Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fire on the Mountain

I've been driving back and forth lately between Northern and Southern California. The fastest way to do this is via Interstate 5, which courses north from Los Angeles over the Grapevine pass (a.k.a. Tejon Pass), down into California's Central Valley.

Since Labor Day (September 4), a major wildfire has been raging through the Los Padres National Forest, to the west of this route. Firefighters at first were struggling to keep it from hopping the freeway to spread to the Angeles National Forest, on the east side of I-5. The fire was threatening to close I-5, which is a major economic artery as well as a transportation corridor.

So far not much damage done to buildings or people, and the fire has burned back away from the freeway now, but it has left a vast sweep of land looking like craters on the moon. As I've gone back and forth, the vistas of the active fire and firefighters have been dramatic.

Whenever we get a wildfire like this, it colors sunsets for weeks.

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