Re: LA Fires

Steve Maack (steve_maack@QMBRIDGE.CALSTATE.EDU)
Mon, 8 Nov 1993 08:07:22 U

Thank you, Greg Finnegan, for your usual excellent assistance to ANTHRO-L
in providing references. I'll try to find that book, now that my AAA paper
is off to the discussant. :->

Two societal/non-geological points. Well over half of the fires in L.A.
last week are now suspected of having been caused by arsonists. Those were
hardly the "normal" every thirty years or so fires. Another was accidently
caused by a homeless immigrant (illegal?) camping out, who had made a fire
to cook and keep warm, which jumped its rock circle at night. This
information compounds the human tragedies involved -- personal and
societal. The second point is a reminder to Greg that the last big fire in
California was in the Oakland hills of Northern California .... The social
network of emergency response agencies learned enough from that one to
evacuate people EARLY in these ones, which helped keep the death toll way
down. Seems there was a big earthquake up in S.F. recently as well, Greg.

I have Northern California biases also, but the urban myth is that the
whole state is about to separate from the rest of the United States and
sink into the sea. When a neighbor worried about that after an earthquake
here once, I told her that that would be good for us, as long as it didn't
sink too deeply, since we live about 1000 feet up, and our houses might
then be on valuable island property. Yours from contorted, convoluted,
crazy CA,
Steve Maack