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Beauty for Ashes

California's on fire, ya'll. One of them is right in my neck of the woods.

The fire started Wednesday on the east side of Chico on Humboldt Road, which is why they've dubbed it "The Humboldt Fire" (which is really confusing because this is not Humboldt County---Chico is about 350 miles west of Humboldt County). Hot winds have been driving the fire east up into the Sierra Nevada foothills, demolishing over 20,000 23,000 acres of my beloved Butte County landscape. Then last night it split into three fires and one of them started moving southwest. The local news keeps saying that only 30 - 40 66 homes have been destroyed, but I just watched a non-local newscast that said at least 100 homes have been destroyed in the town of Paradise. Many of my co-workers have been evacuated from their homes and are scrambling to find places to stay while they await their fate.

These photos aren't mine.

The Govenator declared a state of emergency in Butte County and firefighters from as far away as Beverly Hills are up here helping. There's like 13 wildfires burning all over in this state. I should be out taking pictures but I'm too numb. Under that I'm scared shitless. Not so much for myself, but for my friends and co-workers who live in Paradise. It hurts my soul to see the beauty of this landscape decimated. It's been feeding my soul for so long. I know fire has its place and it's all actually very profound---new life, etc. It's just so.....harsh.

This bottom photo is from a set of pictures that Flickr user Dain Sandoval took.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
:( I'm at a loss for words. Just thinking about fire and how fierce it is. Hope you get to see the new life side of that coin, and I hope your friends find a well-woven community of support around them, for however much it is needed (hopefully not much!)
Jun. 14th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
That Dain guy took some cool pictures.

This one isn't his but I like it too. It's of a DC-10 air tanker.

"a Cal Fire DC-10 Air Tanker dropping fire retardant on the blaze in Butte Creek Canyon. The tanker is the largest and only one in the country. It's housed in Sacramento and is only used in extreme terrains such as the area the Humboldt fire is covering. The tanker carries 12 thousand gallons of retardant, compared with 1200 gallons that a normal tanker carries."

Jun. 14th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
That's so sad and so scary.
Jun. 14th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
Ah, I forgot you were up that way. I emailed another friend of mine who lives in Chico, who used to be a firefighter, and he's devastated. It's a bit smokey out here near Sacramento, probably from those very flames.
I'm so sorry.
Jun. 14th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
have heart
I hope all is well for your co-workers. A wild fire is an awesome thing to behold.
Jun. 14th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
How horrible! Paradise turns to Hell.
Jun. 14th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
:sigh: Yeah, we're down here in Capital City, but I'm still scared. It's not fair. Not fair.
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
I forgot you are so close.
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I forgot you were there. OHMY!

But diasters make for incredible photos.
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
Yes, but it feels so wrong.
Jun. 15th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Those are some intense photos. May your friends & coworkers stay safe!
Jun. 16th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
I hope everything is okay for you as California burns around you!
Jun. 20th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
Take heart, Sweetpea. It's scary and miserable and sad and profound, but at least it's not a tornado or flood back East. At least it's not anything back East.

Feeling for you. Keeping you and your temporarily displaced friends in my thoughts.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )