When the fires struck California two years ago, I wasn't too concerned. It was too far away and I had no personal ties there.
Today, however, it is a different story, and suddenly, those fires are hot news. Our daughter and her family live in Temecula. There are several fires within a few miles of town (all part of the Rice fire). News reports from the area offer conflicting accounts: The two evacuation sites are full; schools are open today; a section of town is only two miles from the fires; the evacuation order is a rumor; evacuation is expected in the next 12-16 hours. Our daughter sent us photos taken from the back yard, showing the hills dotted with fire. Here's a map of where that is: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?uid=109103557032275200740&hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=117631292961056724014.00043d21dedd02f5ae1f7
I realize it is easy to blame the confusion on incompetence. I, however, believe the confusion is based on the chaotic nature of a disaster and is a reasonable outcome of rapidly changing circumstance.
Long story short, it's a mess. For those of you inclined, please keep the residents of CA in your thoughts and prayers. I'll keep you posted on news of our daughter and grandchildren, and of our son-in-law, who is stranded at Camp Pendleton (one fire there is now 100% contained; the other, 0%).