Devastation can strike at any place and if nothing else the San Diego Fires should remind us of how interconnected we are with the environment and with each other. When such events occur we need to rally together to create a strong response to the natural or human created events that impact our lives. Eight major fires blazed just last week and are now simmering down due to a strong emergency response and cooling weather.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated while buildings were reported destroyed in San Marcos, Escondido, and Carlsbad. The San Diego County has experienced at least 47 homes destroyed to date (1). Around 10,000 acres have been lost with a few fires continuing later into the week (2).
What makes these fires more heinous is the possibility that not all the burns may have been weather related. Officials are wondering if some of these fires were not started by the hot and dry conditions brought by Mother Nature but were instead a direct result of arson. A suspect was found placing brush on one of the fires but there has not yet been indication of more foul play. Officials are still investigating.
Damage has also not yet been fully assessed. There has been some calculations made that range into the tens of millions of dollars (3). A full assessment of the cost to wildlife, housing, equipment, responder costs, business closures, or the direct impact on people’s pocketbooks has not been made yet. The damage could put the figure into a much higher rate.
As with all disasters there is an impact on people’s lives. Some paid for hotels, lost their homes, lost their personal belongs and much more. Not everyone has the proper amount of insurance to cover those losses. Personal and sentimental items can never be replaced. If you are interested in donating there are some organizations below.
San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation
The Salvation Army
The American Red Cross
The San Diego Blood Bank