Though you’d never if I didn’t point it out, the “What’s Hot” tag is not a joke referring to the wildfires. It is unfortunately coincidental. I would remove it but frankly this story did just break and everyone across the nation is talking about California right now so I can’t change it. It’s hot off the press!
Just today, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public state of emergency in California. This has happened in response to the death toll of the fire rising to more than 50. This is the deadliest wildfire(s) in the history of California. 9,000 structures have been scorched. More than 100 people are missing in the Butte County fire zones, while their county sheriff’s office has received more than 1,500 calls for welfare checks.
These images alone are so jarring that they certainly justify declaring the state a health emergency. In fact, the fires look so overwhelming that one can only ask:
why the fuck did it take this long to declare an emergency?
Just so you know, prior to this fire, the deadliest wildfire in California claimed 42 members. The death toll rose passed that early yesterday. One would think that they’d declare the fire an emergency before the death toll approached killing more than any other fire ever? Surely once the fire claimed it’s 43rd victim and officially ended the lives of more Californians than any fire before it–surely that is the time to declare a state of emergency. Right? No…they thought it was better to let more people die and wait until the death toll as at a high enough number.
Declaring a public state of emergency is basically a wake-up call to the residents of the state. It’s away for residents to realize, “Oh shit, this is actually serious. I should actually evacuate the state for real.”
When Hurricane Sandy hit the coasts of the North East, New Jersey was declared a public state of emergency by Governor Chris Christie. While Foolishly Proud jersey-ians we’re at the beach watching the tsunami of waves (people we’re literally doing this dumb-ass shit even when their communities we’re mandated to evacuate), you know what my prudent ass was doing?
Hauling ass out of New Jersey to as far West as my Dad was willing to drive me, which happened to South Bend, Indiana. While arrogant guido’s watched the fight between the coast and Sandy, I watched the Notre Dame fighting Irish. Am I a pussy? Maybe. But at-least I got to spend a few days in Sunny, 70-degree weather. You can’t fathom how many times I checked my phone to see how cold it was back in Jersey–each time I checked I was filled a feeling of satisfaction of knowing that my perspicacious* mind made the right choice.
*Proof of how perspicacious I am.
The people of California should have been told to run for the hills (not Beverly) much earlier than this:
If you’ve been keeping up with the reports on the status of California, you’ve already heard of the town of Paradise, California. While the fire in the area has been contained, the town has literally been scorched to the ground. You may have read many headlines calling it, “Paradise Lost,” referencing the epic poem by John Milton. The destruction that has plagued the town of Paradise is exemplary of how serious these fires are, and how seriously they should be dealt with. To say that the town has been “damaged,” by the wildfire would be inaccurate, because “damaging” something implies that only part of a structure has been affected. Paradise, California, was more-so cremated by the Wildfire.
Holy hell….literally. Paradise got so demolished that it literally looks like something you’d find in a post-apocalyptic movie or video game. At first glance, I thought these photos we’re just pictures of the map from the video game Fallout 4, where you play in Massachusetts a few years after the entire world fights in WW3 and results in the -destruction of basically as every country fired nukes on each other. When I read that the entire town of Paradise caught fire, I was imagining pictures of buildings with black ash all over them–I was absolutely not expecting there to be nothing but soot.
We here on the east coast give out our thoughts and prayers, our hearts break for the victims, and we do all that we can 3,000 miles away, but we don’ truly understand what the victims are going trough unless we too went through it. I can’t imagine having to evacuate my house and have to worry that it–along with all my family pictures and childhood mementos–will be there when I get back. I hope this offers some understanding.