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The Hills of Los Angeles Are Burning August 28, 2009

Posted by alwaysjan in Home Front.
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For the most recent information on the Station Fire, click on Los Angeles County Fire Department.

I woke up at 6 a.m. when orange light filtered through the blinds.  It’s fire season in Southern California.  Four big fires are raging at the moment, several nearby.  With the intense heat and all that dry brush, the fires came early this year.  During the school year, we keep the students indoors when there’s a fire as many have asthma.

My heart goes out to all of those who’ve had to evacuate their homes.  We have friends who lived in Topanga Canyon for many years, and it seemed like packing up the car with the kids, pets, and photos was an annual event.  But it’s never easy.

It’s been over 100 degrees for three days now and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those fire fighters who are wearing all that heavy gear and fighting Mother Nature with a hose and a pick ax.  I have to say that after living in NYC for 11 years, I have the utmost respect (bordering on awe) for firefighters.

When I first moved to California in the 70s, I remember standing on the roof of our garage and watching the hills in the distance burn.  We were having a big party and ash fell on the guests like snow.  I remember saying, “This is like the last days of Pompeii.”  Two days ago, I woke up and walked out into the dining room. My house smelled like a campfire.  Fire.  It goes with living in Southern California.  But it’s never easy.

Lyrics for Los Angeles is Burning by Bad Religion

Somewhere high in the desert near a curtain of blue
A sane man skirts under the wind
But down here in the city of limelights
The fans of Santa Ana are withering
And you can’t deny the living is easy
If you never look behind the scenery
It’s Showtime for dry climes
And bedlam is dreaming of rain

When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the MURDER wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is burning

This is not a test
of the emergency broadcast system
When Malibu fires and radio towers
Conspire to dance again
And I cannot believe the Media Mecca
They’re only trying to peddle reality
Catch it on Prime Time
Story at nine
The whole world is going insane

When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the MURDER wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is Burning

A placard reads “the end of days”
Jacaranda boughs are bending in the haze
More a question than a curse
How could hell be any worse?
The flames are stunning
The cameras running
So take warning!

When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the MURDER wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is burning

Comments»

1. Christine - August 28, 2009

I taught for six years at Loma Alta, nestled in the Altadena foothills. After getting my classroom set up today, I noticed a big cloud of smoke above my old school. It was more to the left, but I went up to check anyway. Upon arriving at my old school, I saw how close the fire was. When I first started teaching there (in 1994), a fire had just devastated the surrounding area. Deja vu all over again.

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2. Michelle - August 29, 2009

I don’t live too far from the La Canada fire. I can see the flames from my backyard. The kids and I all have asthma plus we have no air conditioning. It has been truly brutal. It does look like it’s snowing outside, and my black car is covered in white ash. It hasn’t been this bad in a long time. But what is worse… all these fires and bad air quality or having a computer virus for two weeks? They are pretty much the same. Tomorrow night I am packing up the kids and sleeping at my parents. I need air conditioning!

Michelle – Went to the Americana in Glendale yesterday to pick up my Teacher’s Planning Book. No one was sitting outside. By the time I got home, my throat was sore. Do what you need to do. It’s so hard to be holed up with kids inside when it’s like a sauna indoors. Jan

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3. elissestuart - September 2, 2009

Just this evening the wind has shifted and the air smells like campfires and burnt wienies behind the Orange curtain.
Hope it is better up there for you.
Greetings to the livestock.

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4. Bev from england - September 2, 2009

I just can NOT imagine this at all….. I feel very much for everyone in these areas. Fire is so totally destructive. It must be a huge worry 😦

Hope everyone keeps safe.

HUGS

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