Hollywood’s on Fire
When I first moved to LA, my family phoned me frequently about Los Angeles/SoCal fires. It's a large area out here and the fires were never nearby. “Call me if it’s ever in the valley or in the city,” I said. “And if that happens you’ll know because so many people live there that it will be all over the news.”
So, C.Sto just called.
I climbed up on my roof with my camera. There was a slight wind blowing east.
You can see the smoke seeping into the city.
Quick news bits:
At the time of my post, NBC news says the fire is moving favorably and things are looking good. Currently it’s east of Universal City: They are reporting from Oakwood apartments. Also, as always, blogging.la has local updates. No structures have been burned and there are no casualties. 200 firefighters are involved and it's burning toward Griffith Park. (Which means it is, indeed, blowing east.) Fortunately Lake Hollywood is nearby for a water source. The Fire Department is on point: It's impressive to watch.
It's lucky that the conditions were such that what the news has dubbed "The Barham Fire" wasn't much, much worse. If it had blown west, that would have taken us through Oakwood and the movie studios. A few of the lots let out of work early due to the smoke, which is passing as things are now under control. If you've been to any news sites you've noticed that the photo coverage on the fire has been insane: Between the many residents of LA who own digital cameras and the filmmakers living at Oakwood, there’s a lot to look at. A witness even snapped a photo from an apartment one minute after the fire started. In the photo are the two individuals who started the fire accidentally with fireworks. The "two teens" turned themselves in pretty quickly. They are from out of state.
Fire can be cleansing, good, part of the natural cycle, such as in the case of this tallgrass prairie or the symbolism of festivals like Beltane and Burning Man.
On the other hand, fire can be frightening: It jumps out of control so quickly and feeds so very fast. Over St. Paddy’s, the best friend of one of our best friends was caught with her boyfriend in a house fire at UVA. They’ve taken her boyfriend off life support. He didn’t make it. She's just woken up this week.
Fire is frequently on my mind, especially out here. Mostly because here it is a more serious matter than back east (there are no-smoking warning signs all over the hills) and we rely so much on other people being responsible, and I have seen my neighbors do some really irresponsible shit. Like setting off fireworks on the roof. After hearing our friend’s news, fire’s been on my mind even more than usual. How did that happen? How did they get caught in the house? I wanted details: I couldn’t help but wonder why they couldn't escape, and if the same thing could happen to me.
People were worried at first, but the Hollywood sign survived and (thanks to the LAFD) things are
back to normal.
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