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October 23, 2007



People are doing much with Google's Earth stuff:


OK, I didn't see your other posts...you have a google map up already.


OK guys, I've got to comment on this item, considering I'm a California native (San Francisco), but living away in the Caribbean (Santo Domingo), and have some points to make.

The first is, that there is a better way to build houses, and that is with CEMENT!!

It is environmentally friendly and DOESN'T burn!

It is hard to believe the difference in living styles, between my time spent here, in my CEMENT BLOCK/ceramic house and my all wood/plastic linoleum house I built in Mendocino county (surrounded by 100 ft. fir trees!!)

The difference is, that here, no matter who your enemies are, they're going to have a hard time either shooting you through your concrete walls, or a harder time tossing gasoline through your window to burn down your house.

OK, but realistically, everyone has a visitor, drunk uncle, etc.. to their homes, who can potentially forget about their lighted cigarette as they dose off to sleep....and help to burn down the neigborhood!!

Even my 5 and 7 year old neices helped in this when they played with paper close to the gas stove, and after the paper caught fire, thought of nothing else but running to the TRASH CAN!!

Lucky I was there, or $800,000 would have quickly and literally went 'up in smoke".

What I'm trying to say is that the construction philosophy in California is almost as bad as the average parochial Catholic Liturgical philosophy!
It's terrible and completely without sense!

Houses in California should be built from re-inforced concrete! And that includes the roofs!..as are 95% of all the roofs in my neigborhood that I am currently living, which are built from re-bar enforced concrete. It is both a great means of insulation and most of all, fire-prevention.

Now, some will say..."Oh, won't work in CA!, too many earthquakes!" But this is not true! It all depends on the engineering! My dormitory at a CA Statet University was built entirely of concrete and I'm sure it passed all building code regulations!

The point is...why does everyone want to build out of wood, when it is both so expensive, and also so fire prone??

I truly believe that many CA natives feel that concrete houses are in some way inferior, maybe more lower class, 'second class', or 'brutish'??

My advise: Build all CA houses with concrete, but build them well! Engineer concrete with earthquakes in mind!

Anyway, after witnessing the '91 Oakland Hills fire firsthand, as well as being in S.F. during the '89 Loma Prieta quake, I can tell you there were alot more houses destroyed by the fires than by the quake.

Californians need to wake up, humble themselves and start building with CONCRETE!! Moreover, what's easier for terrorists to do, than drive along California highways in the Fall season, with 5 gallon gas cans, and 15 cents worth of matches?? Pretty 'low tech' terrorism if you ask me!!.. with 50 bucks...you don't need an atomic bomb!

I just hate to see so much waste when most of these 'national' disasters can be avoided with some simple common sense!! WHERE THERE ARE MILLIONS OF DRY TREES NEARBY....BUILT HOUSE WALLS AND ROOFS WITH CONCRETE!!! DOH!!!


Jimmy, I appreciate - I think - your aversion to pdf files, but I think that the San Diego Emergency network has more important things to do right now than upgrade their pdf files to .gif files. Say, things like fighting the fire.

I have three friends who have been evacuated from their homes. No homes burned, thankfully.

What a terrible situation for such a beautiful city. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Jimmy, and for those each of us may know in the area.

Mary Kay

sending prayers.

Paul H

I just found this...

Google Maps - San Diego Fire Information

This may be the same Google map that you linked in an earlier post, but I'm not sure.


Here are BETTER Maps from NBC San Diego -- no EVIL PDFs!

County Fire Maps


Anybody have any clue as to what the Harris fire (by the border)is doing in Mexico? They always draw a line as if the fire is only in America. How's the Mexican government handling all this?

Jonathan Prejean

I think that the San Diego Emergency network has more important things to do right now than upgrade their pdf files to .gif files.

I think you're underestimating how important public information is to a situation like this. When you are evacuating more people than were evacuated during Katrina, which is apparently the current situation in SoCal, it's important for people to be able to find out the situation in a particular region immediately. People need to know whether it's safe to go to work or to school or to return to their homes. I say this as someone who can see the smoke from multiple wildfires from my office window, and that's to say nothing of people whose friends and families are in the path of a firestorm. It's an important part of protecting people, although I would rush to point out that they are clearly doing a great deal right in terms of enabling effective public response. I just don't want to minimize (and I think Jimmy does not want to minimize) the importance of getting information to the public as expeditiously as possible.

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