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Scratching Our Heads As Los Angeles Burns

Well, the city’s on fire again.


I know we keep most of our local news east of the Mississippi here on Pop Ten, but I figure as our West Coast correspondent this is as good a time as any for a special report.

I never feel as far from you New Yorkers as when people talk about “fire season” out here. The air is filled with an odd sweet-smelling smoke that gives you a headache. THIS IS THE BAD WEATHER. That is fundamentally wrong.

What’s worse, people seem to have no idea what the hell to do about it.

I don’t question the bravery or the personal cleverness of the men and women who fight this inferno. But we are a relatively ingenious species, guys. We have defied gravity and sent hundred-man buses into the sky, we have made computer processors the size of my fingernail. What do we do about fire? The same thing we did when we were riding mammoths and hunting trilobytes. We look for some water, a lot of water if possible (hint: in L.A. it isn’t) and we dump it on the fire. Then we scratch our heads.

We don’t fight small-scale fires that way… I remember learning that back in the bad old days when we almost burned down Columbia University on a film shoot we were responsibly filming After the Wake. But it seems when the blaze gets bigger than a breadbox, the department turn back to that old questionably-efficient solution.

Maybe the old ways are really the best. But considering these fires take days to put out in the best of circumstances, considering we basically spent yesterday praying to the Wind Gods, considering the advances our species has made in chemistry and general civil engineering and considering a FIRE EXTINGUISHER is not filled with water… I don’t know.

I’m probably just being a rube… this is far from my area of expertise. But I’d love to see some clever Infernologist present a solution that elicits a reaction like “that’s clever” or “I didn’t think of that” instead of “that’s a shitload of water we won’t be drinking”.

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