On Wednesday, as Jerry and I drove from Bakersfield to our home in Crestline, we learned of the massive fire that had been set near the Palm Springs area. In recent years, we have had tremendous problems with wilderness fires, most of them the result of arson. At one point, our own mountain communities were evacuated for eight days. The Santa Ana winds which come this time of the year whip these flames into deadly infernos scorching thousands of acres and burning everything in their paths. Four firemen have died as a result of this latest fire.
Our home is 60 or so miles from the fire, so we were in no immediate danger, but when I heard this news, and reports of the deadly smoke being discernible as far away as 100 miles, I became quite concerned about Rebecca and her breathing situation, since her home is much closer to the fires than is ours. As we left Crestline yesterday morning, heading again for Bakersfield, I called and ordered her (as Mothers are prone to do) to leave San Bernardino and go to our house in the mountains. She did so, and she and Nathaniel are safely ensconced there and for the moment out of harm’s way. Read more from Fox News accounts.
POPPET FLAT, Calif. — Firefighters struggling to contain a massive blaze in Southern California suffered a slight setback Friday when the winds fanned the nearly 24,000-acre fire, causing it to jump over a major highway in one spot.
Fire officials were hoping the so-called Esperanza fire, which has killed four firefighters and left one in critical condition, wouldn’t cross Highway 79, since there’s a landfill full of methane gas on the other side. Firefighters were digging in, trying to prevent further spread of the fire at the highway.
But at 2 p.m. ET, California Department of Forestry spokesman Becky Luther told FOX News that the fire had in fact made the jump. But firefighters were able to put out the flames in that spot. She said experts expected the strong winds, which are helping spread the fire, to continue at least until midnight tonight.
The wind-whipped wildfire, which authorities said was arson, raced across 15 miles of terrain in the region and was burning about 1,000 acres each hour. At one point, several hundred mountain residents took refuge with campers in a nearby RV park where crews could protect them.
A wide search is on for the person/persons who started this fire. Reports have indicated this may be the work of a serial arsonist. May such person/s soon be found.
My heart and prayers are with the families of those brave men who gave their lives fighting this deadly fire in an effort to protect our communities. May their grief be somehow tempered and softened by knowing we honor and pay tribute to the noble and heroic nature of the deaths of their loved ones.