RAIN

Rain has come to California, putting out the fires but too late for the town of Paradise, that is now utterly gone, nothing left but the streets, ashes and blackened, twisted pieces of metal with a chimney sticking up here and there.

The count of the dead relies entirely on the number of bodies found, and so far most of them are in the form of a few tiny fragments of charred bone that trained dogs have been able to find. There’s still 203 people missing, and now that the rain has come, it will be impossible to find more.

Much can be said about living in fire-prone areas but I do, myself. It’s the chance you take.

Rain is -almost- always welcome out here in the semi-arid desert mountains. It ends our fire danger and soaks into the ground to keep the native trees and plants alive for another year, those same trees and plants that feed the fires that burn our homes. But without them to hold the earth in place, the hills would turn to mud slides and take our homes with them. Like I said, it’s the chance you take.

When a forest fire breaks out and the fight to quell it begins, we start getting reports of “10% contained now”, “30% contained now”. Along with that we get “30,000 acres destroyed”, “50,000 acres destroyed”. So the reality is that if we didn’t fight the fires at all, they would still end up “contained” once they burned themselves out. Once a fire gets really big, there isn’t much to be done to stop it.

Glad to see the rains come again, no more worries about fire until next summer, when Pacific Gas and Electric’s faulty equipment will burn down another town, along with fires started by arsonists, lightning strikes, careless campers and general stupidity. But that’s life. If one thing doesn’t get you, another thing will.

5 Responses to “RAIN”

  1. x says:

    Horrible. Couldn’t quite understand how a town of that size could be destroyed but Google satellite shows how very spread out it was among the trees.

    One advantage of having horrible densely packed housing like we have in the UK I suppose. Lots of country round me but the village itself is just roads and buildings with the odd tree in gardens. Woodland at bottom of my garden but far enough away that I could probably sit and watch the fire through my window until it died out.

    Having the low population density of the US must make it a lot nicer place to live.

  2. Black Sheep says:

    Low population density? You’d think otherwise if you came here. The reason we seem to have low density is because of the very large deserts and mountain ranges, areas where very few people can live at all. Once the land become anywhere near flat with available water, it’s packed with people and more streaming in by the tens of thousands. No, it’s a mess. Horrible traffic, I mean UNBELIEVABLE traffic, freeways 4 lanes wide each way and you often move at a crawl. People here are desperate for the “forest getaway” look and keep moving farther out and more into the trees. So when we have fires, 1000’s of homes burn down at once.
    Just one of the MANY reasons we don’t want all those goddam Mexicans and Hondurans turning what we have into even worse ghettos.

  3. x says:

    A low population is what we should all aim for, makes for a much pleasanter place to live. Keep out all the low performers and we’d have more wealth per person as well.

  4. x says:

    Must admit I know very little about US. Spent a week at Pittsburgh on a business trip but, apart from that, all I know is from Google street view and watching The Simpsons.

  5. Black Sheep says:

    The Simpsons, for all its satire, is actually a pretty accurate portrayal of life in the USA. That’s what makes it so funny.

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