Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fire

Since my buddy Doug queried...

In the dozen plus
fires raging in Southern California, so far 600 square miles have burned, with 5 dead, a million evacuated, and over 2,000 homes destroyed, San Diego County being the hardest hit. The media has dubbed it "the perfect storm for fire," the combination of heat, drought, wind, and people culminating in the worst fires ever experienced in California. Recent NASA images provide a rather sobering visual of the current situation. The fires closest to my home in Oxnard, both about 25 minutes away, are the Malibu and the Piru/Fillmore fires.

The
Santa Ana winds began blowing in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I awoke to the very faint scent of smoke, not an infrequent occurrence here. From 9-11 a.m. I had a great run at Point Mugu State Park, not realizing it would be my last outing there for awhile. According to Weather Underground, the Santa Anas were blowing 25-35 mph with gusts in the mid 50s (and even an impressive peak gust of 111 mph on the park's Laguna Peak within the past few days!), enough to knock me around a bit in exposed areas, but at this point knowing nothing of the Malibu fire just a few miles down PCH since there really was no scent of smoke in the air. Around 12-1 p.m., however, the sky turned an eery, hard to describe, yellow-orange-purple color, all the smoke and junk in the air obscuring the sunlight such that the inside of the house was dark enough to necessitate turning on the lights. Fine grayish-black ash began covering all outside surfaces, and all the windows and doors had to be closed; still, smaller particles blew in through the cracks covering surfaces with black "dust."

After running some errands Monday morning, we pretty much sequestered ourselves inside the house due to poor air quality, my workout for the day consisting of vaccuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. (but hey, I'm grateful to have a home to clean). Yesterday I did get out for a run on the beach, chosen both because it was cooler and because PMSP is closed. In fact, all the SoCal national forest--Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernadino--and state park lands are closed indefinitely because of the fires.

Needless to say, I am eagerly counting down the days until my visit to the East Coast (VT/NH) next week. Presi Traverse anyone? Those potential sub-freezing temps are actually looking appealing at the moment...

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Those fires have been nuts. Glad your area is safe and hope it stays that way.

Let's email each other soon when it gets closer to your visit back out here. See's ya soon!