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Archive for October, 2007

Fires are raging out of control across Southern California.

I live on the Southern California coast on the Newport Beach Peninsula, and would not expect to be affected that greatly by the fires burning inland.

You’d think that by living on the coast of California like I do that the air would be pristine and clean all the time… often it is, but often enough it is NOT as clean as I would like.


View my pictures and video from Monday 10-22-07

A perfect example has been over the last few days when the Santa Ana winds kicked in and those nasty fires started burning across Southern California.

Malibu got the most press as it devasted the homes of the stars and burned down multi million dollar mansions, but the fire that was closest to where I live in Newport Beach was the Orange County Irvine fires.

The Malibu fire started on early Sunday and I’ll give you a recap and show you a few pictures. Today is Tuesday and the smell of the burning gunk is still in the air. It sucks!

View my pictures and video from Monday 10-22-07

Sunday seemed just like any other ordinary day except that it was windy and hotter than usual. The temps here at the beach were in the 90’s and it was quite windy.

As I walked my dog on Sunday afternoon I remember telling my neighbor that some crazy neighbor was burning their fireplace despite the heat wave (it happens regularly here at the beach – I guess people think fires are romantic and aren’t as sensitive to the POLLUTION as I am…)

In any event my neighbor said it wasn’t fireplaces or the bonfires but was coming from Mailibu. It didn’t even occur to me that the smell could be from fires that far away (at least 60 miles up North on the coast). In the many years I have lived here, the impact of fires has been minimal. A little soot here and there and some monor discomfort but usually nothing to write home about.

That changed on Sunday evening when I wnet to my favorite local Chinese restaurant and was having some dinner. I placed my order and as I was waiting for the food I saw big clouds of dark brown smoke blowing by. I went outside to look and sure enough, it was a huge stream of smoke as large as clouds and it was flowing from inland. At that time I had no idea where it was coming from but later found out it was in Irvine.

It wasn’t that close but the wind was blowing so extreme that the soot and embers and nasty smoke was flowing staright to us on the ocean. We could not even see the fires and had no idea where they were yet the smoke was intense.

I finsihed my meal and when I got home it was dark, but by that time the stream of smoke tunred into a huge bank of clouds filled with soot. It was windy as hell and was very intense. The smell was awful and I proceeded to close all my windows back at the house.

I still didn’t realize it was serious and took my dog for his usual nightly 2 mile walk. It was intense and was so bad that I could barely keep my eyes open with all the gook in the air blasting in my face. It kept getting worse and worse so before long I turned back and we went home.

My nose was running and my eyes were burning. I had a headache and cold like symptoms. I felt like crap!
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