Sunday, November 16, 2008


On Saturday, weather conditions brought wildfires as close to my neighborhood as they’ve ever been. As I walked at the park yesterday morning, the first plumes of smoke from Brea, Yorba Linda, and Anaheim Hills looked as if I could touch them; but they were still singular and separate. Early afternoon, we attended my niece’s softball game in Whittier. Scheduled as a double header, the air quality became too unhealthy to play the second game. Strong winds were blowing the smoke in a westerly direction (toward us) and at one point the sun suffered an eery eclipse. By nightfall, we could see a glow in the east and the car’s headlights created 'fireflies' from the ashes that were whipping around in the wind.

This morning, I took photos of the ash-covered concrete and cars under a haze-occluded sun. Santa Ana winds have tamed somewhat for now, but the damage is done.

I posted the following comment five weeks ago on when we were in the midst of the Porter Ranch fires. Nature always has the ability to humble us, and she has once again.

While I love Autumn, the fall season in Southern California can be deadly. It is the season of Santa Ana winds and firestorms. I grew up here, an LA County Fireman's daughter. My dad has been retired 20 years now, but the last brush fire he fought was in the Porter Ranch area. Fire Fighting technology has improved tremendously in 20 years, but Fire is a tough adversary. The tragedy is that civilization has invaded the canyons and hills; they were meant to be left alone. Wild. Natural. So now Fire threatens not only the wild creatures, but the human ones too.