Our time in Illinois was so wonderful, especially spending time with family and friends. As on any vacation, I only got on the computer once or twice and rarely watched the news. But the moment we stepped off the plane at LAX, it was obvious that something was wrong. People at the airport were gathered around tv's watching CNN, whispering to each other. I glanced at the newspaper rack and saw a picture of firemen on the front page, but didn't think much of it. The first time there was a fire in the area I literally freaked out. I called Rommel, turned the news on, and stared at the smoke over the mountains. Now I have become used to hearing about fires in California, which is actually pretty sad. I was honestly more concerned with getting out of the airport and getting back to bed.
After a long nap, I turned on the news. I saw the usual pictures taken from helicopters above the fire, but then they started listing off the locations. It wasn't just Malibu; it was Malibu and San Diego and Ventura and various other places. It was obvious that things were bad and the headlines gave the impression that they would only get worse. The weather was only fueling the fire, a large number of firemen had just been laid off, people were being evacuated.
As of this afternoon there were twenty separate fires and over a million people have been evacuated from their homes. The worst part is that most of the fires were set by people intending to cause harm.
We are a safe distance from the fires, but we just have to look out the window at the smoke-filled sky to realize how close to us it really is. At least we are in the position to help those who were affected.
You can go to www.redcross.org to find out how you can help those affected by the wildfires.