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Author Topic: Are you OK in California?
dkw
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They are evacuated, but they're staying at a friend's house which is outside the evacuation zone. The dog is with them.

Edit for top of page: "They" would be saxon75 and Juliette.

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Primal Curve
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Thanks; dkw, CT.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
He just posted at his site.

That's such a relief. Like Primal, I can't check sake from work, and I've been worrying.
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KaliAngelKat
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My prayers to everyone in my adopted home state! I got a rude wake up call from my aunt early this am asking if I could locate the number for a friend that lives in the canyon area of LA County. (He's between two of the bigger fires)

I also sent emails to a friend in my old ward in Long Beach to make sure that they are fine and as a touch base for discorvering which ones of my friends are in the line of fire and if there has been any contact with them.

I bawled like a baby when I saw the image that yahoo had of Magic Mountian covered in smotke and my aunt says theat they are surrounded on three sides by the fires.

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BlackBlade
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Oh no... [Frown]
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/23/wildfire.ca/index.html

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Javert Hugo
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quote:
Firefighters expected no break from the winds fueling the fires until midday Thursday, said Harvey Johnson, deputy administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Woah. [Frown]
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JumboWumbo
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The fires are about four miles from where I live, at the time of writing, but I don't think they'll be getting any closer, so I don't think I'll be evacuating. The sky is an eerie orange, and school has been shut down all week.

Last night, we went out to dinner, and the waitress informed us that her husband's work had just burned down. I know of at least one friend who lives in Romona who had his house burn down, and many more that have had to evacuate. There isn't even a tally yet on the number of homes that have been burndt. This whole thing is so surreal, it hasn't really hit me yet.

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saxon75
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Yes, Juliette and I (and Cooper) are all fine. We spent the night last night at a friend's house but have returned home today. Apparently there was some confusion with the local news outlets and our area was reported as a mandatory evacuation zone when in reality the fire department had designated it as a voluntary evacuation zone. (And, in any event, it wasn't clear whether we actually fell within that zone--the southern boundary was defined by a road that didn't go all the way between the east and west edges.) We still have the car packed up and ready to leave at a moment's notice, and while that may happen I'm not really very concerned about our house actually burning.
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saxon75
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Wow, I just heard that the total number of evacuees has reached 513,000.

Edit: I guess that was in the article BlackBlade linked.

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baduffer
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They just announced on TV that 346,000 houses have been evacuated. That is houses not people.
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erosomniac
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Please don't take this as a solicitation, because it isn't (how awful would that be, aside from being against the TOS?), but if anyone in the affected area has respiratory problems that are getting aggravated because of the crap in the air and would be interested in an air purifier, I can sell you one at cost.

Edit: And if anyone really feels this is against the TOS, let me know and I'll remove it.

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MattP
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I doubt that any off-the-shelf purifier is likely to help in the current conditions.
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erosomniac
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You'd be surprised. They may not make the air pure again, but a good quality carbon filtration system would almost certainly help alleviate any adverse reactions.
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Noemon
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I've been thinking of all of those evacuees, and the wisdom of having an emergency bag packed with essentials (and also thinking about the things that I have in mine, and wondering if I should swap in some different stuff). If anybody here doesn't have such a bag, consider packing one. It's one of those things that you'll probably never need, but possession of which is worthwhile anyway.
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
You'd be surprised. They may not make the air pure again, but a good quality carbon filtration system would almost certainly help alleviate any adverse reactions.

It's more an issue of particulates, which is going to clog up the carbon pretty quick. I would bet people are having a heck of time just keeping their furnace filters clean enough to keep their A/C going.
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ketchupqueen
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I was just outside for the first time today, and the sunshine is... well, the only way to describe it is ORANGE. It's not the normal, clear, white light that you expect sunshine to be. We can't see fire from where we are, but the entire area is covered in such a cloud of smoke and haze that the sunlight gets filtered through it and turns orange. It literally looks like you're under a sulfur street lamp at night, except during the day, and all over.

