river fire busted out yesterday

[click image]


Heading for Lakeport. A word about fire maps and updates: We don't get them in real time. We get them when somebody on the ground synthesizes the day's ground-truthing and draws up the latest on a good old fashioned topography map for us. This means that what we see is at least twelve hours old when we see it, and perimeter with no report from firefighters and no information from satellites or fly-overs doesn't update.

Anyway, the maps we've been watching for MODIS hot spot information come from two satellites that can take between twelve hours and two days to update. We've been looking at old hotspots mostly for the past few days but today we have the real information, that is already not reflecting what's happening on the ground.

They let everybody back into Kelseyville, which looked righteous on the MODIS maps, but not anymore. Still the biggest breach of containment was on the northeast edge of the fire and Scott's Valley is getting pounded. Next it will reach 29 and all they will have to rely on is its width... on the wind not picking up enough to blow it over the freeway into Lakeport.

It's 84º there right now, and supposed to hit 94º by 3pm, when winds will be out of the northwest at about 15mph. I mean I think the fire will be at the highway by this evening, if it's not already there.


When I was a little girl, I used to love to go to my aunt and uncle's cabin on that lake on summer vacations, play in the water all day, fish for bluegill, but since I've been a grownup and my mother began working there, renting a place to live on weekdays, long before a thousand other things happened and my parents ended up moving there to retire, along with my bratty little sister, I have hated that town... hated the whole area.

It is gorgeous there for about two weeks in the spring, and then it is just sere and miserable, with almost unbroken ugliness of architecture and trailer parks and hundreds of thousands of disintegrating habitations and motels and resorts. Even the new, "fancy" places are ugly. The big indian casinos are the nicest places, and they're nothing to write home about. The crime rate in Lake County is beyond the pale. Nobody feels safe.

Poor people and lowlifes fill the millions of little metal boxes heaped upon each other near the lake's shore, broil inside them, or the ancient summer cabin structures with rotting electrical systems and dangerously akimbo walls and roofs. Their kids grow up into incarnations of hate, and they kill and steal their way to enough drugs to not feel any of it ever again.

And anyone with half a brain can gaze out at the entire area from their sweltering little puddle of self and see nothing but prime conflagration territory, and that has been since long before the drought. You wouldn't think somewhere with all those lakes and that one great big one would be so dry and awful, but you would be wrong. For six to eight to sometimes even ten months of every year it is likely to go up at any moment.

And I don't think we've even skipped a year over the last five or so without a monster conflagration there. It might not even be because of the drought. It could be just the hate-filled kids burning down their roots, and having burned down everything in their proximity, they're now going for the wealthy-old-people's redoubts.

Scotts Valley or Blue Lakes were the only halfway decent places to live because there was shade and relatively few decrepit eyesores, but... well... I think maybe even those are gone now too.

pipe up any time....