From The Final Call Newspaper

Driven by high winds, fire and distress plague the West Coast

By Charlene Muhammad National Corespondent @sischarlene

LOS ANGELES—Raging wildfires peppered with fire tornadoes that have gripped California for several weeks are the latest manifestations of Allah (God’s) prophesied and promised divine judgment of the United States.

The raging inferno struck both Northern and Southern California simultaneously, causing mass evacuations. At Final Call press time, 2019 had seen 6,190 fire incidents. Three people had died, and damages topped $160 million as of Nov. 1. The fires incinerated approximately 200,000 acres of land and destroyed over 700 structures, according to state officials.

“And what for?” one television reporter near tears asked as she described the scene of a Southern California home burned to the ground and next door, one standing only as a black, hollowed frame.

But these disasters plaguing America are not by happenstance. They are connected to scripture.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan are two divine warners from Allah to America and the wicked of the world. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that we’re living in the days of Allah, that we’re living in the time of God’s judgment of the wicked. And he taught us that Allah (God) would visit America with Four Great Judgments: rain, hail, snow and earthquakes,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant to Minister Farrakhan.

The unusual and unprecedented weather witnessed by those in America and seen around the world are fulfillment of scripture and fulfillment of the warning that the two men gave, he continued.

According to Min. Ishmael Muhammad, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the 89-year-old Nation of Islam, prophesied that the judgment would start on the West Coast and the fires are a sign of that warning.

“Fire is mentioned in both the Bible and the Qur’an of what Allah has reserved for the wicked. California is a major state of agriculture and the fires are interfering and shortening the food supply, the produce that that state produces for the American people and around the world. So, famine is on the horizon, which is also prophesied,” warned Min. Ishmael Muhammad.

“America you are reaping now what you have sown. You can’t fight the natural disasters that are coming. Way back in the ‘60s, Elijah Muhammad said, ‘America would suffer from unusual rain, unusual snow, earthquakes unusual.’ Then the forces of nature, hail, sleet, snow, cold, fire. Now, look at America,” said Min. Farrakhan who has repeatedly warned about the judgements taught by his teacher, Elijah Muhammad, in lectures and in monumental books, “The Fall of America,” “Our Saviour Has Arrived,” and “Message to the Black Man in America.”

“God has said you have to reap now what you’ve sown. You’ve destroyed cities and towns in Europe and Africa, in the Middle East. Things that you didn’t want, America destroyed. Now, look at your cities. They’re under water; your farmland being destroyed; fire burning the lands of California and the West; tornadoes, hurricanes,” he said in a previous article published in The Final Call.

“This is ‘just’ the beginning and that is what I wanted to say about whoever will be our president. If you’re not dealing with that which has incurred the wrath of God, then you can’t make America great again and you can’t bring America back from the abyss that she’s falling into. Within the next few years, the dollar that we kill each other for will be devalued into nothing.”

“There is a power and in one that is called Mahdi, M-a-h-d-i. That’s the guide that the Islamic world has been expecting, and Massi or Messiah which the Christian and Jewish world have been expecting. And this Mahdi when he comes, his number one aim is to set justice in the earth and remove every tyrant. And set up a government of peace. That’s his aim. That’s the aim of the Messiah, the Christ. Now, what we are looking at, these are not spooks and spirits that come out of space. These are human beings anointed with power and wisdom to do exactly what they purposed to do,” said Min. Farrakhan.

California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities, and over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in the state, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

California is the leading U.S. state for cash farm receipts, accounting for over 13 percent of the nation’s total agricultural value, said the agency. Its top producing commodities for last year include dairy products, grapes, cattle and calves, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, and oranges.

“So these fires represent the anger of God, the wrath of God, the judgment of God, so we have fires on the West Coast. We have record rain and flooding in other parts of the country. And then the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us that the worst is yet to come,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad told The Final Call.

At one point, there were 10 active fires across California, according to officials, but the numbers come and go, said Scott McLean, deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

In 2017, over 1.6 million acres burned in California. Over 1.8 million acres burned in 2018. The highest amount of acreage burned prior to that was 1.5 in 2007, all according to Chief McLean.

“This year right now, we’re probably looking at, as you and I are talking, probably just over 100,000 acres as well, and in this same time period last year, we were looking at 632,000 acres, so we’re dramatically lower due to the moderate climate I feel we’ve seen this year in the state,” Chief McLean told The Final Call.

He attributed that to a good winter, good snowpack, and mostly 80-90 degree temperatures with no winds. Though things dried up in the summer, nothing happened that really propelled the region to be that dry until fall came, he stated.

“With fall weathers in the North, we saw a lot of winds all of a sudden come up and just dry everything out that much more and then the Santa Anas down in the South doing the same,” said Chief McLean.

Santa Ana winds are those which come off the desert and contain very dry air. They travel over the Santa Ana Mountains in Southern California which accelerates air speed and combine with the hot dry air to increase and spread fire hazards, according to weather experts.

California’s seven-year drought ended in early 2017, yet the fires fueled in part by dried-out vegetation spread very dangerously due to the winds, which moved at hurricane-force speed and created the perfect storm for fires.

