Fire! Eric reports.

By the way, did you happen to notice that southern California is on fire? Eric’s been covering the story for his real job over at San Diego City Beat. He has a full-length story about spending the night at Qualcomm Stadium and blog entries at Last Blog on Earth.

Eric said last night that he thinks the fires are being brought under control, and he is not worried about our neighborhood in the urban center of San Diego. As for me, I view the fires from the ancestral Goldstein home in New Hampshire. For someone who thinks about doom and gloom as much as I do,  I always seem to miss out on actual disasters.

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5 Responses to Fire! Eric reports.

  1. Martini-Corona says:

    Excellent. I figured you kids would be OK in the middle of downtown, but I’m glad to have it confirmed.

    Starbucks provided the first pizzas but hardly the last. At its peak, great leaning towers of pizza swayed dangerously above the heads of serving volunteers.

    Eric gets props for “great leaning towers of pizza.”

    It sounds like the general emergency response has been pretty good so far. Does this make the government’s response to Katrina more, or less embarrassing? Good: Maybe we’ve learned from past mistakes. Bad: Katrina victims were black and, many of them, very poor; San Diegoans are white and Hispanic and generally richer… and thus they get free massages and balloon animals and hors d’oeuvres? Actually I have no idea what the racial and economic make-up of San Diego county is…

  2. Martini-Corona says:

    Also, a commenter on Last Blog on Earth made a nice point: what’s going on in Mexico currently? Here’s the quote:

    Oh, and now that’s I’m on my soapbox, I have another major gripe about all of this. What about Mexico? I hate that the fire map just “cuts off” at the boarder [sic], as if fire respects arbitrary lines in the sand. What’s going on down there? And how is it that Mexico is offering support to California (from one report I heard), but we can’t find out what’s going on down there and report on it at least a little bit?

  3. There’s very few African-Americans in San Diego – it’s mostly white and Hispanic. The neighborhoods most affected have ranged from working-class to very wealthy. But really, I think the difference between San Diego and New Orleans is so large that no comparison is useful. Most importantly, critical infrastructure (like electricity and roads) in San Diego are largely unharmed. The fire has not touched the urban core, only the eastern sprawl. City officials can concentrate on the fire without fear for their own families. In contrast, in New Orleans, the whole city was trashed, there was no transportation in or out, and city officials had fled like everyone else. And the stadium was surrounding by floodwater! I bet the stadium in San Diego would not be so comfortable if it were surrounded by flames with no supplies in or out.

  4. Re: Mexico. San Diego and Tijuana are a giant binational megalopolis, but we like to pretend that the border is this massive impermeable force. Consequently, there’s little coverage of Mexico except for in Spanish-language news. We suck.

  5. Eric Wolff says:

    Re: The leaning towers of pizza. Props to Martini-Corona for being among the few to actually catch that joke.

    Re: Mexico – the Harris fire briefly threatened Tecate in Mexico until the winds shifted and it blew north toward the South bay San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. Tecate was evacuated but they’re already back in their houses. Tijuana ended up sending fire trucks to fight the Harris fire in the U.S. That said, American coverage of the fire south of the border was pathetic, and CityBeat will be doing some kind of follow up story in next week’s issue.

    Re: Katrina v. the fires. Really different events. Yes, both involved movements of a lot of people and a threatened disaster. But also, the city center of New Orleans was under water. The bulk of everyone had to get out, and even the main evacuation center was itself in a flood zone. On top of that, there were very few roads to evacuate on. The only direction out was north, and those roads quickly became parking lots. Traffic in San Diego was bad too, but at least there are four major interstates out of here. The national media has done everyone a disservice comparing the SoCal fires to Katrina in New Orleans. I don’t think they’re comparable.

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