You are correct PAK. I was being facetious. I really don’t expect, nor do we need any financial assistance from other countries.
And, as usual, Ozzy says a lot with very few words.
As far as Chavez and Castro offering assistance after Katrina…I think I will pass on sending them a “thank you card”.
I see that at least two politicians are somehow managing to blame this on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their imagination…and ignorance is boundless.
My CP photo alubum http://www.cpforums.org/gallery/album01
While I would agree that smokey the bear is an idiot, I would disagree that man has not adapted to fires. Have you seen how many animals die in fires? A lot. We lost 5 people. I'd say we're doing alright. We can, and do rebuild at an astonishing rate. And no, animals do not depend on fires for survival. Certain plant species do, but not animals (I know this may seem like ignorance because animals depend on plants, and the prolification of new plants by fires indirectly benefits the animals, but I think you know what I mean) . I say we have adapted to fires because we obviously know they will be started, and people that have lost their homes in the 2003 fires, are still living in the same area. If they didn't adapt, they wouldn't still be living in those areas. We DO let natural fires run their course around here at times, but due to the burgeoning population there are obviously areas that cannot be allowed to burn. We can "adapt" by protecting ourselves from natural fires without preventing the fires.
I heard on the radio the other day that one of the reasons that the fires are so bad is that the California Department of Forestry has been slacking off on the controlled burns that they are suposed to regularly set to control the dead brush that accumulates in time. So these fires have more fuel than normal, hence the reason they are so bad. Just a thought. But this doesn't change the fact of how bad these fires are and the incredible amount of loss they are creating.re I say this I want to say that I feel for all the people in the way of the fires and the ones that have lost their homes.
I don't want to sound harsh, but nature has a way of taking care of it's own. Natural causes fires to clean out the forest. The plants and animals have adapted to it and come to depend on them for survival. The only animal that haven't learn to adapt to them are humans. Instead of adapting we prevent them. The dead brush builds up and then we have out of control fires like we have now. These fires burns hotter than normal and it actually kills the plants and animals that have adapted to "more natural" fires. We have to learn to control them but still let them burn. We have to find a way to adapt to these fires.
Now, I've had a super-busy week so I haven't been able to dedicate the time that I need to make my comment on this, and while 12:00 may not be the best time to start- oh well.
Let me start by saying that my heart goes out to those affected by the fires.
Let me next say that these fires were in large part predictable. People go "oh it's those Santa Ana winds!" But the Santa Ana winds come every year around halloween.
What we have hear is actually a social/political issue, I've done some research about this in the past because guess what- this same type of thing has happened before. Who'd of thunk it?
The problems are multifaceted, but much of it rests in the fact that the surrounded areas contain systems that are fire-reliant. Areas with fire ecologies will burn, period. For every year that they do not burn, they will burn hotter the next as the fuel piles up. But what can be done!?
I'd direct folks to look at Baja California which has the same type of chaparral areas with fire-based ecologies. Small, contained, yearly burns take place. A patch will burn and there wont be much damage. The next year, say, another patch will burn. The difference is that a) there is less accumulation of fuel, and b) fire is contained by the fact that patches burned previously have already been cleared of fuel by the previous fires.
So the ecological aspects of it are real easy. What throws the whole system off?
Many affluent areas are either a) remote, or b) not up to standards for emergency vehicle access. So while fire fighters could be somewhere else, they may be directed to go up large hills using unfit backroads to get up to a mansion in a middle of the hills. Or otherwise some streets are simply too narrow to accommodate emergency vehicles.
As has happened in the past, when this thing happens there is a large national outcry and a lot of focus is put on areas like Malibu- people want to hear about the movie stars! The destruction is vast, there's no denying. What eventually ends up happening is that government subsidies come in to the very affluent areas. So the poor road infrastructure is rebuilt just the way it was. Homes are rebuilt just the way they were. Everything is set back up just the way it was, waiting for the next time to happen. Sure the affluent had their houses burned down, but the government pretty much just payed for them.
But what of the non-affluent people? Unlike affluent areas, population density for unit area is often quite high. Many apartment complexes are not built to code- emergency doors are blocked on the outside by debris, or chained off, fire escapes are rusted in place, etc. One of the particularly dangerous constructions are those types that you see in a lot of old movies where there is a set of stairs going along the walls of the entire building with the entire centre area open (getting vertigo yet?)
In poor areas fire response is stretched thin, fire codes often go disobeyed without repercussion, and emergency response is often diverted to affluent areas in times of disaster. The number of deaths from fires in poor areas are MUCH higher than those in the affluent areas.
But those who are really empowered (namely the affluent) don't have too much to worry about because while it sucks to lose all of your things- the government is there to pick up the pieces with big cash subsidies.
And since this is getting pretty long I'll end this here. While I cannot say that things will happen the same way this time, I can tell you how they have happened in the past. The figures are all out there- I'll see if I can dig some of mine up again, it's been a good while since I first read about this whole issue.
But what does it all equate to? It's not only predictable, but PREVENTABLE. I'm sure that's of little consolation to those who have lost everything, but I do hope that this time around that there will be a positive change and people will realize that management is key. As previously stated, you can't do controlled burns in all areas- that's why we need planning for when preventative measures aren't enough.
Caveat: I realize that there are other factors in play, etc, etc. I'm not trying to blame anyone, just to give some background regarding the situation.