BBC video: Fire winds ease over California
(New listening assignment to go with the new video
just posted by the BBC, on the same page as that for the original assignment.)
Watch the video "Battling the flames" on this page:
audio capture (local file)
to be engulfed
wall of flame
to be covered in
to be surrounded by
the indiscriminate nature of the flames
to be gutted
to have s.t. on one's hands
to die down
to merge into one
it could be several weeks before...
to be fully under control
the stricken area
to be accompanied by
to declare (a place) a major disaster area
to free up
to see firsthand
there's no question
to be displaced by
to start to return
to dig through the ruined remains
there'd be = there would be
no home to return to
and that was it
to take part in
official head count
the subject of
what awaited them
to lose everything
to start over again
all that was missing was
to everyone's relief
there were signs that
it may be "playing ball" ( = playing a game with, interacting with, cooperating with)
1. List two other ways to say 'to be destroyed by fire'.
2. What is the reporter referring to when he says, "the indiscriminate nature of the flames"?
3. About how long do they think it will take to get the flames completely under control?
4. Why was it important that the region be declared a "disaster area"?
5. What does the phrase "a distinctly first-world response to this disaster" mean?
6. a. When and where did Hurricane Katrina hit, and how serious was the damage? b. How did the public feel about the US federal government's response to this disaster?
7. The loss of what kinds of things would you feel most acutely if your home were destroyed in a fire like the ones in California?
8. Have you, or has someone you know, ever experienced a house fire? Share your experience.