Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fire in Orange and Riverside Counties

We first noticed a fire just after noon,
as the sky changed from the usual Southern California blue to a yellow orange haze.
Looking down our street, there appeared to be two fires. The news at the moment was only up to date on one.
Santa Ana winds are blowing but, our home seems very safe as we are right in town. The threatened homes lie on the edges of Brea and Yorba Linda, backing on open hills and canyons.
To get a better assessment, we drove to a hilltop park overlooking the fires just a few miles away. The Brea/Carbon Canyon fire is the newest one, centered approximately 6 miles NE of our house.
The "older" Corona/Yorba Linda fire (#3 after Montecito on Thursday and Sylmar yesterday) was only visible as a thick, billowing column of smoke about 15 miles straight east. Until the wind shifted slightly, we got to breath its fumes. Reportedly, it was blowing embers from this fire that started the Brea one.
I watched the fire for a number of hours as it crested the hilltops, stopped, and then advanced again as the winds shifted.
Pretty soon, a fire copter started shuttling water from a Brea park "lake" to the worst hot spots, making drop after drop where flames threatened homes on the edge of Brea. (Case was getting a little bored with fire-watching, until the aircraft showed up. Later, two big fire bombers made some runs, too, but we couldn't get good photos of those.)
Here the flames dance directly above El Torito, with Brea Macy's just in the foreground.

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