There’s a major wildfire currently burning north of the San Fernando Valley. All the local stations are covering it, but so far ALL OF THEM are only showing images of the Porter Ranch area, which is the northern flank of the fire. While it’s pretty cool to watch the homes of rich white Republicans burn to the ground (plus an abandoned factory which was so remote the fire department didn’t bother to protect it, so the flames were quite impressive) – there has been NO coverage of the south & west portion of the fire, where it’s threatening Chatsworth, Simi Valley, and other areas of the west Valley, which is closer to where I live.
Historically, fires in this area have the potential to burn all the way to the ocean; so you’d think the news would be more proactive in showing where the fire exactly is, and project where it might be going. They’ve announced mandatory evacuations of several canyons west of the Valley, but the news coverage shows no indication of whether this is purely precautionary or if those areas are in imminent danger. One of the helicopter cameras was just showing an empty parking lot – AN EMPTY PARKING LOT!! – while others are merely replaying the structure fires or showing helicopter water drops on spot fires that don’t seem to be threatening any human habitations at all.
Just now, Channel 4 finally reported a spot fire in Chatsworth Park (which ironically is right where the Metrolink accident occurred last month) and there was another reporter standing on the shut-down 118 freeway which showed that the main fire is still north of the freeway – though you wouldn’t know it unless you could read the landmarks their cameras just happen to run across. Oh, and no matter where the reports come from, the Breaking News logo still reads “Porter Ranch”. Apparently, the entire North Valley is now called “Porter Ranch”. :rolleyes:
I did catch one reporter who pulled out the Thomas Guide and showed exactly where the fire is and which areas are still threatened – but that’s it. The other maps shown on the news are highly inaccurate and not detailed enough to be helpful. You’d think, with real-time traffic maps and highly detailed earthquake “shakemaps”, we would have the technology to do the same with wildfires – but nooooo. So far, the news coverage has been entertaining, but as for specific danger zones, it’s been practically useless.
And I just received a Reverse 911 call announcing a “voluntary horse evacuation” for my area, whatever the fuck that means.
Well, at least your house is still okay. I wouldn’t expect the local news to be any good anyway. Are you upset because your neighborhood doesn’t have the fame of being on some cheesy local TV news program, or because the authorities aren’t protecting it?
In any case, I hope your area stays safe–I hope ALL areas stay safe.
Oh, lighten up. They have insurance, if they’re smart.
Well, there was a major fire that burned right through my canyon just a few years ago, so my neighborhood did get some quality TV time back then. But my point is, there are neighborhoods which are directly threatened (Chatsworth, Simi Valley, etc.) which the news completely ignored this afternoon. They also held a news conference with fire officials earlier today, but just as they were giving some specific information, the news BROKE AWAY FROM THE CONFERENCE to talk about the stock market!!! AIIIGGHHH!!!
And now it’s closing in on prime time, so most of the stations are cutting away to show commercials, sitcoms, and some silly baseball game…
You probably won’t get much coverage until things–material things–start burning down there. (Yes, it’s sad to say.) Santa Ana winds at this time are unpredictable–fires can go anywhere. The local news idiots are not going to waste time on possibilities: they wait until they have some destruction that looks good on their broadcast.
Really, you should be glad that your neighborhood isn’t in the local TV news.
If you still have Internet access, you probably can find some reliable way of determining the likelihood that your area is in danger, without using local TV media. If it does get into the northern part of the suburban part of the northern SF valley, then that would be on TV all over the nation. Firefighters from all over the state (and perhaps further) would be rushing in.
Your pit is well-taken, as far far as I’m concerned, because these local stations don’t really inform the public much.
You forgot to mention, they also have a legion of grinning perky reporters to stand in front of the natural disaster du jour while they run the same clip from 4 hours ago that you’ve already seen 15 or 20 times and tell you that there haven’t been any new developments since the press conference that they interrupted your favorite television show with 3 hours ago, but they’re right there on the scene to bring you the latest news in this breaking story, back to you, Heather. :rolleyes:
I know what you mean - it was really hard to find out how close the Telegraph fire up near Yosemite was from our friends’ house (they received an evacuation “preparation” call, but no evacuation notice.) The rest of the night was sort of spent on tenterhooks wondering if they would have to leave the home they just bought last year.
That’s the frustrating part. A few of the field reporters have actually given very insightful, very informative reports about what’s happening – one guy had the Thomas Guide, and later a helicopter pilot did a panoramic sweep showing exactly where each hot spot is. But, the stations never replay these reports (indeed, if it wasn’t for my dual-channel DVR I would have missed them completely) and instead they focus on the people evacuating, or the homeless guy who got killed, etc. etc.
You would think, with the frequency of wildfires here, they would have somebody on staff who could report the current & possible future dangers with nifty touch-screen graphics like CNN does for predicting the election…hell, I’m tempted to apply for that job myself!
I’m not worried – my neighborhood’s actually quite safe, fire-wise. Historically, every fire that’s burned through this canyon has done little to no damage. Of course, there’s always the “X” factor, and it’s more accurate to say “every fire that’s burned so far…” So it’s important for me to know whether or not I should be worried, you know?
How do you know they’re assholes? If only because they’re Republicans, then you’re a bigger asshole than they are by far.
Are you serious? What about family pets, photographs, heirlooms and mementos, automobiles not insured for replacement value, etc., etc.? People lose irreplaceable treasures and a hell of a lot of life as they’ve come to know it when their homes are destroyed by fire. Insurance to rebuild only puts a roof over their heads, it doesn’t restore their lives.
Well, at least one homeowner (who was interviewed on TV) had bought his house as an “investment property” and it was currently unoccupied. FTR he didn’t elaborate on his financial situation or political affiliation, but I get the feeling all he lost in the fire was a mortgage payment.
Simi’s probably more Republican than Porter Ranch. Porter has a Walmart and a Whole Foods. Lots of South and East Asian descended folks, and no small number of blacks and Latinos. Just last week a South Asian businessman who’d fallen on hard times took out his whole family in a murder suicide in one of Porter’s gated communities.
From here in the Chatsworth flatlands, the smoke and flames in Porter Ranch look quite dramatic. Being visible from the main highway, in fact, causing the main highway to be shut down, makes the Porter fire the obvious choice for news reports seeking the sensational. I don’t wish anyone the destruction I saw from a distance as I got off the train today.
The horse 911 is function of the fact that there are still a lot of ranches here. You see women in riding boots, real boots with dirt on them, in the local grocery. There’s a feed store next to the Smart and Final. One of the gated communities emphasizes riding as its selling point.
Whatever you may think of the horses’ owners you can’t possibly wish the horses themselves any ill will. If they need to be evacuated, let them be moved as soon as possible, so the trailers don’t block traffic anymore than they have to.