Friday, October 26, 2007

You Might Be In a SoCal Fire Zone If:

So much for rain. Southern California boiled that away faster than Hilton's jailtime. Saturday night the Santa Ana winds hit, knocking trees into power lines and me into a migraine. Welcome to fire season.

Some of it go pretty close. The Nightsky Fire, while a relatively small blaze, didn't look very small when it's sparking its way down toward your own backyard. It nearly came to dinner, skittering around the power lines on the ridge behind our home-

The water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft put on quite a show dousing that one. It's one thing to fly in a steady 60mph headwind - quite another to fly slow enough to stall while the wind gusts from 20 to 60 to 20 again. A short while later, I noticed this cloud to the north-
Less than an hour later it looked like this-


It was the Ranch Fire, which has burned over 80,000 acres. About half an hour later, the sun turned dark orange and disappeared. Streetlights were on by 3pm as ash fell softly like snow's ugly sister.

Anyway, by now we're quite sick of it. There's only so long one can tolerate stuff like this before you either go stir crazy or find the humor. So here's to pan-seared soot, seasoned with a hint of saguaro, nestled snugly into the corner of your eye.


You might be in a SoCal Fire Zone if:
  • you can taste the difference between saguaro and manzanita smoke
  • you can tell the difference in color between structure smoke and brush smoke
  • you hear a helicopter and start to worry about a water-drop
  • you hear a helicopter and are thrilled about a water-drop
  • you hear the landscape sprinklers and think it's a water-dropping helicopter
  • you check 'fireline' every morning with your coffee
  • you find soot in the darndest places and that's all I'm sayin' about that
  • you see a beautiful landscape oil painting and think - a cypress tree that close to the house? They are nuts!
  • you go to a local restaurant and ask for a 'non-smoking' table and the waitress rolls her eyes at you
  • you'd be happy if you never taste anything bbq again...or at least for a while
  • you have ever hugged a fireman not just for your own personal pleasure
  • you buy moisturizer by the gallon
  • you apply moisturizer by the gallon
  • you don't have to think about what to pack - it's packed already and will stay packed until mudslide season. Then you add a raincoat and pack it again.
  • the amusement of watching on-the-scene reporters wearing smoke goggles and getting whipped around by the firestorm has worn off
  • you're actually thrilled to see commercials back on tv after days of round-the-clock coverage of that smoky red stuff
  • you wish Katie Couric would just.... leave

9 comments:

Mad Scientist said...

I would add:
You think the sequence of fall leave color changes is green - brown - glowing orange - black

And you make notes as your driving to work of trees the local parks department need to remove.

On the plus side I did get to see a metal freeway sign on fire. Not something one sees too often.

And the full moon looked wicked cool through the smoke.

Hang in there Annie!

Annie said...

Mad, can I blame the smoke for me missing those? Last time around, I had a great picture of a 'Welcome to Simi Valley' sign. It was absolutely cooked.

ScottMGS said...

...all the relatives you never hear from start calling.

...you know where to find all the fire maps and know which ones are bogus and/or out-of-date.

...you swear - once again - that you're going to move out of this hell-hole... until the weather changes back to paradise.

Annie said...

scottmgs - no kidding - fire maps are a joke. And when your fire map has to be taken from a satellite, you know it's not good.

Do you want fires with that?

ScottMGS said...

Do you want fires with that?

Hahahahaha! I like it.

Mad Scientist said...

We need to have a socal fire support group. We could burn Barry Manilow and Cher CDs.

Scott - not enough paradise weather here for this southern gal to want to stay. Too bad I fell in love with a California boy. Sigh

Kristina said...

I think the fire would reject Barry Manilow and Cher CDs. Hmmm, do you think enough of those CDs would put out the fire? Or maybe someone would have to play the CDs to the fire first.

All kidding aside, I'm glad you're OK, Annie. All that fire in So Cal makes me nervous, even though I live in North Cal.

Annie said...

Thanks, Kristina. Burning Barry and/or Cher CDs would definitely earn us a fine for polluting the atmosphere.

gjd said...

I found out the other day that a guy I dated in high school was involved in the coordination of the various aircraft doing water drops.