Raging California Wildfires Make 500K Flee
This issue is being written amid the distraction caused by the
wild fires which are destroying so much of San Diego County.
Superlatives are being exhausted. Referring back to the film
"The Perfect Storm," this is being termed "The Perfect Fire."
Simply, it is the worst fire disaster in the history of San Diego
County. As we write, more than 500,000 people have been
evacuated. By contrast, during the disastrous fires of 2003
some 50,000 were evacuated. A city of 10.000 evacuees has
been established in Qualcom stadium. A state prison has had
to evacuate its 4,400 prisoners. More than 1,000 homes have
already been destroyed. Santa Ana winds have gusted to 100
miles per hour, making aerial tankers unable to assist in
fighting the fires. Many hospitals are closed. Schools, colleges
and universities are closed, as are many businesses due to the
dangerous air quality. It is reported that there is not a single
hotel room available in all of San Diego. But emerging from
all this disaster are the churches of the area, stepping in to help.
Many have provided space for evacuees, others are providing
food and other necessities, and many of the volunteers at the
several evacuation sites are representing individual churches.
They are playing an important part of the overall civic effort
to cope with this tremendous disaster.
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