Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Palm Bay, Florida Brush Fires
Sorry for the late post, Froggers. My Internet connection has been cutting in and out all day, likely because of what all is going on.
In my neck of the Florida woods, fierce brush fires have swept the area since Sunday. High winds are feeding the fire like a hungry baby. Stories coming out of the highly wooded areas are crazy.
Fire shooting up thirty foot trees like a zipper. Residents bulldozing fences and digging trenches, anything to form a break line between them and the flames. Families--armed with garden hoses--spending nights on the roof of their home, washing down the shingles in attempt to save their property. Reports of persons standing alongside fire fighters, fighting back fire on three sides of their homes. Photos of just how close the flames came before quenched out, just in the nick of time.
Video of homes burning while families stand in the street, sobbing.
Before the fires went completely berserk, one area principal rode the school bus home with students Tuesday afternoon, to make certain kids arrived safely and were left with an adult. When flames grabbed hold of the road, making travel impossible, the bus was turned back around toward school. A fire shot up on the other side of town, finding its way to the parking lot of an area high school--while school was in session. Students--and those in the neighboring elementary school--were evacuated as the fire burned within their sight. To ensure the safety of students and school personnel, Palm Bay schools have been closed since Tuesday afternoon.
Many have been evacuated from the area and are in shelters.
Charlie Crist flew down today, Alex Sink and Charlie Bronson coming along to inspect the damage inflicted upon Palm Bay and the adjacent town of Malabar. Cocoa--also located in Brevard County--and northern neighbor Daytona--located in Volusia County--also have active fires burning.
Arson is suspected in the Palm Bay fires.
One hundred and sixty-two homes have been damaged or lost.
The area is dry, dry, dry and hot, hot, hot. The wind feels like someone is popping open a 450 degree oven and slamming it shut every few seconds.
What a lot of people could use right this second is one heckuva rain dance.
This Frog--not in harms way--is asking for a few favors for the community from the Man Upstairs.
Please join me.