Cough, Gasp, Wheeze...

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Yep, if it gets towards our house, then we have a serious problem! I am surrounded by other homes, so it should be fine. I am just south of the 101 freeway at work, which is where the fire crews are drawing a line. If it gets across the 101, it will burn all the way to the beach. Getting uglier here at work, but I leave in 30 minutes, so I will be glad to beat feet.
Eric I am assuming you and yours have an escape plan with enough to last you out several days. don;t hang around there unless you have to man. Evening winds can jump lines in seconds and then good bye property. Several years ago to my west we had the Biquit fire which included three seperate fires. It was started by lighting in an environmental monumet area..........big deal. the forest service let it burn all one day without doing anything and it kept at a nominal 5,000 acres. Overnight winds shot the sucker out 360 degrees and by early morning was almost 20,000 acres, going into northern Calif on the Smith river and to the nroth to a very luxurious and secluded public area along the Rpogue river. this suka turned out to be over 500,000 acres in size, making it the largest widlfire in US history and only Gods hand out it out with rain at Novembers end. My point is obvious, don't wait folks, we had this come mid-july and sucked up every conceivable nusiance allergen, smut, smog, smoke and pollutant, Hwy. 199 to the west was closed for weeks with people moving in exodus to the east to get out of the huge flames....
I do have an escape plan, just in case. But the fire is still east of the 23 freeway and I am another 5 miles from there with a lot of houses between there and where I am and not much in the way of fuel for the fire, thankfully. If need be, I have a couple of places that I can go to that are out of danger.

I am home now and it looks very good where I am. If I was still in Thousand Oaks, I would be ready to beat feet. It is moving into there right now and is about 2-3 miles from my old house. My in-laws are back in their house, but they may have another evacuation if Oak Park gets nailed. They may be coming here, which should be okay (if you don't mind in-laws too much!).

I will be watching the skies and monitoring the radios tonight. If there is a hint of bad things coming, I will scoot.
Morning fire update...

Last night was a harrowing night for many families. Fortunately, we remain safe where we are. About a mile from work, fire crews performed heroic actions to save a large apartment complex (Malibu Canyon Apartments) and a condo complex that is about a mile from the 101. It was something to see as my wife and I used to live in Malibu Canyon Apartments and were right up against where the firefighters made their last stand to save the homes.

The fire is currently 12% contained and the winds calmed way down last night. The weather is cooling somewhat as well. That is good news for the fire crews who are going back on the offensive at dawn. The bad news is that they still have a 15 mile front to battle. 3,000 firefighters from all over the state are busting their butts to save homes and are doing one hell of a good job.

There were no visible hot spots on my 20 mile commute to work, but it is very smoky along the whole route. It smells like one giant campfire and irritates the lungs and eyes.

I am awaiting the 6 AM briefing from the fire crews to see the current situation. It may be a few more days before they are able to get it out completely, but the weather is on a cooling trend, although it will still be in the 90s for the next couple of days. The on-shore flow of wind is pushing inward, which should help as the cooler, more humid winds are better than the Santa Ana winds that come off of the desert and are hot and dry.

The latest count has 17,000 acres burning, but that number will likely rise as that was the number as of yesterday afternoon. The satellite thermal imagery taken later today will revise that number.

Approximately 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and are unsure of the status of their homes, which is a major cause of anxiety. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are also doing one hell of a job to keep these people housed and fed.

The office where I work followed local authorities command and voluntarily evacuated the building at 4 PM. Once the executives got wind that voluntary evacuation orders were in place, they made it mandatory for all employees to get out.

More to follow, Evan out
Morning briefing info:

20,000 acres have burned, to give you an idea of how big that is, it is a larger area than Manhattan Island in New York.

Amazingly, only 1 single family home has been destroyed.

The fire is currently 20% contained, with the goal of encirclement today.

There is a 2 day window to get this knocked down before the winds get started again. The 101 freeway is still the line that is in danger of crossing. They are fighting to keep it on the North side. Our office is on the south side of the 101.

Here are some pics to give you an idea of what we are dealing with here, courtesy of one of my co-workers.


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Look after yourself Eric looks like the states are certainly going through the wars this year, Les has got some spare water if you need any (about 40 billion gallons)
I have seen small brush fires sweep up the mountains in Spain and when the wind gets going they really move at a rate so it must be very disconcerting with something that big. It sounds like at least its not totally out of control and after the cock up in N.O. I bet the local government offices are making sure nothing can be said about their response to this business after its over.
Eric did the sun turn blood red before it was hidden behind the smoke ? great pics man. yes our whole western hills were lit up years ago with an eerie glow. Like you said the smoke is terrible, open your doors of your home and the evil settles in for the day/night.

this is growing man and encirclement/containment is always a nice verbal sign but far yet from being controlled

prayers are with U

headin out from here ....
Been gone Eric, finally catching up - MY GOD! Just got a call from a friend in Mojave, he said the winds were supposed to be calm today. Hope all is well!!!!
Thanks guys. It's definitely smoky out here and the firemen are doing great work. They have plenty of experience with it though, so the response is what it has been in the past. They have thrown everything at it.

We were voluntarily evacuated again from the office at 10:00 AM. There is smoke in the office and I came home smelling like a campfire after being in it for 4 hours! So I am home and staying indoors with the house closed up. For the last hour or so, they were using Sikorsy Sky Cranes for water dropping and they were flying right over our building. Really something to see.
Good news!

The calming winds and on-shore flow of air have helped the firefighters. The assault by fire crews yesterday got the fire 40% contained and the also slowed down the amount of burn. It is now currently at 23,000 acres burned. The calm winds are supposed to continue today, which means that the fire should get knocked down much more.

I saw some overhead shots last night of the burn areas and it looks like a moonscape. Burned ground is all that is left in many of those places. You can see where the fires were stopped short of the homes. It is a good testament to the fire department's responsiveness to threatened homes. They did lose 2 homes in Box canyon, but over 2,000 total homes were saved. No consolation to the 2 families that lost their homes, I know, but they do not blame the FDs for it.

Unless there is a major flare up in the next couple of days, I think they are going to get this one out in by monday.
Definitely looking better. Let me check the weather <looking out window>, Blues skies! Yeah! Looks like the winds are pretty much non-existent at the moment.

I wonder how the rest of this fire season is going to go though. It sure started with a big one!
Evans, sounds like many of the home owners have finally gotten the message that they have to clear the brush near their homes. That simple thing to do might have saved many structures.

Anyone hear about that other fire burning near Moreno Valley? It burned through a chicken farm and 90,000 of them became barbque chickens

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