They have arrested the man who has claimed responsibility (and that is an ironic word to use) for the massive fire yesterday. He is a homeless man who started a fire (to cook some eggs) in this wooded, suburban area... then left the fire burning while he walked to a convenience store to buy some beer.100 acres was burned, along with many houses... at least 8, maybe 10 houses 100% destroyed, and many more that will no longer be habitable. The damage count varies, there were people who evacuated their undamaged homes last night to find them burned this morning. It is just very dry and windy - what they keep calling the perfect storm for fire. And then there was all the fire retardant that was sprayed everywhere via C-130......and the leftovers.
It's really hard to have clear feelings on this. There's a good post on the local paper's charity blog about all the issues surrounding this event. We are in extreme drought. There is a burn ban and there has been for some time - but do we think that homeless people know these things? I think that some do and some don't. I don't think you can make one true statement about everyone. It is certainly a terrible idea to leave a fire going where there's a lot of dead brush and it's windy. Was it arson? Was it stupidity? Was the result intended? They also mentioned on this evening's news that they found more than one of those campsites in there. The truly ironic part of this is that the man who started the fire now has a place to stay. It's jail, but it's still shelter. A lot of other people, on the other hand, now do not have homes.Anyone can become homeless. We are like chairs, take away a leg or two and we can, and probably will collapse. Some of the fire's victims will not recover, esp. if they had inadequate insurance, home-based businesses, or are now sans transportation.