October 26, 2003

The Fire This Time

You've no doubt seen the news. Here's how it looked on the ground. I woke up around 6 and looked out at the weirdest, most end-of-the-worldish sky I've ever seen. It was pitch black with an outer ring of sky blue. The sun was shining through a clear patch, but 95% of the sky was Good Friday-like. The houses immediately to the north of us were brightly lit by the sun, but everything else was dark.

My first thought was that the fires up near L.A. were responsible, but a quick check of local TV stations showed that another fire was underway.

As the day wore on, the fire moved east and south at an amazing pace. Before long, we could see the flames on the hills we look at from our kitchen and bedroom windows... the view to the north toward Tierrasanta and Mira Mesa.

June and I went out to stock up on groceries and while June shopped, I joined the crowd lined up along Navajo Road watching ribbons of flames tear across the hills above Mission Trails Park.

A gray-orange pall hung over everything all day, never getting brighter than the light of pre-dawn. it was like watching the world through yellow sunglasses at the peak of a solar eclipse. Alex opened the fridge and was bowled over by the clean white light that emerged. It looked pristine compared to the orange sludge we were living in.

They've evacuated the neighborhood adjacent to ours, but the wind has died down now so for the moment we seem to be safe. Alex has been blogging developments all day.

Postscript: There's a page set up for people blogging the fire with phonecams. And a satellite view of the smoke plumes.


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