From September, 2009:
You cannot believe the raging, relentless fires that currently surround my little family, my little house, and my little community. This is the real deal, my poppets. In an area that reportedly hasn't had a really kickin' burn since the late 1950s, there is fire all around us, along with an endless supply of thick, bone-dry brush to fuel its fervor and feed its insatiable hunger. Over 10,000 homes are in peril and authorities were knocking on doors all night to alert people that it was time to flee on their donkeys. Many of our friends were told to pack up and leave as early as Thursday; they are all gone. Since it started on Wednesday, the blaze has more than quadrupled in size, with absolutely no signs of slowing and absolutely no signs of containment. School was scheduled to start on Monday morning, but according to district officials, that won't be happening...as my son's gymnasium is currently being used to house refugees from the fire. What you see in the horrifyingly beautiful photo above is just a few blocks up the street from La Canada High School; that, my friends, is JPL...The Jet Propulsion Lab. Yes, that means NASA, kids. Aside from the tens of thousands of homes currently in the line of fire (literally), you can clearly see that to say there is much at stake here is an understatement.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has already declared a state of emergency in the Los Angeles area, showed up at the local command post today to be briefed on the situation; Big Daddy was here to calmly reassure us that all that can humanly be done to help us...is being done. Having never received evacuation orders, we are still here, under dense red clouds of clotted smoke and ash -- so much ash that, at times, it looks like it's snowing outside...but the reality is that it was 105 degrees today. As of tomorrow, up in those hills there will be over 3,500 brave, BUTCH firefighters battling dangerous 100+ foot walls of fire in heat that is consistently hovering around the century mark. Make no mistake, these motherfuckers are HEROES. If this city survives this inferno, it will only be due to their extraordinarily superhuman efforts. When we get through this -- and we WILL get through this -- I will be writing an open letter to the newspaper thanking and praising these courageous men and women for all that they've done, and encouraging all residents whose lives and property were saved by their efforts, to make a generous donation to The California State Firefighters Association, whose purpose is to improve the benefits and working conditions of all those who risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe from peril. Unfortunately, like the two firefighters who were tragically killed today after their vehicle rolled sideways down an 800 foot mountainside, sometimes they pay the ultimate price...all so that we don't have to. They are a rare breed and I thank them from the bottom of my further blackened heart.
Also, many thanks to all those who wrote, called, texted, and emailed with offers of help, shelter, support, and prayers. Your kindness, generosity, concern, and love will never be forgotten. As of this moment, we are all healthy, well, and out of danger -- though if truth be told, after five days of sashaying about under a campfire mushroom cloud that reportedly can now be seen from space, we are all hickory smoked to perfection.