Topanga Canyon Wildfires: “… an invisible tidal wave of death”

los-angeles-observatory with flames

“Topanga is vulnerable.

“A single spark can set wild fires roaring through our world like prehistoric beasts, fed by powerful blasts of Santa Anas, painting the sky in garish tones of flaming reds and yellows, drumming the earth with the thumping of helicopter rotary blades, and piercing the smoky air with sirens that wail with the rising intensity of a woman’s scream.

“All of the homes and scenic beauty of this mountain village could be turned to ashes in a matter of not days but hours. In the silence that follows a fire storm, only scattered memories remain.

“Wild fires, like any great force of nature, involve all of one’s senses simultaneously as the over-heated northeast wind moves relentlessly in an observer’s direction, demanding attention to its sight, its sound and its waves of heat at intersections of strength and peril almost too large to comprehend; an invisible tidal wave of death and fury is coming and you are standing on the beach.”

Al Martinez, “A Warning in the Wind”, L.A. Observed



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About Rodger Jacobs


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