“Predicting is really hard to say. It depends on mother nature and what the winds are doing and how soon we can get that moisture,” Chief McLean stated. “We’re still in that point where anything can happen at any given time. The grasses, the brush and the trees are still very volatile as far as being receptive to fire. It just takes one spark, as we’ve seen all along, so everybody needs to remain very, very cautious and very, very careful,” he said.

“Ninety-five percent of wildfire starts are human caused and that’s usually by a spark caused by something mechanical or parking your car over dry gas, a myriad of different things. So even though our weather is definitely getting cooler, the humidity’s still down and if the winds continue to pick up, we’re still in for a few more weeks of susceptible weather.”

Strong winds fanned new Southern California wildfires on Oct. 31, burning homes and forcing residents to flee their homes in a repeat of the frightening scenario already faced by tens of thousands across the state.

The latest blazes erupted in the heavily populated inland region east of Los Angeles as strong, seasonal Santa Ana winds continued to blow with gusts of up to 60 mph.

A fast-moving fire spread into the northern neighborhoods of the city of San Bernardino, forcing the evacuation of 490 homes, about 1,300 people, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

On Oct. 28, basketball star LeBron James was among evacuees as a fire that erupted early that day grew to more than 70 acres.

The Los Angeles Lakers player tweeted just before 4 a.m. that he was trying to find rooms for his family after having to “emergency evacuate” his house, calling the fires “no joke.” He later tweeted that he found accommodation, said he was praying for those affected and advised people to get to safety.

Evacuation orders were given for communities as the fire moved westward, affecting communities including the affluent Mandeville Canyon, Mountain Gate, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Topanga State Park.

Even earlier that morning, a fire erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum in Southern California. Videos posted on social media showed the fire burning along the southbound side of Interstate 405, just a few miles north of LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), and near the University of Southern California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Evacuation orders were expanded to parts of Santa Rosa as firefighters struggled to beat back a wind-driven wildfire that had started in Northern California’s wine country on Oct. 23.

Authorities issued the order as historic winds fueled the fire overnight and prompted the state’s largest utility company to shut power to 2.3 million people to prevent additional wildfires.

Santa Rosa was hit hard by a wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes and killed 22 people two years ago. The evacuation order affected the northwestern section of the city.

California fire officials say the Kincade Fire, that began on the evening of Oct. 23 has burned approximately 78,000 acres and was 68 percent contained at press time.

The National Weather Service said at one-point wind gusts topped 90 miles per hour in California’s wine country.

Northern Californians were not only affected by the flames, but also by the infrastructure of power companies, including Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which is responsible for several of the wildfires that spread through the area, said Student Minister Abdul Sabur Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 26B in Oakland.

A few years ago, San Francisco area residents sued PG&E after their neighborhood was burned due to fires started by sparks from company equipment.

PG&E power lines may have started two wildfires in the San Francisco Bay Area, the utility has admitted. The fires persisted despite widespread power shutoffs to prevent downed lines from starting fires during dangerously windy weather.

“Unfortunately, that has meant that millions of people have spent some days without power in response to those who are concerned that they are paying regular PG&E bills are now left without power. PG&E has now actually stated it would refund some of the power bills of those who have been afflicted, however, they’ve spoken of somewhere between $100 and $250 in response,” said Min. Abdul Sabur Muhammad.

But that only covered utility bills, not other losses, such as spoiled food and other damages suffered by businesses who thought their power would be out for brief, limited times, he observed.

In addition, Min. Abdul Sabur Muhammad stated, the hotel industry in Northern California began hiking prices to accommodate evacuees during the fires. “So rooms normally already over-priced at $200 a night went up as high as $1,500, saying to the poor, you may as well pitch a tent if it doesn’t blow away in the wind, because you’re not coming here to these major hotels that are now hiking prices to take advantage of the need of the suffering people that were afflicted by black-out and by fire,” he said.

“All of this should quicken in us to do the things that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad asked us to do so that we will not suffer from these calamities and that we would prepare ourselves sufficiently in our homes for the times that we are living in,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad said. “So what we need to do is follow the divine instructions of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

“This verse comes to my mind: ‘Whenever Allah sends a Messenger, He seizes the people with distress and affliction.’ God does not want to kill the people. He comes to save them from the consequences of their evil and if we do not heed to the warning of God’s servant then we suffer the consequences of our own rejection and rebellion to God,” he continued.

The chastisement is in greater intensity and severity, because the rebellion to God and the rejection of God’s servant in Min. Farrakhan has become willful, said Min. Ishmael Muhammad.

“It’s blatant. The offenses of the people and the sins that are being committed are not out of ignorance. It’s knowingly. So when the people’s sins, and as it’s written in the Bible that in the time of Noah, the imagination and thoughts of the people were continually on evil and then the people became so hardened in their hearts and so rebellious, they told the prophets of God to bring down on them what he threatened them with. … So what is left for God to do than for the people to now taste and suffer the consequences of their own blatant, willful rebellion against God, because they haven’t listened to the warner?” asked Min. Ishmael Muhammad.

But, he added, it’s no time for the believers in God, working to obey him, to fret nor fear. “When you see all these things happening, Jesus said in the Gospel, lift up your head. Your redemption draws near … This is what God said would happen and the Believer will be delivered from the chastisement of Allah, but it doesn’t mean that some of us will not be touched with some of what is now being visited among the disbelieving people and the wicked.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.