The question keeps popping into my noggin when I watch and read reports of fire such as the blaze that is terrorizing southern California.
How do human beings hope to cope with the wrath that Mother Nature can bring to us?
I’ve lost track of the acreage destroyed by the fire whipped by the ferocious and relentless Santa Ana wind. It’s in the many hundreds of thousands of acres. It covers many hundreds of square miles. Media reports tell us it’s larger than the cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco. It could be that it’s larger than all of them combined.
I heard just prior to the weekend that the calming wind gave firefighters a break, that they gained ground on the fire. Then the wind kicked back in, setting the firefighters back on their heels.
Yet the firefighters keep at it. Thousands of them are battling this blaze. They’ll stay in the fight for the duration, until the last ember is extinguished.
I heard also they have come from many states to fight these fires. My wife and I caught a glimpse earlier this year of how firefighters rally to fight a common foe. We traveled in October to Oregon, driving through California from Needles all the way to the Oregon border. We saw smoke, but no flames from the fire that erupted in California’s famed Wine Country.
We visited with firefighters mustering at a Nevada County, Calif., site to fight a blaze burning near Grass Valley. They came from far away to lend a hand. En route north along Interstate 5 we saw a Seattle Fire Department truck heading home, with Old Glory waving proudly in the wind. They epitomize the best of the human spirit.
I suppose I have just answered that question about coping with nature’s awesome wrath.
The human spirit can rise to any occasion.