Tuesday, October 23, 2007


From the number of emails and calls I have received over the last 48 hours, it is apparent that the rest of the country and world (hello England & Bulgaria) is now very aware of the massive wildfires burning in Southern California. I am very fortunate that my rustic cottage and the homes of my friends are safe. I do know people who have been evacuated and are currently residing elsewhere.

My thoughts are with the people who must spend their days worrying about whether all their worldly possessions (however few or many they had as of last Sunday) are still intact or if they are ruined by the Santa-Ana-fires. I also think about the people who already know the sad fate of their homes. The local organization and evacuation efforts seem to be running very smoothly and successfully. Some evacuation centers were overwhelmed with volunteers & donations. Another positive coming out of so much destruction and sadness is that dogs, cats and even horses are being cared for when people must evacuate. One headline read "Regardless of Zip Code, We Are All in this Together".

The last few evenings I have gathered with friends for food, drinks and games - a great way to have fun and take our minds off of all the bad news. We are very fortunate that we have such an option. San Diego American Red Cross Donations-P

When I saw these fires break out on Sunday, I asked the network to send me. My job isn’t to man the fire lines, or help evacuate neighborhoods…it’s to tell the stories of those who do and to inform the public. But for me, it’s more than that. My wife and children have close friends here. I have friends here. I love this place.

So it’s at once heartbreaking, and awe inspiring to see a fire line roar up the side of a mountain slope, or race through bone dry brush. And when you’ve worked enough fires like this, you learn to spot the sign of a home erupting in flames beyond the next ridge line. A surge of black smoke billowing into the sky, the smell of nylon and household chemicals burning, another dream home…however humble or magnificent…lost.

This fire will eventually go out. The thousands who’ve lost their homes and businesses will rebuild and move on. But the memory of a fire like this lasts forever.
- Don Teague, NBC Correspondent

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