Monday, August 31, 2009

Los Angeles Forest Fire - La Canada/Flintridge August 30, 2009

On a bridge near La Canada/Flintridge

Today, the smoke was much worse. When I woke up, the sky was grey. You could definitely smell the smoke in the air and after being outside for a short while your eyes would start hurting.

There were people out today but less because the conditions have become increasingly uncomfortable. I can't imagine what the firefighters are going through. They also had to rescue two people who decided not to evacuate. Instead, they stayed home and sat in their hot tub as they felt the cold water in the hot tub would protect them from the fire. They both had to be helicoptered out and one of them is still in the hospital. I am sorry, but how stupid can you be to think sitting in a hot tub would protect you from a forest fire of this magnitude?

Here is a DC 10 releasing some fire retardant. Apparently, they can drop 35,000 gallons. What they would do is circle around doing reconnaissance then drop their load. The fact there was not wind was a plus and minus. A plus because it didn't fuel the fire but bad because visibility was so poor for the pilots.

After the drop, the red retardant drifts really slowly almost lazily onto the mountain ridge. You can see the ridge turn slightly red afterwards but it's hard to notice for long as the fire gives everything a reddish glow.

There are three planes I could identify. The DC10 was the most spectacular. It was usually preceded by a little white plane that dropped something you couldn't see. And lastly there are helicopters, which obviously technically aren't planes, that had a red hose with a bucket type thing hanging from them that would drop something as well.

I took a few pictures of the people watching today.

Look how rapt and in awe there people are of the fire.

These women were pointing at the DC10.

I didn't take too many pictures at night as nothing was really turning out. It just would be black with red blurry dots. But just before sundown, as they were calling off the planes, I took this particularly ominous photo.

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