As we did yesterday, we're breaking up the posts on fire information because our provider gets the vapors if the posts get too long. For the full picture, check out the previous story and comments.
And a nod to Mary McNamara of the LA Times for a trenchant article on "You can send a helicopter to hover over an empty freeway waiting for the corpse of Michael Jackson, but where are you when my house and the national forest is burning down?"
(Our theory in journalism school was that people went into TV news -- not to become journalists -- but to be on TV. And they lacked any performing talent, so what was left?)</snark>
COMMENTS: We have had some very legitimate concerns about people who don't know how to comment (a major flaw in this canned design). To reach the "Comments" section, the easiest way is to just click on the "Tuesday Firewatch PM" headline. That will give you the post, all comments, and space for your own at the very bottom.
The other way is to scroll down to the bottom of the post, where you'll see a line and the words
Posted at [time} Permalink Comments
Click on "Comments," and voila!
Hope this helps!
A few thoughts before closing the post for the day:
9/11 was a great American tragedy, but for Al Qaida it was a 25% failure. Why a failure? Because Flight 93, on its way to the White House or the Capitol building, didn't make its target -- it crashed in a Pennsylvania field instead, and our leaders were saved and our government could continue.
How? The terrorists were armed with knives, box-cutters, fanatical devotion to causing death and destruction, and years of preparation for this moment. Yet they were utterly thwarted and sent to Islamic hell by unarmed Americans who had just prepared to go on a plane ride.
The passengers didn't have weapons, but here's what they did have:
- Information: they used their cellphones to call loved ones and find out the big picture, finding out that they were part of a plot.
- Determination: that whatever the terrorists had planned, it would not happen --"not today, not on our watch."
- Organization: they improvised weapons (hot coffee and hot water, flung into faces); they improvised tools (the drink cart, turned into a siege weapon to hammer open the cockpit door). Many became one in purpose.
- Bravery: they knew that it was likely they would not survive, but the cause was necessary.
- Sacrifice: a sense that they would do and endure whatever was necessary so that evil would not triumph.
The passengers of Flight 93 were heroes. They possessed the qualities of heroes.
In the past few days, we've seen these qualities on display in our community. Yes, there's the obvious sense of determination, bravery, and sacrifice of the firefighters. But what we've also seen is ordinary people -- residents of Altadena -- who have displayed these same qualities in facing this crisis.
So TV and radio isn't interested in our little fire? Fine. Print media's too slow? That's OK, too. We'll take this little Internet blog, and turn it into a real-time information center -- we'll ask questions, share information, scotch rumors, offer help. We will survive this, together. Many different individuals (and heaven knows Altadena's full of those!) have become one -- united in purpose, becoming a community, helping each other as we ride this out together.
We've read every email, every comment that's been sent. We live in a constant state of surprise, wonder, and gratitude. And we've never been more proud of any place that we've lived in.
We love this work. We love Altadena.
Map-tastic: Reader Tim Stough contributes this:
I work for JPL and do data visualization for earth science and decision support data. I threw together, in Google Earth, the MODIS fire detections (http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.
us/wms.php) with the LA Times map. I've put together a screen shot.
I turned off certain aspects of the LA Times map and the MODIS detections to get a less cluttered view.
Chris Considine "The Skywatcher" has drawn our attention to http://www.wildfiretoday.com/, a font of great information on the fire.
Sitrep Kinneloa: We were forwarded an email from Shirley Spenser of the Kinneloa Canyon homeowner's association (Kinneloa is unincorporated county, just east of Altadena);
Re fire situation from Kinneloa Canyon area which was hard hit in 1993: The Rocky Mountain Hot Shots from Colorado arrived this morning to set up camp at the entrance to the Angeles National Forest which is at the end of Kinneloa Canyon Road which is also the entrance to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and reservoirs. These are federally-paid crews that are the best of the wild fire fighters. They are doing some clearing and if things go bad, they will do a backburn but only after notifiying residents.
Yay, Insurance!: Jonnee Kohler of Williamsport, PA (!) emails us this from CBS Moneywatch:
The Los Angeles fire has hundreds of homeowners fleeing their flame-threatened homes under mandatory evacuations. While the bulk of evacuees will head to the homes of friends, relatives and high school gymnasiums turned into temporary shelters, you should know that your homeowners insurance policy would cover the cost of staying in a hotel.
California insurance regulations demand that all homeowners policies cover temporary living expenses if you have been ousted from your home by authorities in a declared state of emergency, said Candysse Miller, executive director of the Insurance Information Network in Los Angeles. You do not have to lose your home for this coverage to kick in. In fact, the requirements for “loss of use” or “additional living expense” coverage have been met for many Southern California homeowners, who have been told to leave their homes by fire personnel, she said.
This has been a long, hard day at Altadenablogland - two trips to the hospital today, and the children are really acting up after such a long time without Mommy, whose time has been extended another day (we're looking at a Thursday discharge now). Sound of Music was finished, and turned out OK, too -- altho' we still wonder (1) why a landlocked country HAS a navy, much less how you can be a captain in it, and (2) the odd puzzle of the first Mrs. Von Trapp dying seven years before, yet the youngest daughter is five.
On the good side, our brother-in-law from Seattle is coming to help out, and he REALLY wants to work on A-blog while he's here. He's an online journalist, too, and senior editor of this page. We'll just try him out on some small stuff, see if he works out ...
But thanks to all of you Altadena community journalists -- the comment section is pure gold today! A few key ones to look at:
Pearl's report from the Mt. Wilson fire page really made us cry;
This is the most beautiful thing we've seen all day:
Bill Westphal tells us Mars holds 7,200 gallons of water, and only seven were made. She's gorgeous!
More to come!