Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tonight Pasadena hosts a community gathering with members of INCI, no doubt some politicians, and the public. Let the finger pointing begin. Blame, we must lay blame. That nasty index finger is itching for a target. So I'll be skipping that meeting.
Our Assemblyman has asked for a thorough review of the Station Fire. Which can only mean he’s poised and ready to point with two index fingers as far away from his own self as possible. I don’t really know his job description, he appears to be about as remote from us as the governor, or the president, or the queen. He was no fount of information during the worst of the crisis, although his site has all kinds of updates now. I make it a policy to ignore those who show up so very, very late to the party.
Every fire is different. In our case, each fire feeds off a unique meal of temperature, wind, humidity, vegetation, and hiding places in inaccessible canyons. The biggest crime will be if officials try to lay blame on some earnest individuals who put their heart and soul into fighting it. Even if mistakes were made, who wouldn’t make some mistakes under such conditions. As long as the mistakes were without guile, forgive them. (If they were made with malice or greed or inattention, that will be an entirely different matter.)
Even from the beginning, there was an air of defeat about this fire, as if the fighters had been dreading this scenario for quite some time because there would be no clear way out.
How about this – we live in fire country. We choose to live in brown hills. We build further into the hills. History has told us, come lightning or some crackhead with a vendetta, these hills will burn. Some of the native fauna will only germinate and grow after a burn.
Once the real smoke clears, a whole new smoke screen of political rhetoric will find logs to throw on their burning self interest. What follows will have nothing to do with the inevitability of nature and the heroics of men and women that we witnessed this past week.
Labels: station fire