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California Burning

California’s burning again via the Esperanza fire which was lit by an arsonist and fueled by the seasonally hot and dry Santa Ana winds (etymology is largely believed to derive from santanas or “devil winds.”) As nationally reported, four firefighters died and one is in critical condition after becoming overcome by flames as they were attempting to protect structures.

Arsonists are one sick breed of psychos. The subject is particularly sensitive to the Hatchetfaces as Peggers’ house, detailed by Dateline NBC, was torched in 2001 by serial eco-terrorist Mark Warren Sands. (Who turned out not to be an eco-terrorist at all, rather a sexually-motivated arsonist/pedophile.) I can’t even watch updates on the news. Last time I tried, I saw, during a live broadcast, the fire jump the road and engulf a news van as a reporter screamed into the camera. It happens that quickly which is why I totally understand how those seasoned firefighters were so rapidly ambushed. My heart goes out to everyone who suffered such horrific losses.

To put this into geographic context, the Esperanza fire is burning near Palm Springs and Cabazon, home to a big outlet mall and Claude Bell’s Dinosaurs (featured in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure). A pretty dry and dusty place off of Interstate 10 in eastern California.

Claude Bell's DInosaurs

Let this be a lesson. Don’t become an arsonist. Fire easily gets out of control. It destroys property, pollutes the atmosphere and kills animals and people. Your friends and enemies have strong incentives to rat you out. The reward for the California arsonist is already $500,000. You face serious consequences. Popular public opinion is already calling for your own death.

Don’t even falsely pull a fire alarm. If the responding engine runs a red light, hits a car and kills a passenger on the way to answering your dumbass call, guess who gets charged with manslaughter? It’s an easy answer. You.

So take your hand off the lever and put away those matches.

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