treat them very nice.
Here are a few of the latest stories:
Hundreds of evacuees from Oakridge Mobile Home Park began lining up at Sylmar High School evacuation center before 9 a.m. today to board police vans for a first look at their fire-ravaged community.
Police are restricting access to the park because it is still considered a crime scene, closed to the public after the Sayre fire destroyed 477 of its 608 homes.
Orange County Fire Capt. Bill Lockhart said the fire crew he was working with Saturday afternoon in Yorba Linda had difficulties with water pressure.
On Fairmont Boulevard about 5 p.m. Saturday, he said, “We had a ‘dry hydrant’, where we hooked up to it and nothing came out.” So the crew moved along to the next available hydrant, which worked. “It delayed things a bit, but we were able to make it happen,” he said.
Orange County officials today said 113 homes were burned in Yorba Linda by the Freeway Complex fire.
“You can look and see how it burned, there are four or five houses in a row that were destroyed and the house next to them is untouched,” Calfire spokesman Justin Scribner said. “That’s the problem with wind-driven fire, it’s unpredictable.”
Authorities say they haven’t determined how two weekend wildfires began in Southern California. But they say another blaze in the Santa Barbara-area was caused by someone./blockquote>
Table of contents for Los Angeles Fires Nov 2008