November 15, 2008

It's Southern California, which means it's never too late for...

Fire Season! Ugh. With the heat we've had lately (it's 85 degrees out now--I am beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to wear any of those long-sleeved maternity shirts I bought), the Santa Ana winds (near hurricane-force in some areas), and the dry summer (not to be confused with the previous dry winter, which was not to be confused with last year's dry summer...and winter), the entire half of the state is a powder keg just waiting to blow. Everything expect for the areas that blew last year.

We were lucky enough to be far away from the Tea Fire in Santa Barbara to not get any of the ill-effects. Thanks to my blogger friend Suzanne for asking about us, by the way. Suzanne has a niece at Westmont College--latest report is that her niece is fine, was able to leave the area with some friends after being holed up in the gym, and her dorm is still intact--thank goodness.

But the Tea Fire notwithstanding, it was just a matter of time before it hit closer to home. Enter this morning. When I woke up the light coming in the window was extremely hazy--it looks like dusk outside--and the smell of smoke is so strong I really thought our neighborhood itself was on fire. Turns out we're getting smoke and ashes from a nearby fire in Corona/Yorba Linda, about 10-15 miles away and headed our direction. There are also reports of a fire in Brea (about 8 miles away). The good news is that our home is solidly in the middle of the city, so there would have to be a whole lot of urban burning before we find ourselves in danger. The bad news is that the smoke is thick, it smells awful, ash is raining down from the sky, and my breathing is feeling heavy. I have mild asthma--fortunately haven't needed my inhaler, but I can definitely feel a change in my lungs. Hopefully they'll get this fire under control soon, although they're also fighting a huge blaze in the valley--again not close enough to pose a threat, but enough to likely send some smoke our way.

A couple of minutes ago I took a couple of pictures off of our back porch.


The sun is almost totally occluded and the lighting is so weird. Kevin just described it accurately--it looks like someone turned on a flourescent light in our neighborhood.


Taking a look at the palm trees, you can see how windy it is. News reports say the gusts are 35 mph in our area, and we're in a relatively calm zone.


Posted by Shelby at November 15, 2008 01:54 PM

WOW. That is some thick haze. Thanks. We have rain to spare up here. I'll go ask the clouds to head south.

Posted by: Suzanne at November 15, 2008 03:17 PM
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