Sunday, October 21, 2007

Here Come Those Santa Ana Winds Again

The hot, dry desert winds are blowing in Southern California again. The temperatures are in the high 80's, 90's, and 100 in some areas. Though it is nice to have summer weather in October, the strong, dry Santa Ana winds, or "devil winds" as they are called can bring devastation. They bring the dreaded California wild fire. The brush is so dry, especially with our drought, that the smallest spark, such as downed powerlines, or a spark from a truck backfiring can trigger a fire, which is fanned by the 30 to 40 mph winds. In some areas the wind gusts are over 100 mph.

All day the smell of smoke has been heavy in the air, while a pall of smoke has been hanging over us; the sun glowing orange through the smoke and ash and creating an eerie orange glow over the landscape. As I write this blog, two wildfires are burning out of control in San Diego County; one in the south, another to the east. The fire in the east, called the "Witch Creek Fire" is burning near the towns of Ramona and Santa Ysabel about 30 miles, as the crow flies, from where I live. With all the smoke and ash being blown from the east to the west, it seems like the fire is just around the corner. Lucky for me it is not. I hope for the best for all those people forced to evacuate their homes, and hope they have homes to go back to.

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