Send our prayers to Southern California |

Send our prayers to Southern California

Nevada Appeal editorial board

Our prayers go out to Southern California residents whose homes have been destroyed or threatened and to the families of those who’ve lost their lives in the terrifying outbreak of wildfires there.

Our thoughts also are with the thousands of firefighters, including several from Northern Nevada, putting their lives on the line to try to control something that, ultimately, only Mother Nature can harness.

It’s easy to forget just how swiftly and terribly wildfires can spread. We might be tempted to say Northern Nevada was lucky this year, but we know the potential was there – remains there still – for fire to rear its destructive head.

In the instances closest to Carson City this summer, many of us were able to watch firsthand how quickly and effectively fire crews were able to contain the spread of the flames. With little in the way of thunderstorms all season, Mother Nature did give us a break in the number of lightning strikes which cause natural fires.

But like many of the fires now burning in Southern California, it’s the human element we must always remain on guard against.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of not thinking. One of the California fires was started by a lost hunter who fired off a flare.

Others are instances of negligence – a discarded cigarette, for example. And then there are the fires begun deliberately, an act that can be defined as terrorism because it is so elementary and yet so potentially devastating. Two of the fires in California may fit that definition.

In addition to the firefighters on loan from Nevada, relief efforts are being organized. Many in this area have friends and relatives who may be in harm’s way. We can give more than our prayers, knowing that we could someday be needing help ourselves.