Thursday, October 30, 2003

Wildfire Turns California Resort Into Tinderbox

One of the stranger stories I watched on the news coverage was a story on the CBS news last night where two fire trucks were parked outside of a very large house. There was some implication that whoever owned the house was receiveing preferential treatment. There was never any mention of who the house belonged to though.

From Wildfire Turns California Resort Into Tinderbox (washingtonpost.com):

"Southern California wildfires turned into an 'Apocalypse Now' as a firestorm raced through the mountain resort of Lake Arrowhead destroying an estimated 250 homes in minutes and leaving officials fearing that the fiery rage would not abate on Thursday. "

Fire officials said the only hope they had for preventing a repeat of Wednesday's disaster on Lake Arrowhead was incoming fog that was expected to creep in from the ocean and envelop the mountains by the week's end.

"The good news is that a little too late the weather is changing on us. ... We will still have trouble (on Thursday) in the higher elevations, but by Friday we will get higher humidity ... and this will help the fire suppression effort," said Andrea Tuttle, the head of the state's Forestry Department.

It was Tuttle who said that the San Bernardino Mountains, the winter playground for nearby Los Angeles, could erupt in flames of Biblical proportions because of a huge infestation of minute bark beetles which killed 70 percent of the trees around Lake Arrowhead and surrounding communities.