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Weird News Dump | Main | Saturday Gardening Thread before Thanksgiving [KT]
November 17, 2018

Pre-Thanksgiving California Fire Update [KT]

aanobleblossomsspring2014.jpg

Good morning. This is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so I thought it might be appropriate to look for things to be grateful for, even in tough circumstances. This may look like the Gardening Thread because of the blossoms pictured above, but a fruit orchard in Paradise, California made it through the fire because the farm family had put in a firebreak. Their home is gone, though. The photo above is related to their reasons for gratitude and hope.


It may seem strange to people in the East, where some officials seemed unprepared for snow, and where global warming seems to be manifesting as colder weather, but the Camp Fire in Northern California has been burning since November 8. It seems kind of unusual even to people in California. As of early this morning, the death toll was up to 71, with the number of missing listed at over a thousand. Yesterday that number was less than 700. Not sure why that number has been changing so much. But it is a scary number.

President Trump is visiting today. In very poor air quality. Even here, 300 miles away, our forecast yesterday was "hazy with patchy smoke". Schools are closed all over the Bay Area and in parts of the Valley so people will stay indoors. Breathing masks are being distributed in Sacramento, which is south of the fire. It's a good sign that the President is coming. Some of those whacko environmentalists are also coming around to the realization that normal people were right. Strict non-management of the forests did not save many spotted owls around Paradise.

The Woolsey Fire in Southern California is closer to being under control. There are some other fires still burning.

Anyway, back to finding things to be grateful for. Gerard Van der Leun lost his home in Paradise, along with most of his possessions. But three days ago, he wrote about something interesting he had observed in the reactions of the people of Chico, where he is staying with his mother. Ordinary people like a girl working for J.C Penny, members of the Elks Lodge, neighbors setting up tables with goods for fire refugees, bankers and pharmacists:

They all were leaving it all on the field everywhere in Chico. From Penny's in the Mall to the Birkenstocks Store downtown on Broadway. In big jobs, and in small jobs, there was a long train of people working at the top of their game no matter what their game was. It has been days of this now in Chico; days of there being no big jobs or small jobs but only the unremitting effort the people to help their fellow citizens no matter what.
And since none of the Acronym Agencies have really shown up yet, this has all been done without any real government organization. Instead, it has been like watching a spontaneous Humanitarian Olympics rise up out of the town itself; and once started it has become as self-organizing and self-sustaining as the fire itself. Today as I moved around Chico I saw a town, untouched itself by the flames, rise up to restore and rebuild the lives of their fellow citizens of Paradise; lives that the fire had stolen. And by the end of the day, you could feel, palpably feel, that Chico knew it would win. Chico was leaving it all on the field.

Tomorrow? Chico will do the same.

You might want to read some of Gerard's other posts. Maybe send him a little cash.

Hope you have a great weekend. Got anything planned? Getting in the mood for Thanksgiving yet?

Remember that this is the Thread before the Gardening Thread:

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:25 AM

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