I am fortunate enough to be in an area of Los Angeles County not directly affected by the Southern California fires that are currently raging. Having said that, because I am not in the direct line of fire doesn't mean that it doesn't affect me in other ways.
I have friends with family in Santa Clarita, co-workers who live 2 blocks from mandatory evacuation sites, a friend who is a volunteer fire-fighter and has been on the fire lines since 5am on Sunday morning. Down in San Diego, my alma mater (UCSD) has been closed, an unimaginable concept. The tenant living in a condo my parents own, and other close family friends living in Scripps Ranch have been evacuated. I used to live in that area and it's hard for me to picture what it will look like when the fire has taken its course.
Looking at a picture that someone took of the Canyon Country fires and posted on Flickr, there are many people out there who seem to think that this is some kind of divine retribution for the lifestyles that we Californians live. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who can see this kind of tragedy unfold and think that anybody deserves it because they "should have known" that they live in a brush fire area. It's amazing that there can be such a lack of compassion when so many people are suffering.
So, to all of those who have been displaced from their homes by these fires, I am thinking of you and hoping for your safety. I am thinking of the firefighters who are risking their lives to save so many people and their possessions. I am thinking of those who are worried that they may be evacuated. I am thinking of those who have friends and family in the affected areas and aren't sure if they're ok. I am thinking of the animals that are losing their habitats. I am thinking of the beauty of these areas that are now burned and the landmarks we may have lost.
I hope that the fires will soon burn out and the Southern California communities will find safety once again.
While I do not have any photography covering these current fires, please see my previous post on the Griffith Park and Barham fires from earlier this year.