The good news is that the wind has died down. The bad news is that the wind has died down.
This is the view to the southeast (over the persimmons) to the southeast at about 7:40 this morning. ((Pardon the splotches; apparently I need to clean the lens.))
That’s not fog. That’s smoke. Bad day if you need to breathe.
When the winds were blowing, we were a rare island of blue sky in a day of fires raging to our north, south, and southeast. Once the winds stopped, the smoke settled in. This is less fog-like than it was in 2003, when for much of the first day after the wind settled, we could not see across the canyon. (As I am typing this, however, the visibility is getting worse.)
With winds blowing up till very early morning, it was warm overnight. It was 72 at midnight, and the humidity was only 11%. As the winds calmed down, the temperature dropped, but the humidity was still only 25% at its highest. Temp dropped only to 63 up the hill, but all the way to 55 down below. ((Amazingly, NWS reports that several areas to our east and southeast had temperatures around 80 at 7:00 a.m.!)) That temperature range shows the impact of slope, calmness, and dryness that normally (i.e. other than the freeze of January, 2007) means no freeze up above despite winter chill down below.
I do not think we are out of fire danger yet, but the risk has lessened a lot. The most active part of the fire at Fallbrook is the northwest side, where there is a lot of open land. Apparently there remains some theat to downtown Fallbrook from this fire. Major threats remain to populated areas farther south, even all the way to the coast. The region remains under a red-flag warning, which has been extended until Wednesday afternoon. Winds forecast to pick up again briefly, temperatures could approach 100 today (though the smoke clouds could prevent that much heating) and very low humidity will persist.
A few other photos…
View yesterday at about 5:20, looking east/southeast from just outside the house. Smoke is visible above the ridges in the right of the photo, but it is very clear here, with the moon visible in a perfectly blue sky.