Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado Fires…

I learned of the fires in Colorado, not from the news, but from someone I don’t know tweeting on twitter that they couldn’t breathe from the smoke. I looked to see where they lived and saw it was Colorado and I googled it. The fires started Saturday, 32,000 people have been evacuated and I haven’t heard a word on the news? I’m sure they mentioned it, but not enough that I had a clue what was happening. Apparently, the high temperatures out west are putting other states in jeopardy of experiencing the same thing.

I cannot imagine how it must feel to be evacuated from your home with a raging fire destroying your whole community for days on end. Even if your home is spared, which is the best case scenario, what do you go back to? What used to be grass and trees are a pile of ash and rubble. Many of your neighbors may have lost homes and won’t rebuild. The pictures of the destruction are devastating. I seem to read about this happening every year in California. Now, in addition to Colorado, they mention that Utah, Wyoming and Montana are under red flag warnings too.

I have always lived in New York City. We have our share of difficulties in the city.
We have had bad storms. But we really have not experienced the devastation from earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and fires that much of the rest of the country has to deal with on a regular basis. Mother Nature has been kind to us in comparison. Our biggest challenge was overcoming the 911 terrorist attack that happened over a decade ago.

New York City is a far cry from living in the wide open mountain areas of the west. I would love to be surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature that exists out west. I imagine it to be calming and certainly the lifestyle a lot less hectic. But, in reflecting on these fires, the loss and devastation, I wonder is there really an ideal place to live? Things seem to get worse with each passing year. I rarely heard of things like this happening when I was growing up. Now it’s a few disasters a year making the news.

I don’t have a background in technology, but I have to wonder isn’t there more that can be done to get an earlier start on these fires or better equipment to help put them out. I read once, a while back, that China has planes that carry water and attack the fires from overhead. And, isn’t there any way to install devices through heavily wooded areas that would sound an alarm or alert authorities when a fire breaks out? Something like the alert  ADT has when a home is broken into? Maybe planes could fly over the areas in jeopardy during dry seasons, several times a day, looking for signs of smoke or flames, before they get a chance to spread too far? I’m not sure what is being done to prevent or get an earlier start on these situations. I hope someone is working on it.

Meanwhile, I’ll pray for those in Colorado. I hope they can contain the fire soon and put it out before it does even more ravishing damage.

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