The Fires Raging In California

Photo from San Diego fires - image of fires in California
@pyewacket (44036)
United States
October 23, 2007 4:04am CST
I think like a lot of people who have been watching the news, I'm rather dumb-struck by the horrendous fires that have been raging through the Malibu and San Diego areas of California. This is rather a common occurrence in this state every year due to those "famous" Santa Ana winds which spark off fires, but never do I remember it being so bad....Thousands of homes have been destroyed, some of them million dollar prime real estate..millions of acres of land has been affected..and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. I think this perhaps strikes home to me, as I was born in California in Garden Grove, which is about 95 miles away....okay a distance away,but still, this was my birth state. Thousands upon thousands of people have been evacuated--entire communities have been completely destroyed But what keeps rattling in my mind though...the animals...how many animals may have perished??...and did the people who evacuated have the smarts to take their pets with them...or did they abandon them the way so many did during the Katrina incident?? Who else feels for this issue?
10 people like this
29 responses
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I saw them getting their horses out so lets hope all got their aniamals to safty. and it is sad that all these homes are being distroyed and not much help for it I think I heard there are about 14 fireman battleing these fores lets pray for them that all get out ok and get this fire stoped
3 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (20533)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
23 Oct 07
I think what you heard was 14 different companies of firefighters. I know there's some waterbombers from Quebec there (they're on standby every year but were called early this year) and they have a crew of 8 each.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
23 Oct 07
oops must of heard wrong but this kind of fire they need that many and glad the flyers are there maybe get it under control faster
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
So many of the homes destroyed were these multi-million dollar ones..ouch! So many communities have been totally destroyed, and they originally had people go to shelters...but then they had to evacuate even them!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 07
There is really no need when the circumstances call for an evacuation for pet owners to leave their pets behind. I can understand if the person was away, and not being allowed back in the area to retrieve them, but for those who had the time to get what they could, there is no excuse. My heart goes out to those precious pets that have been left behind and hope that they make it through ok.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I know there really is no excuse not to take pets ...but I remember so many DID leave their pets behind during Katrina--why I don't know--If some disaster like that ever occurred here, I'd made darn sure I took my two "babies"
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Oct 07
Since I live in a tornado prone area I always make sure there is fresh pet food in my emergency supply kit. Whenever there is word that a severe storm is about to hit my area, my pets are the first to go into the storm shelter, in which each of my cats has their own large cage, with clean litter box, food and water dishes, and clean bedding for them to snuggle into and hide in just in case they get scared. Same for my dog, though she has a bit of a larger cage, since she's grown quite a bit. Then after I get all my pets and family settled into the storm shelter, I make sure that I have all my important stuff down in the shelter already, along with the right amount of supplies, just in case a tornado does hit. Yes, it may seem like a lot of work just for an animal, but they are part of my family to, and I love them like they were my own children. So it gets me a bit mad when people leave their pets behind in times of natural disasters such as Katrina and the fires in California. Animals are smart and can usually get themselves out of these situations, but once an animal is brought into a family, it should be evacuated out with the family also. It should be made a rule to do such.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Oct 07
Wow--I really have to congratulate your efforts in pre-planning for any disaster like you do...shame others aren't as vigilant as you are or think what they should do in some disaster and how to handle their pets at such a time
• United States
23 Oct 07
I heard during Katrina, people couldn't take their pets into the shelters.But in California I think the true pet lover has their pet(s) with them.I worry about the wild animals. I hope the sensed this coming are far,far away. I also hope everyone can come home and find their homes still there.Oh, do you have family in the area? Are they okay?I hope so.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I worry too about the wild animals there as well...no thank goodness, I do have family still in California but they are in the northern area now..near Sacramento
3 people like this
• United States
23 Oct 07
Whew! I am glad to hear that.
3 people like this
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I feel this issue strongly. I am currently sitting in Riverside, CA which is essentially the middle of a ring of 12 fires. We are currently dealing with smoke and ash that are raining down on us. As for your animal issue, my friend is currently at a big animal evacuation shelter with her horses in San Diego. My husband's uncle was able to get his dogs and cat out before his house burned but his grandfather wasn't so lucky, his cat most likely perished when his house burned. Plus I heard they had to evacuate the San Diego Zoo, talk about an animal rescue ordeal! If we have to evacuate there is no way I will leave my fur babies behind. They are part of the family and I ain't leaving without them.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
OMG---My prayers are with you Aurone! I'd be a nervous wreck knowing I was so close to all this...and I'm sorry to hear your grandfather may have lost his cat..and house! Yes, I heard they had to evacuate the Zoo--yikes where are they going to put all those animals?? And good for you...if God forbid you do have to evacuate glad to know you wouldn't leave your babies behind--keep me posted how things are...okay??
@Sherry12 (2475)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Yes, I'm very concerned. It seems to be getting worse, the pictures they are showing on television look really awful. I hope the people did take their pets with them. It is unreal the photos I'm seeing.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
Yes, it is...it almost looks like all of Southern CA is in fire...almost as bad as all those fires that occurred in Greece not too long ago
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Yes, pyewacket, I do feel for those people who are going through such a terrible time, but, at the same time, I have to wonder why they continue to subject themselves to a threat like this year after year! As you said, those Santa Ana winds whip through there bringing havoc every year. There is nothing in my makeup that would make me want to continue to live in such a place-no matter how beautiful it is. I think that people make a conscious decision to take their chances when they choose to live in such a place. I do know that some of the people took their animals with them because I heard on the radio last night that some were cooling their heels in the parking lot of a place that had been set up as a shelter due to the fact that their pets were not allowed inside with them.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I sometimes wonder why a lot of people in CA live in areas that are danger zones to begin with...like the San Andreas fault line area...or people who have expensive homes built overlooking the ocean but built on "stilts" on top of cliffs...now that's dumb no end
@3lilangels (4639)
• United States
23 Oct 07
this was so sad when i heard about this,my prayers go out to all the families and ofcourse their animals too.i hope it stops soon and everyone is safe.those poor people and animals my heart is so saddened for them.pattie
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
This is so unusual that the fires are going on for so long...this must be the worst year for Calif
• Romania
23 Oct 07
That is very bad news, every year i saw that are problems in California, and the fires that lasts weeks if not more that that.....
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Yes they have these fires every year, but never so bad
2 people like this
23 Oct 07
This was on the BBC news this morning in the UK, the video looked awful and the devastation caused is quite unbelievable. Like you, I wonder if people took their pets out in time, and what about the local wildlife too. I can only hope that the wildlife had more sense than to hang around but how many people actually stopped to grab their animals in their hurry to get away.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Usually wildlife can sense danger even long before it really happens...at least that's what I hope...The videos are horrible to watch those...all those homes and communities being destroyed, and it doesn't help with those "famous" Santa Ana winds, just making it worse.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 07
These fires are a nightmare. I live in California, and many people have had to take shelter in two of the cities I reside in Pomona and Glendora. It's feels like the "Sixth Layer of Hell" right now.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
My prayers go to you then...I hope you're not affected by it
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 07
I was born and raised in San Diego but moved to Scottsdale, AZ three years ago. My parents had to evacuate from Ramona Sunday and it looks like they may need to evacuate from my uncle's place in Poway soon. This is terrible. Family, friends, and former colleagues are losing their homes to something that the county should have learned from 4 years ago.
@hoghoney (3749)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I am guessing that there could be some pets left behind in them homes. I have been watching this on the TV also and it is sad that this seams to happen every year there, you think they would figure something to pervent this each year. My prayers are with everyone that has lost all they have.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
My prayers are with them too..so many people lost so much...all they had in the fires so far, and it's still going on and spreading. Yes, you think some "genius" would think of something to be better prepared for these fires that happen every year at CA
• United States
23 Oct 07
I agree that I think about all of the animals that are lost or left to fend for themselves and like anyone else that bothers me. But I felt that I need to add that when there are situtatons and disasters like this and Katrina Man and his family has to come first. I am sure there were many people in Katrina and again now that have to make some awfully hard decisions but if it means having to leave a pet behind to get yourself and your family out safely then that is what you have to do. I love animals as much as anyone, but human safety has to come first.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
Thing is it would take the same amount of time saving one's human family members as it would for a pet. If such a disaster occurred here, I'd make sure I took my two cats--no way would I leave them behind
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I hope the people took their animals too. I would think that these people would have a bit of notice and keep crates for animals that are not known for being cooperative - cats etc. While a 2 minute evac warning may mean grab the kids and run...and hour or 2 should be enough to gather up the family pets. I know my guys are my kids now..and no way would I leave without them.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I'm so glad you feel that way....I know I would never leave my "babies" behind...I'd make darn sure I took them
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
23 Oct 07
Whenever there is a disaster, the first things people do is to grab their children, and take what they can carry. If they have dogs, they would come along with them, but certainly you do not expect the mother to drop her toddler or three month year child to pick up the family cat, do you? So while the dogs will follow the family, and trail along with them, the cats will stay in the area, and find shelter where they can and wait until the families return to build again. Cats are territorial and if the family had taken them to another place, they would try to return to their former home. That is probably what happened in Katina, the parents picked up their small children, and left the animals to fend for themselves. Unless the pets were pampered pooches, they have enough instinct to escape the flames and go into the wilds. The danger would be, not that they were burned up, but that they turned nto feral cats and the dogs too will become large packs and attack small babies and children. So I feel for this, but not at the expense of sacrificing human life. I feel for those who will be bitten by these soon to be wild dogs and who might contact rabies.
