This time, several improvements have emerged, namely:
- A reverse 911 system that warns folks with landlines to prepare to evacuate. (Those of us with cell phones are still on our own.)
- A much better response time for those in affected areas.
It's devastating to learn that thousands of acres have been burned, that fires are still "0% contained," and that hundreds of homes have burned. And it's a horrible thing to see a friend drive up to your house with a car full of what matters most to her (a dog, a cockatiel, some clothes, and important papers). But it's also a wonderful thing to know that she's out of harm's way for the time being and (36 hours later) to learn that her home is still there, in spite of the devastation all around her neighborhood.
For more details on what our fire crews are up against, visit:
KPBS fire map (Leo and I live near the "o" in San Diego for the out-of-towners.)