Living in California, particularly Southern California, one is always aware of the imminent danger of quakes, fires, floods and mudslides. If you haven’t turned on the news, read a newspaper or surfed the Internet in a while, then you probably won’t know what I'm talking about. Here's a recap: Southern California is in its worst fire season yet with no rain forecast for the near future.

A view of the Porter Ranch fire.


The view of the fire coming as I was turning onto my street

Living in California, particularly Southern California, one is always aware of the imminent danger of quakes, fires, floods and mudslides.

If you haven’t turned on the news, read a newspaper or surfed the Internet in a while, then you probably won’t know what I’m talking about. Here’s a recap: Southern California is in its worst fire season yet with no rain forecast for the near future.

Climatologists have also noted that this is just the beginning of the disastrous toll caused by the combination of the Santa Ana winds, low precipitation, and overdevelopment of areas prone to the hazards. Since Monday, more than two lives have been lost, 49 structures have been destroyed and 18,000 acres have been burned – and we’re only a tenth of the way into the season.

Thankfully, many homes and businesses were spared because of their roof and backyards. Because of the known fire danger in the area, wood shingle roofs are outlawed. What you see mostly is terracotta Spanish shingles, cement shingles or other non-combustive composite. The decking/backyard of many of the hillside homes also feature cement, porcelain and stone tiles. Although I don’t live on the hillside, I do live about 1-1/2 miles downhill from where the Porter Ranch fires were, and still are burning. Let’s just say I definitely broke a few laws driving home Monday, and if you saw what I saw from my office window that looks across the valley, then you would have done the same.

All I can say is thank you to the brave firefighters for doing what they do. They provided great comfort to the residents.

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