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State of Emergency

October 22, 2007

For the first time in my life, the area I’m in has been declared a state of emergency. You know those wildfires you may have heard about in the news around LA? One is eight miles up the road from me.
Yesterday a bit before seven I went to check something on my compy and looked out the window. I had been smelling smoke all day, drifting in from the fires up near Malibu, but all of a sudden the smell was really strong, and out my window was this gigantic black cloud. We trouped outside to take a look, and sure enough off in the hills we could see the fire. All I could think was that it looked like a tiny bit of sunset, set against dark smoke. It was this small spot of brilliant red and orange.
We watched it for a bit, but the air wasn’t great so we went back inside to check it out. I found a map on the LATimes that showed the closest fire was about 40 miles away, so we felt really safe. Turns out, not so much. That map wasn’t up to date, and the fire we could see had sprang up very recently. It’s actually not ten miles from my apartment. All of last night we had the news on, watching as this fire burned it’s way through a state park and right to the edge of Irvine. They called voluntary evacuations for most of the north end of town, and we started figuring out where we could go if we had to leave. As of bedtime, we heard that it’d been stalled at the road that marks the line between city and scrub land.
So this morning I hear that all evacuations have been recalled and the fire is 5% contained, which apparently is a number that’s supposed to comfort me… I guess we’re alright, though I’m still nervous. The winds aren’t supposed to die down until tomorrow night, and that’s what’s been causing this fire to jump. The one nearest us is unlikely to burn through miles of city to my apartment, but there are some hills nearby that are really dry. A neighborhood not a mile from me got listen on tv as a place that’s threatened by a hopping fire.
So we shall see.
Of course, we still have class today, even though the sky is gross yellow brown and I’m sure the air will be sucky to breathe. I’ll try to post some pictures later, and maybe this weekend I’ll bike up to the fire site and get some pics of that. By then it ought to be all over. Anyway, it’s class time now.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2007 11:10 pm

    I was thinking about you over there today. I hope things die down soon.
    I was going to give you a call, but I read online that people are being asked not to use cell phones. Congestion, I guess?
    Anyway, I’m sure I’ll talk to you online soon enough.
    (Eep for San Diego Zoo…I heard they are evacuating the endangered animals, but I haven’t heard anything about the rest of them…)

  2. October 23, 2007 1:03 am

    We’re being asked not to use cell phones? Whoops. But yeah I have to be outside to talk on my phone ’cause reception sucks, and the air here is gross right now so I’m sticking with a call home now and again to reassure Mom. The rest of the world can know I’m alive through the internet. It’s been alright though, with the exception of watery eyes basically constantly.

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