Susie Bright on California’s Fires


California fire

Originally uploaded by BitHead

Susie Bright has a harrowing post about the fires happening near to her in Monterey County and all over the state:

The Central Coast is burning down— and no, I’m not kidding. The Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Ventana Wilderness, my community, have been ablaze with fires for the past few weeks. Big Sur has been on the edge of destruction since the weekend, and if you can read a satellite map, be prepared for a shock.

The air is orange and choking gray with smoke, the heat like an iron. In my neighborhood, 20 miles from from the nearest burn, there’ve been swarms of winged insects crowding the windows and doorways. You can drive past smoldering ruins and still-flaming burns down Highway 1. The lightning strikes over last Saturday ignited over 800 fires across the state of California, and most of them aren’t reported in any daily newspaper.

Later on, she discusses why this is happening — not acts of God, really:

There’s an extra edge to the smoke, that goes beyond the inevitable natural crises: Our country has, for some time, been unable to provide the infrastructure to deal with disasters.

I’m not just talking about for the hermit who’s off the grid. Everyone in California is mindful of the terrible floods in the Mid-West, and that leads to the all-too-obvious reminders of Katrina. A bridge collapses in Minnesota, and everyone knows that bridge should have been repaired or replaced ages ago. I’m sure all of you could tell me about something in your area that is a public hazard, overdue for repair, a “disaster waiting to happen,” and yet nothing happens ’cause there’s “no money.”

Meanwhile, we see the latest gas prices, and read about the exploding number of multi-millionaires— who still can’t fucking pass through the eye of any needle— and you just want to explode.

Amen, and hope for everyone that is caught in harm’s way. Susie’s post has a lot of helpful information about what to do if you’re one of those people. Don’t delay.

Image from BitHead.

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