We're still coping with smoke and ash, but the fire danger has passed. It came pretty close though - to the end of the block. Saturday afternoon, the winds whipped the fire around us and we spent the afternoon listening to LA County Fire helicopters. They zoomed just overhead every five minutes as they struggled (successfully) to save the high school. We watched most of our neighbors voluntarily evacuate, but we packed our bags and stayed here waiting for the knock on the door. (I preferred this, since it provided the most up-to-date information on how close the fire was.)
Here are my before and after pictures (about four hours apart):
By the time I took the latter photo, though, the most dangerous moment had passed. About 29,000 acres burned, including almost 200 residences; over 3700 people were involved in putting it out - along with 555 trucks and dozens of aircraft. Wow. I really wish the local - libertarian - newspaper would run stories about fire fighting heroics under the headline "YOUR TAX DOLLARS DO GOOD WORK!" The memory of this disaster will too quickly wear off among most of my not-my-tax-responsibility neighbors. Sigh.
Ash fallout on my plants:
Red sun in the afternoon: