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Doug LaMalfa

LaMalfa, a rice farmer from Butte County, is a former member of the State Assembly.


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Today's Commentary on the News


Keep firefighters in your thoughts and prayers...


by Jon Fleischman - Publisher (bio) (email)

10-22-2007 8:28 am

Instead of a traditional commentary this morning, we want to use this space to ask FR readers to keep firefighters and other first-responders in their prayers as they are battling the staggering amount of wildfires throughout Southern California.
As many readers know, my family lives in Irvine, California.  Well, we are so close to one of the fires that ashes are all around the neighborhood, and the smell of smoke permeates everywhere, indoors and out.
From where we are, the fire is just a couple of miles away, burning through the dense foliage on the north side of our town.  Our friends, Dick and Linda Ackerman (yeah, the Senate Republican Leader) actually live about a mile closer to the fire than we do.  I spoke with Dick and Linda several times last night, and with Dick this morning.  They are safe, but of course we all get concerned when this kind of incident comes this close to our daily lives.
This morning it was announced by authorities here in Orange County that the source of this local blaze, which has now burned thousands of acres, was arson.  Yeah, some idiot (or group of idiots) actually started this blaze.  How STUPID is that?
I'll close with a shout-out to Irvine Company icon Donald Bren.  You see, when the flames approached Irvine, they came across some burgeoning development projects of Bren's -- and so there was a huge no-so-natural fire break as many acres had been cleared and graded, but not yet built upon!
We'll see how this, and the other fires come along.  But I will say that the winds have once again whipped up pretty intensely, and there is definitely cause to be worried.
All FR readers should be attentive to what is happening in their area -- it really doesn't take long, in these conditions, for a fire to go from non-existent to catastrophic...

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