11 Dead as Fires Continue to Ravage California
By Todd Norman
The governor of California has declared a state of emergency as fires continue to destroy upwards of 1,500 homes and businesses. The National Guard joins the thousands of fire fighters who are already on the front lines of the fire fight.
The 15 fires in Northern California have burned more than 100,000 acres. The images of destroyed homes and neighborhoods is heart breaking. 11 lives lost so far, in addition to the priceless photos and documents destroyed.
One can only imagine the scenes of chaos and fear as people escape on foot and car. More than a hundred people have been taken to hospitals and it is expected that the death toll will continue to rise.
It will take several more days if not weeks for these fires to be contained. Many people are still being evacuated including some in hospitals where patients were evacuated to other facilities. A large portion of the city Santa Rosa has also been evacuated.
There is hope that weather conditions will improve as today continues on and that the fire fighters will be able to make progress on the fires. Winds of up to 50 mph had pushed the fires in an unpredictable manner and have died down.
Meanwhile as Northern California has its own struggles, pictures of disneyland show the orange haze covering Anaheim as the Orange County fire storm burns 7,500 acres as of Tuesday morning. Fires up to 40mph have helped to spread the blaze quickly.
More than 5,000 evacuations in orange county are in place since the fire broke out on Monday morning, already burning 24 structures.
In the midst of this battle, containment crews are working to stop the fire by bulldozing trees, brush and other flammable material. We hope that as they starve the fire of fuel it will die down.
While one corner of the United States is concerned with massive rain and flooding, another corner fears for the destruction of thousands of acres ablaze.
This year has had more than it's share of heart break and lives lost. If there is one thing that I have been reminded of it's that no matter where you live the unexpected can happen and disaster can strike.
We want to help people create life choices that will help them and their families to be prepared for the unexpected disasters. That's why we don't just encourage creating emergency kits, but creating plans and a lifestyle that supports emergency preparedness.
The first two steps to being ready for any emergency are
- Stay up to date! Know what's going on around you, be aware of possible disasters in your area.
- Start a grab and go plan and kit! Know what you and your family need to do if you have to leave. Have important photos and documents easy and handy in case you do have to leave. Build more supplies as you go along to have in your kit.
Be ready and stay safe.