30 October 2007

The First Fire and the Worst Fire

It seems autumn is finally kicking in and growing closer to winter. Last week we lit our first fire of the season. It's such a good feeling to sit by the fire and watch the flames lick the wood. I know that woodburning isn't the most environmentally sound thing to do but with two fireplaces and no central heat it's either this or freeze. During the ice storm in January the fireplaces quite literally kept us alive. And we don't cut down living trees unless we absolutely must. There's still so much tree damage from the ice storm that it will be some time before we have to consider cutting down a living tree. We'll probably spend all winter collecting fallen trees from our friends and family. I love sitting in front of the fire. To ancient man the fire was the television. Actually, it's bright lights and constant movement stimulated the eyes and minds in a way that tv can't. It's throught provoking and magical in a way no tv screen can be. And yet, as we all know, fire can quickly become out of control.

Above is a view from space of the California wildfires. Over a million people evacuated, a MILLION. It's amazing and unbelievable to me. According to Reuters:

As many as 24 separate wildfires ravaged more than 500,000 acres of California last week, destroying 2,300 buildings and causing at least 12 deaths and 78 injuries.

The latest seems to be that the fires are old news and while I find that hopeful I still can't help but think about those who lost their homes and businesses and those who were hurt or killed. I can't imagine fires ravaging and endangering an entire state and forcing tons of people out of their homes. It's staggering. I've never experienced anything like it and can't begin to understand what those affected must have felt and are still feeling.

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