Brush Fires and the Santa Ana Winds

by Lorraine on October 13, 2008

A small fire started yesterday in the north-eastern part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  There was concern that over night it might grow as there was a prediction for Santa Ana winds to begin blowing out of the upper deserts into the Los Angeles basin and would cause it to grow.

At four this morning I was awakened by the wind blowing around the house and hearing banging doors.   I shut my window and tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t.   I was wondering about what was going on with the fire in the San Fernando Valley and thinking about how five years ago, a fire burned through the canyon behind me and then just missed our neighborhood.

Chico and Biscuit were little kitties at the time and I also had my really old cat Tante who was almost 21 years old.  I prepared to evacuate with them and placed them in carriers in the back seat of my car.   Sparkle being feral and wild, wouldn’t allow me to pick her up, so I had to let her outside.   I can still see her running in a panic through the yard as red, flying embers rained down on us.   It was really very frightening.

As it turned out, I didn’t leave and stayed put, with my garden hoses running.   But when you see such big flames, it all feels very futile.  Fortunately we were all spared in the neighborhood but we knew that we had missed a huge bullet.

I had visited the Theodore Payne Foundation’s native plant sale last Sat. and I had intended to take some pictures of the event to put on the blog, but  I forgot my camera.   Their nursery is located in a very narrow canyon near where the fire that started last night is burning at this time.  And I was thinking as I was driving through the area, about what a potentially dangerous place it is and how I wouldn’t want to live there.

Now there is another one that broke out this morning and is burning about 15-20 minutes from here.   It’s on the north side of the San Fernando Valley, about five miles away from the original fire and now burning in  a south-westerly direction towards Simi Valley.

Needless to say, I’m a bit nervous today and I’m hoping that this latest fire will not burn on the north side of Simi Valley where I live.   If it does, that could be very, very bad.

We have lots of smoke and of course wind and all we can do is hope that they can knock these two fires out before tonight.  Because if they don’t, the winds will increase during the night and possibly cause these two fires to become monsters.

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