Friday, June 13, 2008

More Fires

Sorry to me MIA for a day or two, but fire season continues to be unusually bad this year for northern California and I was diverted as a result.

The Martin Fire broke out in Bonny Doon on the afternoon of June 11. While my department wasn't sent to work the fire itself, just about everyone else was, and we were the only emergency personnel in our area for quite a while. We had to hard-cover our station for a long time, and I did a 12 hour shift on Thursday, plus our regularly scheduled training session on Thursday night, which kept me out just about the entire day. Thankfully we had only one call during my cover shift - an uneventful smoke check.

This evening, drift smoke from the Indians Fire in the Los Padres National Forest moved north and spread out over our area. It was ugly and thick, but pretty high up. We couldn't smell it at all, but it did drop some very fine ash on us at one point.

It made for some interesting photographic possibilities. The accompanying image shows the sun through the smoke. Sadly my ancient digital camera doesn't do justice to the colors involved. The sun actually looked orange to the naked eye when I took that photo, as did the smoke itself. As the evening went on, the sky went from orange to a greenish gray, to almost black sometime before sunset. Having lived in the midwest, there was a point where it looked like tornado weather.

Beneath that smoke the fog is rolling back into the Monterey Bay, and that's great news. Temperatures are dropping nicely - it's 57 degrees at my home as I write this - and that'll a big help to the people still working the remains of the Summit Fire, the Martin Fire, and the Indians Fire too.

Let's all hope the fire season calms down a bit now.