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fires in cali


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ok boys and girls it seems that the only thing on the news right now is the 5 fires we are having in cali right now

2 of which are about 30 to 40 miles away

hopefully the firefighters will kill those fires soon and hopefully the winds will stop

we are having winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts of 50 to 60 even 75 mph

looks like the fires near me are going west towards the ocean but if the winds reverse themselves i may be a gonner

i will keep you guys updated as much as possable hopefully i keep my track record of 8 and 0 8 wins and no losses

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I have two fears in life - probably could be classified as phobias. First, is fire, and second is height. This isn't about heights, but my fear of fire began when I was 5 and my dad and mom took me to a smoldering house fire the morning after to look at the remains. An entire family was burned to death, and in my worst nightmares, I hear their screams and see that refrigerator door rolled up from melting in the front yard. Ever since then, I never had that morbid curiosity of fire that many kids had, and stayed away even from campfires.

I will tell you that I sympathize with those poor unfortunate people in California over the past years, and it has sickened me that some of them were started by arson. I sure hope this one wasn't.

A few years ago, in my former home in Boca, we had this dysfunctional family in which the youngest kid was a true problem, as he was constantly verbally and physically abused by his dad. He took has anger and aggression out by setting fires, like spreading lighter fluid over a road and setting it on fire, throwing fire bombs at the ducks in our pond, setting fires on the hiking trail behind my home, and even threw a lit can of fluid drenched newspaper on a neighbor's roof. Sick kid. One night, we had dinner at some friends' house, and my son Kevin goes to his room, and emerges saying, "Dad, the back yard is on fire". Yeah, right, but looking out the patio door, it was. This kid, Sean, constructed a bomb from a box laden with paper, drenched in gasoline, with a homemade fuse, and set it on the path, and it immediately went out of control and went into our hedges which connect to our home.

I hoofed it into the garage and got the fire extinguishers, got the cordless, and went out to put out the fire. My wife got all of the important papers, and the children and fled out to the front of the house and moved both cars in case we had to evacuate. The neighbors heard the confusion and all were in their porches and told me it was Sean, I called the Police, goaded them into bringing the helicopter out to search for this ugh, person, and the helicopter with a sniper was hovering over Sean's house, while the 9 police units responding, (none helped with the fire, my extinguisher was bigger, and they didn't want to get dirty - way to go Palm Beach Sheriffs - and then caught Sean, then LET HIM OFF!!!!

At 4am I was just recovering from the fear of actually being in the fire to put it out, and Sean, his two friends and parents show up, and start cleaning up the debris left by their bomb. The parents minimalized the kids actions, and they started ragging on me for calling the cops. Burnt bushes, debris, upset neighbors, and they are calling me bigoted because I called the cops on their little boys. I told them I was the victim, and how sick they were ragging on the victim, a sign of how sick a society this is. My wife got the camcorder and recorded me putting out the fire just incase the insurance company needed documentation and evidence, and then got the parents and Sean admitting to it, and dismissing it. I put the tape on the next evening news, and told them the next time, since I worked for the government right next to the Sheriff's Dept, I would call a chip and Sean would spend a couple of nights in jail before release, and see to it he got an amorous monster as a cellmate. Never had a problem with fire since then. That is what fear does. Later, after all the publicity on TV, I was offered to provide Sean a counseling course in fire pathology, and the parents refused. Sean is now doing time - 3 hots and a cot for the next 5 years.

Do I know the terror and fear a fire breeds, yes!!!! Am I ashamed that fire puts absolute fear into me, no!!!

I will say several prayers for them today, and at church tomorrow, ask our congregation to pray for the victims of this disaster.

Whenever I tell people I am from Florida, all I hear is hurricanes. Those do not fear me, I drove through Hurricane Fay in Jacksonville on the way to a week with my special girl in NC. Debris flying in front of me on I-95, sometimes no visuals except a truck to guide me in my lane, wind blowing my car all around...... no big deal, but a fire, that is when my adrenaline pumps.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

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Fires are my main fear too. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I worked and lived at the Drug Abuse Preventive Center. A resident, who was given certain privileges because of his length of staying with the program was told one night he could not stay out later than the curfew time. He was upset with this and got out the gas we kept for the mower and poured it all over the living room and dining area. We were all asleep when he did it. We awoke to the sound of breaking glass and neighbors yelling to wake us up. Staff and residents all lived on the second floor. Since I was staff, I had an efficiency apartment attached to the house with my own entrance. After trying to get into the main part of the building and trying to get people out, I couldn't see through the smoke and retreated back through my apartment and down the back stairs. I escaped with only my pants and T-shirt, no shoes. Two people died, a recovering alcoholic and a staff person. I heard the screaming of those guys. Other residents got out by jumping out the front windows, one broke his ankle and it never healed right. The house was a total and we all were homeless then. The person who started it was caught and is still serving time as far as I know.

