September 1, 2009

The City is on Fire

So, as everyone has probably noticed, LA is on fire. Every year it seems like the second temperatures hit 100 degrees, blazes start up all over the city.

A few days ago, I was watching the news coverage of a fire near Long Beach (I can't remember the name of the actual neighborhood) that had sprung up about two hours earlier. This particular fire had spread incredibly fast, was already burning one home, and several others were threatened. The part that got me was the news reporter kept repeating that this fire was spreading so rapidly because it was in an area that hadn't burned in four years.

Now, that's not a great deal of time, as far as burn zones go. And the fact she was stressing the time over and over made me wonder: has this city become so jaded to natural disasters that four years without one is a long time?

And then, I think the next day, the Station Fire started up, in an area that hasn't burned in decades. Now that's a good chunk of time for brush and other fuel to build up. And as I'm righting this, it is only 5% contained, covering 105,000 acres, with over 50 homes destroyed and 5 people dead.

There is so much smoke in the air, my eyes are swollen and puffy, I'm congested, and I'm coughing a lot. And one of the ones in good shape. I keep checking for news updates on the fires around the city, because although my home isn't anywhere near a danger zone, I think it's important to know what's going on around you, especially when so many lives are being affected.

And I have friends telling me to quite obsessing. It doesn't affect me, so I should pretend it's not happening a mile from my front door. That I can't see flames from the freeway as I drive home.

So it's true. This city is jaded to natural disasters. And that makes me sad.