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The Southern California fires, they’re certainly hell to the North, East and South of me. There was possible evacuation in my area late Sunday while I slept soundly and I woke Monday morning to that news and the wonder as to what would have happened had the evacuation occured and I’d missed it. Maybe not been able to write this, but thank our good God that I am and that no cause for evacuation occured here — it’s certainly been necessary in the entire region in all directions around where I’m located, except out to sea. And in several areas around me, the fires are growing worse.

The air quality is very poor and any length of time outside is not a breathable experience. It’s dark now just after midnight and the moon is visible overhead but it’s dark orange, obviously discolored in view by the thick smokey atmosphere, and the Santa Ana winds are still blowing but somewhat tamer tonight than they have been throughout the past weekend — the culprit as to the damaging flames everywhere, along with arson, which I heard yesterday evening from the County Sheriff was the likely source of the Orange County and San Diego fire outbreaks.

Can’t argue causes when everything’s burning, though, just have to put the fires out and then do something about why they started afterward.

Amidst the smoke and unbreathable air outside, I cleared overhanging patio brush yesterday morning and watered down everything outofdoors well and also cleared out the rain gutters that had accumulated a lot of dried leaf and twig residue from the increasing Santa Ana winds that preceded and then perpetuated the fire outbreaks; the power was out this afternoon and I was well prepared with a lot of extra batteries and everything else but my inconveniences are minor compared to many in the entire region. I’m fortunate to have HEPA air cleaners in the house and central air conditioning, so both before the power was out and afterward, of course, I’ve been able to keep my indoor air breathable. Like I said, outside ventures have to be limited — because the air here looks like the Mars atmosphere and breaths better but after a while outofdoors, I find myself wondering about that last part.

Later yesterday, I watched live film footage of past homes in Malibu burn, homes of a few friends past and present burn there, too, and said my prayers for everyone, including me, but especially for the firefighters. One home where I’d lived at one time in Malibu burned down to cinders and a concrete slab foundation after I’d moved away in one of the fires years ago that ravaged Malibu and after I viewed that from a different part of the country as it happened, I decided I’d had enough of the area: it’s beautiful but so was Pompeii, or so it’s said.

With all the complaints about California, when emergencies such as these occur, Californians know how to evacuate when told to, complete with families and pets in tow — and keep a sense of humor while helping everyone and anyone else as needed. It’s a site to behold how people here get moving when they have to, how quickly and efficiently they get going. Shelters welcome pets, horses and other large animals are also welcomed at special facilities for these very emergencies and families don’t dwell before leaving on anything other than insurance, mortgage, bank and identity documents, while giving priority to getting in gear as quickly as possible with the family and animals, the most important passengers first. There have been school buses at the immediate ready for hospitals, nursing homes and schools and even prisoners were transferred very quickly over the weekend in Irvine. So there’s a sense of intuitive and immediate organization here that does put a lot of recent chaos in other parts of the nation to shame. All except the fires themselves: utterly brutal, chaotic, unpredictable in the winds and exceptionally dry environment.

Dot-Red-SML HERE ARE some captivating photos (see VIEWER IMAGES, all Parts) of the fires to the North of me (Malibu, Ventura County, Santa Barbara)…

and to the Northeast of me (Arrowhead

and North Irvine)…

and, many very sad images from the devastation occuring as I write this to the Southeast of me (San Diego, county-wide).

These many images tell the story far better than any words can. San Diego has by far been hit the hardest by the fires this weekend and it continues this night and morning — the damage in Malibu, although terrible, is far less than what San Diego is dealing with — a firefighter says San Diego is “like Armageddon.”

Dot-Red-SML INTERACTIVE MAP of Southern California fires – you have to move it around to see the massive scope of the problem, all of which continue this night/morning in only partial containment.

C O M M E N T S : now closed