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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

If we are linked up on Instagram, you will have seen that I spent last weekend in Ventura, California to celebrate Christmas with my daddio.  While I've made this journey at least 10 times in the last year, this time was definitely the most frightening (partly because driving alone after a long day of work with a bruised rib was just not cool) due to the recent wildfires in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.  

On my way in to Ventura on Friday night, I passed 3 small brushfires, which are both fascinating and terrifying to see.  On Saturday, we had planned to venture into or near Santa Barbara to take in the actual burn from a safe distance, but the 101 North was closed due to an accident with an oil truck (the worst time and place ever for one of these to occur), so we drove around downtown Ventura to take in the damage that had occurred a week prior.  

Just as when I lived overseas and felt that everyone should visit at least one concentration camp just to learn from it, I've come to believe that everyone should safely observe at least one natural disaster in their lifetime.  

I've never experienced destruction quite like this and I don't permanently live in Ventura.  Nor was my home (or my dad's home) remotely affected by the wildfires.  The sky was smoky and orange.  Every time my car sat unmoved for more than 15 minutes at a time, it ended up covered in ash.  It was difficult to be outside for longer than 10 minutes without a particulate filtration mask.  

These fires have been burning for over 2 weeks now and according to a Cal Fire update from Tuesday, they are not 50% contained.  In the fall, during hurricane season, I stated that these "natural" disasters are truly anything but natural.  The truth of the matter is that the world is getting too hot and too dry to sustain life as we know it.  I want to share these photos of the wildfire destruction as a warning and as a hope that anyone reading this will take steps to conserve energy.  

It is truly very easy.  Turn the lights off when you leave the room.  Plan all of your errands for one day so you can use the car less often.  Carpool.  Take a walk.  Ride a bike.  Close your refrigerator door as quickly as you can.  Use the light in your oven instead of opening the oven door (each time you open the door, the oven can lose up to 25 degrees).  If many people take many small steps, we can help the planet heal and become more sustainable! 

1 comment on "Wildfire... "
  1. Wow these images are so deep and sometimes difficult to take in. Natural disasters can be so damaging and shocking, but good on you for going and seeing it for yourself! We can't just ignore these things as they're happening!

    Georgia Megan