A friend who lives in southern California sent me the following note on Monday:
We evacuated this morning after less than two hours on the job because the Irvine fire was moving too close to the building. The air back home is tan and hazy. Strong winds shook our 3-story apartment building all night, but just died down (at least here) to a normal windy day.
And then this on Wednesday:
Yesterday less than 24 people showed up to work out of an office of 75. In the afternoon 30-40 foot flames were devouring trees across the street from the office building, but evacuation was voluntary. Before the flare-up when I went out for lunch, walking across the huge vacant parking lot covered in ash under a seamless beige sky and searing heat felt like being on a strange planet. No wind, as opposed to days before when experiencing the outdoors was like standing in a massive waterfall of warm air. It made me think of volume, not force. Astounding. The fires are all around us where we work, shop, drive; but our home is completely safe in the middle of it. Seeing the fire in the hills all around at night, and watching the black smoke in the day is sobering. But as I mentioned, we are completely insulated from the danger, and are not expected to be in harm’s way.
Sounds like a cross between Mordor and Vulcan!