Palm Trees Burning, Like Candles In The Wind….

As many of you know, I live here in Southern California.  Its a beauteful place to live.  As Ryan Seacrest once put it (oh dear god, I’m quoting Ryan Seacrest?!?!), “Yes, we tend to sit in traffic for long periods of time, but honestly, is there anywhere else in the world that you would rather be doing that?”  The answer is sometimes yes, to be honest, but most of the time no.

Currently California is burning.  There are something like 6 or 7 active fires burning.  The most severe being the so called “Station Fire.”  As of Sunday night, it had burned 42.5 thousand square acres.  That number is expected to double as the sun comes up this morning (I have the privelidge of being at work before the sun comes up 🙂 ), and fire crews asses the damage.  Currently the fire only has 5% containment.

Less than 20 homes have been claimed, which is good, but more than 200 cabins have burned down, and the lives of 2 fire fighters have been lost.  My heart goes out to their families.  Know that they are heroes to many, and stand among the best of men.

As I write this, the fire marches to Mt. Wilson, the site of a large observatory jointly operated by many southern california universities, as well as a major transmission hub for television, fire, police, and cell phone technology (which is partly why I am writing this).  As of last night, they had put down fire retardant, but abandoned the mountain, as it was pretty much undefenseable.  We expect that installation to be lost.

As many of you may also know, my internet operates off of the cell technology, I am a laptop connect card user.  I don’t know how this is going to effect my signal, so the blog may be spotty over the next couple of weeks, if that indeed is the tower that controlls my internet.

However, another even more important note:  I am REALLY close to the fire.  Here is a map of the current fire burn pattern (as of Sunday night).  You will notice that the fire has moved through really rough terrain, which is why it is so difficult to fight.  It has fuel from fires that haven’t burned in over 25 years.  Right now it is all fire brigades can do just to save homes, much less stop the fire.

Up to the north of that map, you will notice a town called “Palmdale.”  That is where I work.  It is approximately 15 minutes from where I work, to the northern edge of the fire, in Acton.  I live in a town about 30 minutes north of Palmdale.

The good news, is that if the fire does crest the ridge, it will come down to relatively flat land.  The bad news is that there are more houses where the fire is headed, by orders of magnitude.  The fire is currently burning in hilly, mountanious region, and down here it is flat.  And dry.  Over that hill, the big Mojave Desert starts.  Its dry, and flat, and a lot of scrub brush that burns fast, and hot.

Anyway, even though I can pretty much just about see the flames from my office (not to mention the smoke), I am not sure how the flames will effect me, so please be patient if the blog gets spotty for a bit.  I have every confidence that the fire will be stamped out by the time it gets to me, but you never know what will happen.  We need rain.  And humidity (which is rare in this part of CA).  So, please send your thoughts for the hurricane (which is currently coming up the coast of mexico/baja california) to have enough umpf in in to send us a few clouds, and maybe a bit of a sprinkle, to help those fire crews out.

I’ll keep y’all updated as the week goes on.

Edit:  Special thanks go out to the good people of Australia who have sent additional fire brigades over to help, and Canada for loaning us the use of a couple of DC20 air tankers 🙂

Also updated – the burn area is now 134 square miles (347 sq. kilometers for you metric peeps)

5 Responses to “Palm Trees Burning, Like Candles In The Wind….”
  1. Lorgrath says:

    Good luck Fire (bit of an irony there, eh?)! The guild and I will be keeping you and your sister in our thoughts and (heaven forbid) if something does happen we’ll be there to help you out in any way we can. Keep in touch by any means possible!

  2. jong says:

    oh man. I lived in pasadena for couple of years. I’m used to seeing fires on news, but this sounds really serious. hope they stop the fire soon and thanks for help aussie and canada.

    • Firespirit says:

      Yeppers, all the time we hear about fires. And we are just at the beginning of the fire season. I guess it really hits home when your car is covered in ash outside your office 😦

  3. Bumbles says:

    Yikes, sorry to hear. I have a brother in LA, he sees a lot of smoke but is not in direct line for any fires.

    We will keep you and the other folks in CA in our prayers.

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