I sure hope they're not letting the kids play outside at Emma's preschool today. The air is not obviously bad, but if there's that much smoke in the air I don't want her breathing it too much. I don't need to deal with two coughing children tonight, Bridey (our little respiratory problem girl since she was born) is already hacking her lungs up every time she lays down.

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MattP
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Recent news tidbits:

* Total acreage burned as of noon: 241,000

* A water pump is out in Ramona. Residents have been informed that there will be no water shortly.

* Residents who want protection from the air should purchase a mask rated "N-95"

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ketchupqueen
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I'll have to call my dad and see if he has any masks, he usually keeps them on hand. I have a feeling by the time we could make it to the store they will be sold out, and I don't want to break into our emergency kit.
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dkw
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A raging wildfire doesn't count as an emergency?
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ketchupqueen
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Um, it's not the kind of emergency that kit is for. Not in our area, where there's no fire or ash. That's our "contagious viral outbreak/actually having to hike away from a raging wildfire" stash, we ran out of the ones I keep around for "our area is having a bad air day and my asthma is acting up."
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
A raging wildfire doesn't count as an emergency?

The ketchups are made of sterner stuff than the average person.
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baduffer
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San Diego emergency site

This site provides updated maps on the evacuation area and fire area. It also overlays the Thomas guide squares so you can use your Thomas guide and see greater detail.

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ketchupqueen
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No, really, if we were, say, close to an evacuation area, I would break out the emergency masks in a heartbeat if I was having trouble breathing. But where we are, it's just not that urgent; my asthma is still controllable with my inhaler, and I have a nebulizer on standby in case.
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Itsame
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Alright, class was canceled for the week so I am going back home until Sunday. I'll probably be studying for my midterm and writing an essay.
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anti_maven
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Good news then. Boiled Ketchup is a BAD thing, and broiled Jatraquero is a recipe I'd rather do without.

BTW has anyone heard from Rivka?

Sorry to be a pain, but I feel concerned about the Cali Clump.

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ketchupqueen
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Rivka's on a break from Hatrack. I'm sure she's fine but if you'd like I'd be happy to e-mail her and get her assurances.
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ketchupqueen
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E-mail sent.
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anti_maven
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Thanks KQ - it's raining here in Spain, and I cant help but feel worried about you folks in a dry and torrid climate.

Best wishes from the entire Maven Clan. Catch you all tomorrow.

Good luck.

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ketchupqueen
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From rivka:

quote:
I appreciate the concern, but really, I'm fine. [Smile] I've been busy with life and such, but I'll probably be back eventually. Meanwhile, I am still checking my email, and can be reached at rivkag AT gmail.

Thanks,
Rivka


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Mama Squirrel
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The wind must have shifted. It's getting very smoky over here again. At least I hope it is that and not that the fires are getting worse.
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Morbo
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I don't know if it affects anyone here, but USAir just dropped some fees for changing tickets to S.Cali. I imagine the other airlines will do this also.
quote:
(AP) -- US Airways is waiving some fees for customers traveling to or from Southern California who need to change their flights because of the wildfires.
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071023/az_us_airways_wildfires.html?.v=1?
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
Alright, class was canceled for the week so I am going back home until Sunday. I'll probably be studying for my midterm and writing an essay.

My school will still be in session tomorrow. [Grumble]

I just hope I can still go to Disneyland on Monday.
*crosses fingers*

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Squish
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Thanks for the previous info on Cerritos. My sister and her husband are currently on their 2-week honeymoon and I wanted to make sure their home would be alright. I'm terrible with California geography. I'm assuming that their businesses in Huntington Beach and Torrance would both alright as well?

I hope everyone in those affected areas are safe and sound...

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ketchupqueen
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Huntington Beach is in the same boat as us-- no danger, just bad air.

Torrance is in no danger right now but there are reports of some (cold) ash falling and smoke (from the southern fires.)

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Lyrhawn
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When the battle with the flames is over, the battle with the insurance companies might just be starting.

The worry is that just like other recent disasters, not only will insurance companies refuse to pay out, or refuse to pay out full benefits, but they will also refuse to further insure residents.

