Southern California Still Burning

California continues to burn: a second death was confirmed in my hometown of Santa Clarita though the most severe of the fire is concentrated in San Diego (where half a million people were evacuated). At last count, more than 1,300 homes and businesses were damaged.

There had been talk about the so-far separate Magic fire (named b/c it started on the hills near the Magic Mountain Parkway), Ranch Fire, and Buckweed Fire would merge into one super-fire by tomorrow. This would be a nightmare. Thankfully, the wind has died down here - so hopefully the firefighters would be able to get the upperhand soon.

Coverage: LA Times | Santa Clarita's The Signal | Videos and images gallery at MSNBC (Photo: Genaro Molina / LA Times)

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I'm in Claremont, and we're strangely between all the fires. The air quality is pretty bad - they've moved all the gym classes indoor, and they canceled by horse-back riding lesson because it's bad for the horses to be riding in this air. I just flew in last night after fall break and seeing the orange glow from the air, in both directions, was frightening (but strangely beautiful).
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I grew up where Gordon is and have spent a fair amount of time there since my parents still live there. I agree, the smoke isn't as bad despite the fact that more has been burned.
Last time (2003) after the march to the sea the fire turned around and burned some of my favorite back country areas. I hope this one won't/hasn't done the same.
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I live in Mission Hills in San Diego and its surreal. Still not as bad as the fires four years ago. At least you can see the sun this time.

It is horrible to look at the ashfall swirling down out of the sky and realize it is the remains of a photo album, or a christmas ornament, or cherished heirloom. The tendrils of smoke drift over the sprawled and helpless city. Our building is hosting about twenty refugees and for the most part, everyone is keeping a noble chin.

Its a mess here in paradise.

Before I return to anonymity, I want to tell you I love this website. It is one of the few that my son and I can enjoy together.
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Despite the fact that we are surrounded by evacuation areas, Carlsbad (to the west) is doing pretty well. Air condition isn't very bad at all here. Except for the ominous orange glow in the sky and slight smell or bonfire, I wouldn't know the difference.

Traveling up to Irvine is different. As is traveling anyplace south of here.

Luckily, some people have been let back into their homes and some of the major roads have re-opened.
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