Fire weather

Obviously, we have a pretty nice climate here overall. Just look at all the fruit we can grow. But there are two really big drawbacks of this climate. One is periods of depressing gloom and fog. The other is the frightening fire-weather season.

Esperanza_1.JPG

We have had both in the past week. Wednesday was a day of dense fog that took a long time to clear–common in spring and early summer, but really unusual in late October. The above photo shows our the view to the northeast, over our avocado grove, last Thursday at around 11:00 a.m.

If you have seen news reports of the so-called Esperanza fire, this is its result over Ladera Frutal. The fire is about 45 miles away, but the ‘Santa Ana’ winds blew a lof of smoke our way. (Look closely–which is easier on the larger version that will open if you click the image–and you can see either a hawk or a turkey vulture soaring in the wind, near the center of the photo.)

Then the winds died down–here, at least–and the smoke settled in. The second photo is of the setting sun. Yes, that is the sun.

Esperanza_2.JPG

This week is exactly three years since the horrific firestorms that gripped San Diego County. When the winds died down for a couple of days while those fires were burning, the smoke was so bad here in Moosa Canyon that it was like a dense ground fog, only one that left eyes and lungs hurting. Last Thursday was the worst I have seen since then, and I could still smell a little smoke today, but obviously this has not been even close to that awful week in 2003.

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