[Guest post by DRJ]
The Station wildfire in California has burned over 100,000 acres, threatens 12,000 homes and vital commercial interests, has caused two firefighter deaths and the evacuation of many California residents, and is described as out-of-control:
“A voracious five-day-old wildfire that has churned through more than 105,000 acres of mountainous brush across northern Los Angeles County showed little sign of slowing down this afternoon as it threatened 12,000 homes in suburban tracts and desert communities, along with a historic observatory and major array of television and radio transmission towers.”
Smoke from the fire has drifted all the way to Denver:
“The smoke over Colorado — which has made the mountains west of Denver invisible from downtown Denver — has come directly from the massive 85,000-acre wildfire in Southern California, according to the National Weather Service.
Although Denverites could barely see the gray outlines of the foothills immediately west of Golden and Lakewood this afternoon, the higher mountains had disappeared in a dirty white haze.”
I assume California isn’t counting on help from the White House:
“Q As a natural disaster, the fires north of Los Angeles are reaching kind of staggering proportions. Is there any need for the President to get involved in a federal effort? Does he get any kind of updates on those fires?
MR. GIBBS: I can check. I assume that he gets a regular — we all get regular updates on these types of news events and these types of disasters. I assume as part of his daily briefing this morning he was briefed on the situation and local, state, and federal response.”
Obama’s Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano swore in Kelvin Cochran, FEMA’s Fire Administrator, on Thursday, August 27, 2009. I hope he’s the kind of guy who can hit the ground running.