Our land of fire and mud

in california •  10 months ago

I live in a very strange place. We call it California's "Central Coast," but geographically it's really more southern than central. It's about a 2 hours' drive north of Los Angeles. If you measure stability by temperature, we have some of the most stable weather in the United States -- you see people in shorts and flip-flops year-round. If you measure it by any other means, however, you don't get a picture of stability.

A month ago, I took this picture from my airplane as I flew away:

smoke.jpg

That huge plume of smoke in the middle is from the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in recorded California history, measuring in at almost 282,000 acres (larger than most cities).

The fire was a massive disaster, destroying over a thousand structures, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people, and forcing the evacuation of tends of thousands. I was fortunate to be out of its range, but I felt it burn in my lungs as its smoke poured over my house. It was not a nice time.

Today, the Thomas fire killed again.

But this time it was not the flames -- it was the mudslides that come after the fire destroys the ground cover. BBC News reports 13 dead as a result of mudslides in Southern California.


Credit: Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara Fire PIO

This is our life here. The fires come through and we evacuate, and then after they've burned away the plants that held the hillsides in place, the winter rains come and wash the hillsides into the ocean. It just starts to feel like a way of life after a while, and I suppose it may be more-or-less unavoidable in a place that has such seasonal precipitation (last night was our first real rain in many many months). It dries out and burns up in the summer, and then washes away in the winter.

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Wow, your region has really had a rough time of late. I guess you pay for the long year of stable weather with these types of events. Glad you are safe.

Need to check on the Pocket project. Anything going on with it?

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Pocket is still operational, but unfortunately I've not had as much time to work on it as I'd have liked. I need to find a couple free weeks where I can put some of my bigger and better ideas into motion for it.

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Sorry, just now saw your reply. I do hope you get time to work on Pocket. Can't wait to see your ideas.

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pocketsend:101@bbrewer

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So sad what's going on in Montecito, ca today. We really needed the rain, but this flood and mud is just too much!

In the Netherlands we do not know this extreme weather. We grumble sometimes when it rains a lot, but actually that is not at so bad compared to the weather at your place.

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The weather here is so good, except when it's apocalyptic.

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Just now on the news in the Netherlands came an item about the mudslides in California. So sad what the people are going through there.

I'm sorry for anyone that has to experience these horrific fires. A few years ago we were living in the foothills of the Sierra when the Rimfire struck. It burned over 250,000 acres and for over 2 months. We were evacuated at one point and since we were homesteading at the time, we took some of our animals with us to my parents' home an hour away. Imagine their surprise when I showed up with 21 brand new ducklings! They had literally just hatched so I couldn't leave them. Anyway, on a more serious note, it was devastating as the fire had grown so large it was difficult to forecast which front would need to be tackled. The fire crews were having to work reactively rather than proactively. I was watching the tanker planes dropping retardant from my back porch. Miraculously, there were some injuries, but no fatalities as it was mostly wildfire, but it crept up on several small towns that would have been obliterated if it weren't for the brave fire crews. Glad you were able to get away from the smoke for a bit and stay safe. Peace.

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Whew. I've never had to evacuate strictly speaking, but I've had family members be in that position. Scary stuff.

How awesome how these things can happen. Governments should apply measures to solve these problems as forests and forests bring life to our world. It gives us more oxygen to help us that global warming does not spread. We must have more commitment to take care of our world.

Greetings from Venezuela, I send you a big hug for you, I hope we can continue reading

This is serious. So sad to here that some lives and materials wer affected by this incident. Sorry about that man

Your blog is very nice. Nice images too. You have also a good writing power. Your incident is so sad. I can just pray and nothing

A VERY NICE POST 🔝🔝🔝🔝