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well i am a lucky person (for now) the fires are heading towards the oceans

but on the way home from the pegasus model meet last night i went through a smoke patch

i actually smelt peoples houses burning i feel bad for the unfortunate but i am thanking god that my houses and my friends houses are not in danger

hopefully the ones who wernt so fortunate will get all of their losses replaced

and i hope they catch the person who started these fires and make him pay

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The fire's have been going on for thousand's of year's in these hill's, but these people seem to keep building these house's in wooded area's knowing that someday this will happen, next is going to be the rain with all the land slide's from all the vegetation that was burned away. And the one's who re-build their house in the same spot after being destroyed will never learn. Just like people who re-build where tornados took their homes. after working for the CDF as a hotshot I have seen and been in some fire's that all we can do was sit back and wait till it die's down. The people need to learn that they have to clear the brush away from their home's at least 60 -70 ft. I know it may look ugly but that is the only way to save your home in the case of a fire. If I see the fire coming down the hill towards my home I will just set a back fire and burn all the fuel away. That's something the firefighter's should be doing now to save some home's but the Hazard pay is good for them so why do it.

Edited by MR BIGGS
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Kevin I lived in Laurel Canyon in Holly wood in 1973. I know the Griffith park area very well. I would wander through and was stunned that such an area existed in such a highly densely populated maze of freeways and perversion. I'll be praying for the fire to go to Will Rodgers State park. Hey cant burn too well as it's too wet there ! Ed Shaver

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One of my most vivid childhood memories as a kid was an apartment building fire my family was involved in. Back during the winter of 1965-66 my Mom got a small apartment right after her and my Dad had separated.

We lived on the 13th floor (yeah they gave floor #'s a "13" back in those days :P) and one night a fire broke out in an apartment down on the 5th floor. Needless to say, that was a terrifying experience to have to come rushing down from the 13th floor and having to fight through smoke..............I can still remember my Mom telling me to cover my nose and mouth as she tried to carry my sister (she was 2 at the time) and cover her face.

I don't remember seeing any flames as the apartment on fire was on the side, and we came down a middle exit.

We made it down to the ground floor to the outside...........and my Mom was just thankful to just get out of the building!

What caused the fire??

Kids playing with their Mother's lighter/matches! They had caught the couch on fire and all of them died from burns/smoke inhalation. IIRC there were four kids ranging in age from 10 down to a baby. The Mom wasn't home...........who knows where she was. :P

I can still see the firemen dumping the smoldering smaller rugs/blankets out the windows............that's just one of those memories that never leaves you-----even after over 40 years.

I don't have an all out fear of fire, but it is one of those things that I worry about as the house I'm in is a duplex, so I gotta worry about the folks next door. It's funny though, because when I first moved in, my next door neighbor asked me if I smoked!

I told her no, so she seemed to breath a sigh of relief as she might have had some fire trouble too in the past! :( Her kids smoke though, but she makes 'em smoke outside where it belongs! :P

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Having survived two sets of fires in San Diego(last year and two years before that) I would like to lend a bit of reality to California wild fires for those who do not experience them. Although they are rough and can do a lot of damage, they are not nearly as bad as what the news makes them out to be. Most frequently, the fire fighters(God bless them!) are able to limit the damage. They have enough experience to contain them quite quickly in most cases. What makes them really bad is when the Santa Anna's are blowing. For the uninitiated those are hot dry winds blowing out of the east from the desert. Add fire and 50+mph winds and you get a fire storm. Doesn't happen often but when you get conditions like last year, and the winds blow for several days, then you have a real problem.

So, having said that, damage wise, only occasionally do they do horrific damage. Comparable to other locations, we have few natural disasters on the west coast. A single hurricane can do more damage than all the wild fires and earthquakes have done in the last 20 years. Katrina did far more damage than we have suffered in the last 20 years.

Now on to the stupid. Build a house on the side of a hill, in a canyon loaded with brush and a history of burning, because it has a gorgeous view and you're and idiot. No sympathy for your stupidity, even if you are a Hollywood star with a multi million dollar home. Fire does not respect wealth. Equal opportunity destroyer. Kind of like the people I see along the banks of the Mississippi each year that stand on the porch complaining that this is the 10th time in 15 years that they have been flooded out. Yea?? No kidding? Move!!

Now on those occasions when a fire burns into areas that are well protected and had a bad luck of the draw, I have a lot of sympathy for those people, but that doesn't happen all that often. Fire is one of the hazards that we face here, and most of us accept it and do what we can to mitigate it's effects, just like any other form a disaster. That is what we accept when we live here. I just hate the fact that the news has to blow it all out of proportion.

While on the subject, in one of the most recent earthquakes, I was literally rolling on the floor with laughter. The news teams had helicopters over the epicenter shooting "live footage" and the commentary was that they couldn't see anything. They couldn't see anything for hours. They couldn't see it because there was no damage, but boy did they have it covered! :D

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I was in Florida last December when they were having fires outside of Jacksonville. Not as bad as what they had some years prior, but just an eerie thing even though I was nowhere near the danger.

But if you have nice warm weather 320 days of the year, there has to be a down side whether it be fires, earth quakes or mud slides (not the bartender conconctions).

Bob

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