When was the last time you were happy to drive to work?  Yesterday and today, I sure was.

As if coming out of a long time-warp nightmare, the rhythms of life here in metropolitan San Diego are slowly getting back to normal.  The fires are still burning in the east, but there is hope that everything might be under control by sometime next week.  Today, everyone that was staying at Qualcomm Stadium (once up to 12000 people) should be able to return — as have most of the nearly 600,000 people temporarily displaced by this disaster.

Of course, with things settling down certain less productive activities have commenced – namely finger-pointing…

There was a state rep looking to make a name for himself by complaining that the regulations governing the use of military aircraft kept authorities from using them in the fires – even though they were ready to go as soon as planes were permitted to fly over the fires because of the extreme-wind conditions.

Even better, this morning I heard a report of a UCSD professor claiming “I told you so” because two years ago he said we needed more taxes to pay for more fire stations.  I’m sure he’ll get some air time.  Maybe he can even get on the Today Show.

Yep, back to normal.

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15 thoughts on “Normal

  1. I hate to see finger-pointing in any situation. Things aren't perfect in any sort of emergency. From what I can tell, things were handled pretty well down there. Of course there are things that could have been done differently, but the nature of an emergency is that you can't plan for every contingency. Decisions have to be made by the minute, and not everything can happen perfectly for everyone. I hate when politicians exploit people's losses for political gains. It's like everyone has to have their fifteen minutes of fame, and it doesn't matter the expense.
    /rant over

  2. glad things are going back to normal… gosh, i hate it when ppl start saying i told you so and crap like that. there's no point in it, but they just have to get up on their high horse… *shakes head* i just don't get it.

  3. I think you should point your finger at the people who started the fires, either purposely or accidently. I don't think something just spontaneously combusted.

  4. i'm just glad to hear that the fires are subsiding and that you're safe and sound. people need to learn that we can't win in a battle of nature vs. us – nature will always, always push back harder.

  5. Lovely. It's too bad that a situation like this prompts people to point fingers instead of to work together to recover. I'm sure there's lots of good going on too but unfortunately, it doesn't make for as interesting of news coverage.
    Wow, 600,000 people were evacuated? That just blows my mind.

  6. Normal is good. I'm happy about normal. There's also been some discussion about whether or not we should live so close to areas that naturally ignite as they did. For years people said this about Malibu (why live there, and re-build every couple of years), and now it seems most of So-cal is included. But, just as the finger-pointing is pointless, so is trying to predict where and when fires are going to happen. In short, it's nature – you can't always control it.

  7. Normal is good J Right after the 1994 Northridge earthquake I remember watching the news and seeing all those folks camped out on the Northridge Jr. High athletic field – where I went to school and ran laps. Weird. But I was safe in Tucson.

  8. Hey Cori — you echo exactly the way that I felt when I began hearing these sorts of reports. The scale of the evacuations, the outpouring of donations, the minimal loss of life and property, the sanity with which the shelters were run (teachers volunteered to give craft classes to displaced kids! bands came in and played for free) — were all something to be proud of.
    Perfect? Of course not. Tragic for some? Certainly. But the people that center on one thing that they can make hay over drives me nuts.

  9. Budd — the investigations are underway. It looks like one of the smaller fires that started up the 2nd day (that was rapidly contained and did not hurt property or lives) was arson. One of the major fires was started by a downed power line due to the high winds that were kicking up.
    I hope that most of the fires started from "accidental" causes like the latter — and they can string the guy (why are arsonists always guys?) from the highest tree imo.

  10. Mello — yeah, it was pretty crazy. The authorities did a really good job of getting large communities out before the fire was imminent so that the evacs weren't a panicked stampede of people in front of the fire.
    They utilized tv,radio and the web all day — and very importantly had invested in a "reverse 9-1-1" system, in which the police call you with an automated message, explaining the situation, telling you to evacuate and where the nearest shelters were.

  11. Janette — normal IS good isn't it? One of the things that looks pretty clear is that the communities that had fire planning as part of their development (fire breaks, planting regulations) did a lot better than older communities where it was easier for the fire to spread.

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