When I was 20, I ran through the wilderness in heavy boots carrying a backpack for 10 miles just to land a job interview. That was for a low-paid, seasonal job as a forest firefighter. I made the crew. However, the crew itself mostly waited for the big call from the feds to send us out on a fire. We spent a lot of time perfecting softball--run around the bases; walk to the liquor store. A couple years later, I found myself putting together my own crew. I was probably the first female fire crew leader in the nation. I may have been a pioneer, but it was not a pretty job. Then, as now, politicians feel they have to \u201csend in the troops\u201d in order to make it appear that they are doing something to tame Mother Nature. They may as well just send young cannon fodder to Iraq. When fires get that bad there is nothing you can do but try to save your ass. Forget Malibu. The best thing firefighters can do is to \u201cmop up.\u201d That is, after the flames have burned through a crew can try and keep new fires from starting up. It\u2019s a tedious, 24\/7 job. They are lucky if they get a break for MRE and some juice, assuming they packed it in with them. I still have a \u201cP-38\u201d on my key ring--a military gadget that allowed me to open cans of food on the fire line. At press time, it\u2019s clear that the transmission system is the weak link as fires become more prevalent due to global warming. Apparently, the fire got close to the San Onofre nuclear plant, but didn\u2019t graze it. However, the grid operator called a transmission emergency October 24. \u201cWildfires and smoke have caused transmission lines in many locations in the region to trip out of service for various lengths of time. The San Diego area continues to be hardest hit, where several important transmission lines remain out of service. Some lines have experienced significant damage and there are hundreds of transmission and distribution structures destroyed,\u201d noted the California Independent System Operator. My advice to my crew was to run like hell and let the fire burn itself out. My advice to the grid operator is to let the transmission system go and use the ensuing crisis to promote distributed generation. I know that is not a thorough resolution, but pulling a good thing out of force majure is an option. Both will be expensive and tedious, but better in the long run. It\u2019s increasingly clear that the solar thermal power that is supposed to be built in the desert and imported on a new transmission line, Sunrise Powerlink, is not going to happen. That means the only real transmission line for renewables is one that bring in wind from the Tehachapis. Rebuilding Southern California is going to take a lot of money. I learned by being on the front lines about the importance of a safety net. On the energy front, that means adding distributed generation to reduce the damage.