It's all the more ridiculous considering the tens of billions of dollars that the insurance company gets out of California.

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ketchupqueen
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There's a California law requiring homeowner's insurance (before you can even close on the house, you have to have the policy in place.) So if companies refuse to insure residents in certain areas, that's going to cause big problems for the housing industry.
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Dragon
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Question: that google map just stops at the border, but I can't imagine that the fire is doing the same. Anyone know if it's this bad in Mexico?
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James Tiberius Kirk
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Not sure. I seem to recall hearing that Tijuana offered fire crews to help, though.

--j_k

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saxon75
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I haven't been following any actual news stories about Mexico but the satellite views they've been showing of the Southern California fires also seem to show a number of smoke plumes coming from Baja.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
There's a California law requiring homeowner's insurance (before you can even close on the house, you have to have the policy in place.) So if companies refuse to insure residents in certain areas, that's going to cause big problems for the housing industry.

Some companies have pulled out of the entire state. A couple companies are in wait and see mode, but if a couple more go, then they'll all go. If they all pull out of the state, it'll be a huge loss of revenue, but they might see it as a long term savings considering all the problems the state has.

If they refuse to, then you're going to probably see the same thing in California as you get in Florida, which is the state insuring people. But that's extremely dicey for the first few years until a really big fund is built up. If there is a major disaster and the fund isn't there, the state will have to pay through the nose, and which point I think the less vulnerable parts of the state will start to turn on the more vulnerable parts. But that's just guesswork, it might be that insurance companies are too drawn by the cash in the area.

I'll tell you one thing though, if they stay in the area, take Californians money, and refuse to pay out, we might finally get a discussion on insurance companies jilting the insured. It's been happening to millions of people with medical insurance with no national outcry, but maybe this will be what it takes for some major insurance reform.

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ketchupqueen
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Good news tonight on several fronts-- the National Weather Service has dropped the high wind warnings. Wind speed at 11 was down to 1 MPH in San Diego, 8 MPH in some of the more northern areas. The Malibu and Santa Clarita fires are mostly contained, and the San Diego fire's spread is slowing somewhat as the wind turns against it, although it's not anywhere near contained, of course.

Unfortunately they're still having high gusts in Orange County, where there are two fires going, and in Lake Arrowhead property damage and evacuations continue. Some Santa Clarita and Malibu firefighters are now being deployed to Orange County and other areas. The current count is 20 wildfires. I was sickened to hear for the first time (I haven't been much on extensive coverage, just burn updates) that the Lake Arrowhead fire was arson. That really angers me that someone would do that.

Nothing like a local disaster to get me to watch the local news (which I almost never do.) Fritz (Coleman, NBC 4 weatherman) says temperatures should continue to drop and he's hoping for more moisture by Friday (apparently the pressure from the fires is keeping clouds from getting in at all right now.) He even predicted a 10% chance of showers on Sat., but as he said, that's more hoping than anything. I guess it's something to pray for, anyway.

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baduffer
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After finally getting to see some national coverage last night I was struck by the comparisons being may to Katrina. Brian Williams made the comment that "seeing a clown entertaining the kids" at Qualcomm he knew it wasn't Katrina. The national and even local authorities are pointing out how they are doing so much better, having learned lessons from Katrina. I lived in New Orleans and I live here now. I love both places but...

The situations are not the same. People that evacuated in Katrina had to go at least 70 miles, not 10. The weather would never allow an outdoor stadium be an acceptable evacuation center. The areas being evacuated in San Diego are suburban not urban. Let's see how it would go if we had to evacuate the Barrio Logan, South Park, City Heights, etc. Many of the people that have been evacuated own homes in southern CA. where the median house price is >$400,000. They have transportation. Contrast that with the New Orleans population. There is nowhere in San Diego that corresponds to the "projects" in the New Orleans.

Yes, San Diego people and government are rightly proud of how they have responded but let's not pat ourselves on the back too hard. We have not really faced a Katrina situation and I hope we never do.

