Yesterday's fire was unfortunate, and ultimately the neighborhood was very lucky. One of the ways it was most unfortunate though, was that it drew additional attention to our neighborhood. We expected the media yesterday. The story dominated news coverage for weeks last year, so I assumed they would be here. But what we expected was the 5 minute clip about how we've all rebuilt, look at how much stronger we are, blah, blah, blah feel good story. And that's how the coverage started... until the other fire broke out and they cut from our story to theirs. Throughout the hour, the news watched that fire and recapped ours over and over.
As I talked to the media, I could tell they wanted to emphasize the "victim" parts of our story. If you saw my interview, the part they pulled out was how difficult it still is- how the smoke and fire engines still cause me stress - how it's not just stuff, it's safety and memories. My Facebook status was "Taking bets as to whether they'll emphasize the victim mentality or fire prevention." Sadly it was the former. What you didn't see was my talking about how much we still need to do, how yesterday's fire is a reminder that we live in a desert area that interfaces with neighborhoods, that fires can happen... and DO. The news talked to the fire chief about whether lessons from our fire helped them fight that one. And he said the fires were totally different (and they were). But we can all take steps to prevent fires (or to minimize them). Some dumba$$ in the statesman was complaining about the government grant that community got to maintain fire buffers. He was mad because they chose to live there. Sadly though, it isn't just wildfires that burn homes down, and any measures we can take to make our homes and our lives a little safer from fire danger is worth it. I'm sad that the part of my interview Channel 7 chose to air wasn't about prevention. (But good thing I have this blog so I have my own pulpit!)