Fire season has begun! Up the coast, along Highway 101, the first fire has broken out near Gaviota. The land is hilly and grassy, and rugged in areas. This makes stopping the fire more challenging, and when the winds pick up, it can travel so fast. We have been having a heat wave in the 90s F for the past few days – today is supposedly the last one like that in our area. Then, down into the 70s F, which is much nicer. I used to love the hot winds, but they have become more fierce and destructive over the last few years that they are more frightening than ever.
This photo shows what we can be up against. The new spring growth, becoming lush in our seasonal rains, changes to dry, dead tinder for a wildfire. The swath of grey is last season’s new growth.
Sometimes the sun is relentless, heat is oppressive, but today, the fear of wind-whipped fires is no joke. In SoCal it has been a dry summer and fires are raging, not just nearby, but up north. We were awakened this morning to phone calls of closing of schools and potential power shut-offs to prevent further fires. The winds could blow sparks and ignite fires miles away. Let us hope things don’t get to the point of being evacuated – which we have been fortunate to avoid thus far over the years – but off I go in a bit to clean up and to begin sorting out what to take. The wind is about 30-70 mph, depending on where you are, but it is strong enough here, and so filled with dust and ash, that all the windows are closed. The wind I so love is now an enemy.
Mass shooting, fires to the east and to the west. My husband took this whilst out on a walk with the dogs.
Today we went up to the Reagan Library to view the Thomas Fire from afar. Here, you can see it from the hills around Santa Paula, California, past Ventura on the coast, moving toward Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County. Nearly 200,000 acres have burned in 8 days through rough back country. Valiant efforts by fire fighters from around the country are helping, but here and elsewhere in Southern California houses and animals and people are all suffering.