California is ablaze north and south. Terrible fires, terrible loss of life and loss of property. Fires in California are a too common phenomenon. Yet, this series of fires seem particularly vicious.

Governor Brown quickly declared disaster emergencies and the federal government offered help. President Trump approved a disaster declaration for California. Vice-president Pence, on the scene in California, offered thanks to the firefighters. “CalFire is inspiring the nation,” he said.

The media has done a great service in keeping people informed and offering readers a place to help.

The firefighters are doing an extraordinary job but the fires, with an assist from nature, has done harm to the state. It has affected citizens of all stripes including those who have been involved in the state government. Walter von Huene, who served as an aide to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger posted on Facebook that his house was lost. Scott Lay reported in his Nooner column that the president of Sonoma State, Judy Sakaki, lost her home.

Hellish fires in California have always existed. Read the description of a fire in the Lake Tahoe region inadvertently started by Mark Twain as he describes it in his book, Roughing It.

“Within half an hour all before us was a tossing, blinding tempest of flame! It went surging up adjacent ridges—surmounted them and disappeared in the canons beyond—burst into view upon higher and farther ridges, presently—shed a grander illumination abroad, and dove again—flamed out again, directly, higher and still higher up the mountain-side- -threw out skirmishing parties of fire here and there, and sent them trailing their crimson spirals away among remote ramparts and ribs and gorges, till as far as the eye could reach the lofty mountain-fronts were webbed as it were with a tangled network of red lava streams. Away across the water the crags and domes were lit with a ruddy glare, and the firmament above was a reflected hell!”

A reflected hell continues to describe the fires and devastation brought on by the Wine Country Fire, Tubbs Fire, Canyon Fire 2 and the other fires that are roasting the Golden State,