@BarBaraPrz (20533)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
23 Oct 07
Well, I heard on the news this morning about the fires, and how the few roads that were open were clogged with all sorts of vehicles, including horse trailers, so I'm guessing that most if not all of the people are taking their critters with them to safety. But what I want to know is, with all these fires every year, what's left to burn?
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
You're right you wouldn't think there would be anything left to burn....but so many homes have--doesn't look like it's ending none too soon--those winds don't help either--just spreading it all faster
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I wish there was something I could do. I feel so bad about that. I know I feel really bad for the poor animals too. Its too sad. You know our kitties are certainly lucky!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Many years ago our building had a bad electrical fire and WE were told to evacuate our apartments--like pronto, as it was feared it could spread anyway else in the building..once we were evacuated we couldn't go back inside. Well...leave it to me...I managed to sneak back in when no one was looking...I figured, heck I rather be with my kitties and if need be, try to get them out if the fire did spread...it didn't thank goodness. So maybe it WAS crazy of me to go back in my apt..but I was just thinking of my "babies"
1 person likes this
@usmcsgtwife (4997)
• United States
24 Oct 07
camp Pendleton Fire - CAmp pendleton
I am at Camp Pendleton and so far we are on watch cause of the fires in Fallbrook, the smoke is so strong here and such a thick layer there are two fire right here on Camp Pendleton.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
OMG--that's terrible..my prayers are with you that they don't reach Pendleton...keep me posted okay??
• United States
24 Oct 07
I will thanks = )
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I was just looking up Pendleton...I got this news here..of course you probably know Two fires burning at Camp Pendleton The Associated Press Article Launched: 10/23/2007 05:03:41 PM PDT CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.—Two spot fires are burning on the grounds of Camp Pendleton, home of the U.S. Marines Corps. A base spokesman says one fire blackened 3,000 acres of brush and grass in a training area. It is 10 percent contained and is moving toward canyons and away from structures. Another fire burned 200 acres near a station that's home to the 1st Marine Division. It is fully contained. No injuries or damages were reported. Families living in military housing areas are being told to pack their belongings and be prepared to leave in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
• United States
29 Oct 07
I would expect that most of the non domesticated animals flee. They can sense these things coming and know how to avoid danger. I'm sure some to perish of course but even when the tsunami in 2004 hit there were surprising little animal deaths considering. I would hope though that people would take their pets with them when evacuating. When ever bad weather threatens here I get the pet taxi ready to take the cats to the basement with me if a tornado issue is issued. I watched something on the fires in Cal last year and it said that these forests actually need to burn too to thrive. I can't remember the exact details but it was like nature taking care of it's own kind of thing...People know that this happens every year and it baffles me as to why they would want to build so closely to these places.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Oct 07
Well..have you heard that all the fires were set deliberately by arsonists..what kind of sick minds would do that?
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Nov 07
What? No I hadn't heard that!! I just thought it was the usually forest fires. THAT is a sick f*ck to do such a thing!! Thanks for that bit of info!!
@gmakesmoney (2923)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I was thinking the exact same thing watching the 20/20 special on it tonight. I had to change it when they showed the animals because I've been a basket case lately anyway and that would just push me over the edge. I did learn one pretty cool thing on there though that most people don't know. So after Katrina, the government set a new federal regulation and law in all states stating that rescue workers must allow evacuees (is that what you call them?) to take their pets with them when evacuating their homes and must provide shelter where people can stay with their pets. They can't say "oh you can come back for it in a day or so" like they did with Katrina anymore or they are breaking that regulation and your new civil right. They did show a lot of people at the shelter with their pets. Apparently they decided that because 68% of pet owners refuse to evacuate without their pets and stay behind so not being able to take the pets was a saftey issue. I'm excited, that's wonderful news that they put that into effect. It's just a matter of people knowing their rights and demanding them if that time ever comes.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Oct 07
Oh--I just heard about that..uh, yes, up late...I'm watching this thing on the news of how the shelters for the evacuees there are accepting people with their pets..SO glad about that!! I know if some disaster came my way there is NO WAY I'd leave my "babies" behind
• United States
24 Oct 07
It's great, I think it will help to save a lot of people and their pets. I know what you mean, I'd never leave my my furry child behind either. I'm sure that some places will try and get around that act though and not let people know that they can bring their pets. It's going to be one of those rights you only have if you know about it.
• United States
27 Oct 07
Also all the wildlife in the area!!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Oct 07
I know..I bet a lot of wildlife perished from the fires! Makes me so sad to think of it