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Jhai
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I think you're misrepresenting the facts, a bit, Lyrhawn. The only real news in your link (rather than speculation) is that
(a) some homeowners didn't choose high enough policy limits for their insurance coverage in the 2003 fires (and very high policy limits do exist, if you're willing to shop around and pay a higher premium)
and
(b) One insurance company pulled out of California because the state government wouldn't let it raise premiums to the level it felt necessary to cover the risk Californian homes posed.

Neither one of these actions seems to be dastardly dealings by the insurance companies. If you're willing to pay a high enough premium, you can literally have anything insured. And if enough people are willing to pay high enough premiums (and are allowed to by the state), then insurance companies will find it worthwhile to set their actuaries to work to precisely calculate the risk, and keep premiums at a competitive price. Might now be a higher price in SoCal, of course, since the risk of fire, from a Bayesian standpoint, has gone up, but that's not the insurance companies' fault.

Also, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation in Florida ( here), there are currently 25 companies, including one run by the state, offering home owners insurance. Doesn't quite sound like all the insurance agencies have pulled out of the state.

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Zhil
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My family lives in San Diego, and last I called, they said they had evacuated... but then decided the fire wouldn't reach our house, so they went back home.

I'm a little worried...

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fugu13
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Oh, it changes the probability estimate even from a classical perspective . . .
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
I think you're misrepresenting the facts, a bit, Lyrhawn. The only real news in your link (rather than speculation) is that
(a) some homeowners didn't choose high enough policy limits for their insurance coverage in the 2003 fires (and very high policy limits do exist, if you're willing to shop around and pay a higher premium)
and
(b) One insurance company pulled out of California because the state government wouldn't let it raise premiums to the level it felt necessary to cover the risk Californian homes posed.

Neither one of these actions seems to be dastardly dealings by the insurance companies. If you're willing to pay a high enough premium, you can literally have anything insured. And if enough people are willing to pay high enough premiums (and are allowed to by the state), then insurance companies will find it worthwhile to set their actuaries to work to precisely calculate the risk, and keep premiums at a competitive price. Might now be a higher price in SoCal, of course, since the risk of fire, from a Bayesian standpoint, has gone up, but that's not the insurance companies' fault.

Also, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation in Florida ( here), there are currently 25 companies, including one run by the state, offering home owners insurance. Doesn't quite sound like all the insurance agencies have pulled out of the state.

Sorry, I didn't say anywhere that everyone had pulled out of Florida except for the government insurance, but I can see how you might have assumed that. Fact of the matter is Florida's state run insurance IS in something of a precarious situation. If a major hurricane hits Florida, there won't be enough money to pay out and they'll have to raise the cash somehow. That problem goes away in a couple years when the nest egg is built up, but it's still there. Are we not allowed to discuss potential pitfalls here?

And is it also not true that insurance companies in Florida, and especially most recently in Katrina denied payments to the insured? A lot of them had to sue to get payouts. So it's not like insurance companies are skipping through a field of tulips and I'm making up stuff against them.

And I even said in my post that I was just guessing, but I guess I what, have to have my post notarized or something?

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BannaOj
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I don't know yet about my brother and sister-in-law's home in Fallbrook. (The fire nearest them was the "Rice" fire, near but not on Camp Pendleton). They are safe and out of the area, but on all the "fire maps" their home is exactly on the edge of the fire damage, so it is difficult to say for sure.
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ketchupqueen
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Last night Camp Pendleton was burning in two places. Did they get that out?
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BannaOj
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Nope, a new fire has come up too... now it's burning in three places. The worry is that an onshore wind could actually push the more western blazes on Camp Pendleton towards Fallbrook from the other direction that hasn't burned yet.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/10/24/news/top_stories/8_85_9910_24_07.txt

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porcelain girl
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Ugh. We had to watch a video in ballet class this morning because no one could BREATHE. Thank goodness I'm asthmatic. [Roll Eyes]
Gonna have to wear my bandana like an outlaw tomorrow.

We don't have ac so all the windows are open, and it isn't helping things.

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