Heartsick in the AV
It’s illegal to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater’ comes to mind as we hear “Fire” non-stop in California.
Heartsick in A.V. where, so far, we’re safe on the desert floor. Surprisingly we have clear air, but we aren’t immune. In 2010 our Lancaster home was covered in ash, friends in west Palmdale evacuated.
In 2017 friends lost homes to fire; one by Santa Rosa, one in Ventura. In 2018 my sister-inlaw, widowed a year, lost her home in the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise.
Power outages as prevention... She’s had many, 24-48 hrs. each, no lights, fridge, heat.
Weather... High winds happen. Yearslong drought happened. During it focus could have been placed on several things besides ‘ transportation’ and ‘save-everything.’ Clearing dry vegetation, dead trees; water options such as cisterns, desalination plants; road access for fire trucks; strong maintenance of power lines, structures.
Years of neglect have caught up with ‘ powers that be’ who are elected, appointed, hired to make difficult, unpopular decisions for public safety. I get, somewhat, P, G & E being proactive (defensive) now, proverbial ‘closing the barn door after the horse got out.’ Too little too late. No rewind button.
Power companies and the state should combine efforts, resources to provide generators for those living with long blackouts, clear fire-prone areas (nature is doing that), ensure power lines, structures are reinforced or replaced vs. cutbacks ‘for budget.’
A month after the historic deadly Paradise fire P, G & E execs were given raises, Christmas bonuses, a party. The state continues raising taxes with promise to ‘improve infrastructure.’ Many roads, highways are in disrepair, dangerous or simply embarrassing.
I’m no expert, just a Californian with an opinion, heartsick for family, friends, strangers enduring the unthinkable, again, in ‘fire season.’
Alice Cornell Lancaster