The Wildfires of 2007

Such widespread devastation throughout our beautiful Southern California region! The unprecedented wildfires are like nothing we’ve ever seen. And the official fire season has only now begun. Yes, we’re used to wildfires here but no, we never really get used to them. They are a fearsome danger every year, but never have there been so many  (15 by some counts, more by others) raging all at the same time for a week. Several are not yet contained, still threatening thousands.

The bravery of those men and women fighting the fires cannot be overstated. The stubbornness of those who got in their way by staying beyond the time of mandatory or voluntary evacuations can be understood but deplored. Many, of course, could not flee. They had no transportation or no help to get to it. It will be a mercy from Above if no more bodies are found. One friend commented that the burned-over area looks as though an asteroid had struck. Too vivid images look like a war zone. Not a few have said that perhaps the last days are now here. The shock in the voices of friends forced to flee to safety haunts one’s memory. I can believe their own personal nightmares will be recurring for a long time yet, even with vital spiritual and mental counseling.

And now the biggest nightmare of all is beginning, that of dealing with the insurance companies Anyone who has ever filed an insurance claim for any kind of loss knows that you will be treated as though you are a criminal, as though the loss was your fault. As they say, “been there, done that”. It isn’t your friendly insurance agent you’ll be dealing with; it will be an adjustor and their job is to save the company’s money. In this type of tragedy, perhaps they could save their paranoia and vent it on the next arsonist they confront, not his victims.

If there’s any way you can stretch to possibly help the families and individuals who have lost homes or loved ones, please donate to your church or to the American Red Cross, and mark the donation as being for Southern California Fire Victims. God will bless you for your kindness.

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