Friday, October 26, 2007
Surfing Waves Beats Fleeing California Flames Any Day -by California Surfer Dude Edits by Legal Pub
Keep in mind, while my peers may have been attending class in journalism 101 back in the day, I was probably cresting major waives with a rubber band keeping my hair out of my eyes. So excuse my ignorance as I give you a thumbnail sketch of the southern California scene as the Surfer Dude sees it. Hopefully, Legal Pubmeister will provide some of his edits.
The good news: Despite all the negative press, firefighters have done a great job and are true heroes. Thousands of evacuees (temporary homeless dudes and dudettes) returned home on Thursday and Friday. Evacuation orders are no longer in place for most residents of San Diego county. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said Qualcomm Stadium shelter, which had 10,000 people, closed at noon on Friday.
The bad news:
Border Patrol agents near Barrett Junction (east of San Diego) found four bodies along the Mexican border. This is an area that has a rep (reputation) for being the number one place that illegals (illegal immigrants) enter into the U.S. Paul Parker (San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office) is quoted in the local rag sheet (news paper) as it being three men and one woman.
Sunday, a 52 year old dude from Tecate (near Mexican border) was found dead in the remains of his burnt home in San Diego County. Two other bodies were also found in the remains of another home, I believe yesterday. Home owners in this area had all been asked to evacuate.
Best I can count, and math was not popular in my circle on the beach, three have been killed by flames and seven others have died from causes associated with the evacuation. As for names, John Christopher Bain, 58, a mortgage broker, and his wife, Victoria Fox, 55, a teacher, died in Escondido.
50 some firefighters and another 30 or 40 people have been injured in the fires.
How much has burnt?
More than 487,000 acres (about 760 square miles) of trees have been consumed. Over 1,800 homes have been destroyed. They estimate between 20 and 30 thousand more homes may be in jeopardy depending upon the winds and weather. Most fires are contained but a few are only 30 percent contained in San Diego County and the Lake Arrowhead mountain resort area (east of Los Angeles.)
President Bush gawked at the damage in Rancho Bernardo creating great photo ops (opportunities.) Our President declared seven counties a major disaster area, making locals eligible for federal money.
At least 52 firefighters and about 30 other people have been injured.
We used to say, on a clear day U.C.L.A.! Well, with all the smoke and all, even the university was obscured. 21 homes burned
In the Los Angeles area, fire crews worked to tamp out many wildfires, including two that burned 21 homes and are now fully contained.
San Diego officials said Thursday the number of homes destroyed had surpassed 1,400, about 400 more than previously reported. That would bring the number of homes destroyed in the seven affected counties to at least 1,800.
Arson has been identified as the cause of the 26,000-acre blaze in Orange County. Five people in San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties are guest of the authorities (arrested on suspicion of arson) but I think this relates to only smaller fires. Another dude (suspect), was shot to death as he fled San Bernardino police. He has been identified as Russell Lane Daves, age 27, of Topock, Ariz. Officers apparently thought he was trying to set a fire.
Heading back north in my woody so later,