The most common adjectives about the Station Fire are that it is scary, destructive, wild, voracious, raging and uncontrolled. These are all true but they contain some hyperbole and not a little anthropomorphism.
The San Gabriels on 8/31 from Kaiser Sunset
I’d like to propose a few others adjectives that we should also be hearing. The Station fire is: normal, useful, cyclical and natural. We live in a very arid region. Fires were a natural part of the environmental cycle long before humans arrived here. Fire experts and environmentalists now agree that suppressing every fire means that fuel will accumulate and when they do finally occur they’ll be bigger and hotter. Where we live fires will happen in the same way that snow will happen in Buffalo, New York.
The residents who live near the San Gabriel Mountains should see a positive in the Station Fire for three reasons: First it is happening at the beginning of the fire season when the Santa Ana winds aren’t blowing. Second we have some of the world best trained, financed and equipped fire fighters working to save us and our structures. And third this fires, which is doing very little damage to people or property, will make the West San Gabriel Mountains much less likely to have a massive burn for the next ten or twenty years.
A smoke ball above Mt Wilson
My friend who lives in upstate New York called to make sure we were ok. He asked me “Why would you live in a place that has fires and earthquakes?” I answered “Why would you live in a place that has winter?”