Fire season has started off with a bang in Southern California. The season officially started at midnight on May 1 2004 and since then three fires have devoured thousands of acres in both the Temecula and Camp Pendleton area. Thousands evacuated and a few dozen homes were lost as of May 4th.
Super-computers located at N.O.A.A (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) had predicted a high risk of wildfires due to the fact that little precipitation fell and the region experienced much above normal temperatures. A deadly combination.
In what seemed to be a unrelated story, reports of as many as 6 great white sharks were spotted swimming close to shore near the California coastal city of Pacific Palisades and beaches were closed for a short time on Monday. Local surfer Bill "Biff" Martin who saw the sharks while surfing early Monday morning, said" It was like whoa Sharks man!"
Just before dusk this evening, I was given an anonymous tip (by phone) to drive out to the fire in the Temecula area. The caller gave me directions to a location that he said "would blow the lid off the fire cover-up" and hung up.
My photographer, Cosmic Pig accompanied me and when we arrived we saw what looked like a huge fire burning towards the road where we were parked. A CHIP car pulled along side our vehicle and warned us that it was not safe to be there and we should leave ASAP. Before I could ask him any questions he sped off from us. It was then that Cosmic took the picture that is featured in this story.
What appeared to be a great white shark at least 25 ft wide and 60 ft high emerged from the burning tree line. The "Fire shark" (as we named it) was spewing flames from its massive jaws. It was shaking its head from side to side and devouring burning brush as it plowed along the burning tundra.
The CHP car stopped about 20 yards from the beast and threw his cruiser into reverse, burning rubber as he passed us once again. He did not stop and soon disappeared from our view.
I jumped out of my car to try to get a closer look at the Fire shark. I watched as it continued its fire feeding frenzy as Cosmic shot more pictures of this bizarre sight.
Suddenly the shark let out a loud shriek of sorts, raised its head and burrowed under the ground. I could see it's tell-tale fin plowing raw earth as it traveled below us. The ground shook and the fin disappeared. The fire shark was gone.
I asked Cosmic if he thought he had captured the event on film and he gave me the thumbs up. We then sped back here to develop the film and file this story.
Currently I have more questions than answers.
1. What is the connection between the recent wildfires, the great whites spotted off the coast on Monday and this Fire shark?
2. Does the Government know about this animal and why haven't they warned the public?
3 Who was the caller that tipped me off to this story and what is the "cover-up" he was referring to?
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the forest......
You can bet this reporter will not rest until we get the answers to these questions.