The Fire Season

Remember how Southern California only has three seasons? As the humidity went into negative numbers the other day, I made a bad joke about how the hills would soon be alive with the smell of burning embers.

The next day, angry flames devouring everything in sight. From Malibu to San Diego, 10 separate incidents. That's a little suspect, don't you think?

We're now up to what? 20 fires? One million people evacuated. It's affecting people I know and love. I prefer they not become homeless.

The cover story of the November issue of Los Angeles magazine is about fire being the real danger. Not earthquakes. Not terrorists. Not idiotic Hollywood darlings with nothing better to do than run over the paparazzi and squander their lives in rehab. Nope. It's fire.

California isn't going to fall into the ocean. It's going to implode in a huge cloud of acrid smoke, leaving behind a huge pile of dust. Like a vampire after you expose it to sunlight. Smells bad. Like burnt meat. What a waste.

It's usually not safe to breathe the air. But right now, you need an oxygen mask. The sky has a permanent orange glow, grey clouds blotting out the sky. At nine am today the light had an eerie, late afternoon glow about it. It's been suspiciously quiet too. Like the worst is yet to come.

Recently I drove past the site of some ugly fires from earlier this year. Ones that ate up the vegetation in my favorite childhood wonderland: Griffith Park. The scars remain in the twisted limbs of blackened trees stand silent against a charred, naked landscape. It's like nature's own scorched earth practice. The land will lie fallow for another 7 years.

Then there was that year that the hills behind my parents' house lit up the night sky. They spent that week in Mexico, ignorant of the threat to their home. I stayed there just in case their valuables needed rescuing.

And that's the thing about these fires, and why it's ALMOST understandable that arsonists derive such joy from setting things aflame: it's beautiful. Destructive in the nastiest of ways, but from afar, it's gorgeous. And we will rebuild. We always do.

So we'll take our amazingly brilliant sunsets, and wait out the horror. And when all is said and done, we'll start all over.

Destroy and recreate. It's how we survive.


Bengali Chick said...

I want to find these arsonists and give them a beating. Unreal! I've had horrible asthma for days b/c of this. F*cking arsonists.

H.Wood said...

My car has a nice film on it. Oh, and my lungs hurt more than usual. -- Still beats a Detroit winter.

Ghetto Photo Girl said...

BC: word.

Woody: winter? It's fucking 90 degrees out.

DrinkJack said...

Hopefully everyone pulled through.

Sasha with an X said...

>Destroy and recreate. It's how we survive.

That should become the new L.A. credo. :)