We face fearsome forces of nature. Fires in dry tinder pushed by 30 mph winds are unstoppable by ordinary or extraordinary effort. We cannot order the wind to cease or the flames to slow, any more than King Canute could hold back the sea. Humans, with all their clever and powerful machinery, are puny in comparison.
This point should be made, lest we talk ourselves into expecting miracles from the people sent to protect us. That would do them a disservice. Under these conditions, these horrible fires cannot be stopped by crews of 20-year-olds in Nomex jackets armed with shovels and pulaskis. Only fools can think these fires can be “put out” the way we douse a campfire or close the lid on the barbecue. Don’t expect the impossible. Blame no firefighter or manager for the destruction you see. They are not the cause. Above all, be patient. Be alert. Cooperate.