Cry For Catalina

I'll admit that many times a fire will arouse a thrill of terror in me.  It's a human, but not very pretty, tendancy.  Such a fierce disaster causes awe and fascination.
But this evening when I saw the photos coming from Catalina Island, of the flames destroying the inland brush and hovering over the city of Avalon like the jaws of a furnace, I could only feel a sick fear.  I actually felt my throat tighten when I thought about the danger that was threatening the island I love so much. 
So many wonderful things lie in the path of destruction:  The Airport In The Sky, the Wrigley Arabian Horse Ranch, the buffalo that, well, roam the hinterland of the island…and as the fire peeks over the hill and into the city it glowers over Crescent and Sumner Avenues which house wonderful old hotels:  the Glenmore (where Boyfriend and I always stay), the Hermosa "Sleep Cheap" Hotel (where dad stayed whenever he visited the island in the '40's)…and the glorious Casino.  But if the fire reaches that, well, the entire island will by then be reduced to tinder.
It's night time now, and the water drops have ceased.  They will be resumed in the morning, but for now Catalina burns alone.

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12 responses to “Cry For Catalina

  1. I was surprised by how worried it made me too – because it can't stand Catalina. Still, Avalon is a landmark and I'd hate to see it destroyed.
    I recall a similar fire about 10 years ago – though I think that one was closer to Twin Harbors. I watched the Camp Pendleton hovercraft take over crews & engines from Long Beach. From the shore at night, we could see the flames on Catalina without binoculars.
    I'm thinking that if the fire reaches the residental area, water drops will be massively stepped up… but who knows??
    I'm sending good juju.

  2. Terrifying photo, Aubrey. I know nothing about Catalina except what you've written and the few *prized* pieces of 1940s Catalina Pottery I have.

  3. This is so sad. The news article says the area has been starved of rain – I sure hope it rains today. 😦

  4. Oh no.I hadn't heard about this.(Admittedly, I periodically just hide from the news.)How big is the fire?We did a little science unit on wildlife there years ago — aren't there island species of foxes? And something else.Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.I hate this.

  5. lauowolf, over 4,000 acres burned – I didn't know that Catalina had so much acreage! As of a couple of hours ago, this was 10% contained.
    There are buffalo, deer, island foxes, quail (I'd never seen them before)…all in danger. I'm hoping that animal services will move in as soon as this monster is completely soaked.

  6. Aubrey, I thought of you when I saw the news last night.

  7. This is so sad.

  8. (sniff)
    But I've just read that the fire is now 35% contained; and that its start was probably accidental – sparks flying as workers repaired antennae for the local radio station. So frustrating.

  9. Oh crap.35% contained sounds better, but simple carelessness while repairing antennae…..ugh…such waste. I am sending thoughts and prayers Catalina's way.

  10. The picture is incredibly disturbing, isn't it?:(

  11. This is so unfortunate. I loved Catalina Island when I visited. Keep us posted!

  12. I have never been there, but it sounds wonderful. What a scary picture. Fire is just awful.

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