For those of you living in a cave (or, like Sunday School Teacher, on a farm): Southern California is engulfed in wildfires. No, these are not out in the sparsely populated deserts; yes, the pachyderm’s friends are okay (although one lost her house in its entirety).
Lots of love to Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico for sending firefighters and aid.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park evacuated its endangered animals to a fire-resistant hospital and left its larger animals (elephants, rhinos, and antelope) in irrigated enclosures. As of last update, all are doing well.
San Diego has managed to evacuate a million people from their homes. Of course, the Left will use this opportunity to say that: 1) wildfires never, ever existed before humans and their evil carbon footprints; and 2) San Diego is faring better than NOLA because white, wealthy people live there.
As for global warming: some of the LA/Orange County fires may have been caused by arson. The Santa Ana winds (which come down from the desert) have been gusting at 70 mph to 90 mph, which has downed power lines (which may have caused some of the San Diego fires), and spread the fires once they start. (See photo.) SD has a lot of eucalyptus trees, which have combusted from the heat alone (flashpoint of oil in trees is 49C, or 109F) and further spread the fires (here). Fire spreads faster uphill than across level areas or downhill, as the smoke and the flames pre-heat the higher elevations. SD’s terrain may have exacerbated the problem.
San Diego has hit a point of exponential disaster. The Santa Anas can spread embers miles away from the front line of a fire, which makes it nearly impossible to fight. Unchecked flames cause more problems: flames that exceed eight feet cannot be fought from the air, either, as water and fire retardant will evaporate before contact.
Now, if the envirofascists want to determine that the Santa Anas would have been a mere breeze without humans, fine – but is there really a functional difference between, say, 80 mph and 100 mph winds when it comes to spreading wildfires? air between 85 degrees and 90 degrees? This would still be a disaster, with or without “man-made global warming.”
San Diego is not at risk for blizzards or hurricanes, but has more than its share of wildfires and earthquakes. In 2003, wildfires caused a great deal of devastation; local officials learned and improved their disaster-response techniques. San Diego sent over a quarter-million “reverse 911” calls, which ordered residents to evacuate. Basically, your phone rings, and a recorded message tells you to either prepare for evacuation (get your stuff together), or to evacuate immediately.
The wildfires started on Sunday. A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday, which triggers federal aid. While this is a great thing for SoCal, it is not the epitome of disaster relief. San Diego had evacuated nearly a million people by the time the state of emergency was declared; local firefighters and aircraft had been working for three days straight before the feds stepped in. States are much more able to tune their response efforts to particularised problems, develop specialised disaster-relief efforts, and fight disasters in a timely manner, than is the federal government.
Illegal immigrants still tried to cross the border. Several have been hospitalised in critical condition. No word yet on whether or not the Mexican government will advise them against this.
Go Chargers, wherever you happen to be playing. Thanks for letting ten thousand Californians take refuge in your stadium.