This is a relative thought as what is still burning would be big news at another time. 1500 homes have been lost so far in various communities, more damaged and some lives lost as well. You may ask how can this happen?It starts with the dream of having a home in the country. The “country” in Southern California is usually in the chapparral (brush) or in the trees of the mountains. At this time of year the plants that grow in the “country” is referred to as fuel by the firemen. So think of your home sitting in a pool of scenic gasoline…It is allowed, desired and the envy of all to live this way. It may cost more to insure but we want to live like them because most of the time it is cleaner, more beautiful and a secluded way to live. You often own horses, grow groves of some kind and just love living in what passes for the wilderness here.There will be a debate once again as to how this kind of fire can be prevented or better protection provided. The focus will focus on whether the state or the local cities should pay for more firemen and aircraft. Both should pay more and therein lies the problem. Many in these types of communities don’t want higher taxes. The folks in San Diego county are particularly against them.Even if the taxes were paid and the army of firemen increased and an air force of planes existed to fight the fires, you then have the problem of dealing with an the ever increasing fuel load in the natural areas as the years go by. This could be managed with controlled burns, but then the liability lies with the Government and opens itself open to lawsuits, when things go wrong.So now you know why this is happening. We are fine so far. We live in a track home, which means we are “safer”, but homes of this type do burn up as well if not as often as homes in the country. I would hate to lose my home and all the “things” we have collected, created and nurtured (my garden). As an artist who makes things, I am a materialist at heart and it is easy for me to give these things meaning. A life’s work is just that and I really feel for those who have lost their’s.