Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where There's Smoke...

Last night Jacki and I were eating dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant with our favorite waiter. As we were wrapping up dinner we saw a combination of heavy fog and smoke roll through the street. When we walked outside after dinner we could smell a hint of smoke mixed into the fog so we decided to drive up the PCH to see if we could see any of the remnants of the Malibu wildfire.

We drove north on the PCH about 10-12 miles and passed Pepperdine University, one of the areas that was threatened. Although we never found fire we did see an orange clouded sky in the distance above Topanga Canyon. We didn't drive through that canyon but when we cut across Malibu inland we reached the top of one of the mountains and had our visibility cut to less than 20 feet while driving as a very thick smell of smoke entered the car. We had to be close. All of this was just a little over 10 miles from where we live in Santa Monica.

During the week the smoke from the fires blocked out the sun in the early evening. This time of year it begins to darken at night around 7pm. When the Malibu fire was at its peak sunlight stopped coming through shortly after 5pm. It was hard to believe that smoke alone could block the sun. The news has slowed in LA about the Malibu fire but as we saw on our drive last night the fire is still having an impact on the area.

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