Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Fire This Time

A lot of energy is being released in the mountains north of Los Angeles.

These pictures were taken from the top of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, about 30 miles south of the fires. The big fire in these shots is the “Station” fire, which started a few days ago in the canyons behind La CaƱada-Flintridge. It has spread considerably beyond that by now, both east and west, and to some degree north and south. These pictures are looking almost straight north.

As of tonight, total area burned is more than 65 square miles, and with hot dry weather forecast through at least tomorrow, the multiple firelines show no sign of showing down.

Downtown Los Angeles is safely separated from the burning mountains, but it’s not far enough away to avoid the pall of smoke and flying ash.

The cloud over the city makes even the mightiest skyscraper look tiny and inconsequential.

(Keep in mind that the towering smoke is twice as far away as the skyscrapers.)

Last night I finished reading a novel centered on a (fictional) event that took place during the six-day riot that scorched Watts and neighboring communities in 1965. I wasn’t around to see that smoke cloud, but I have a feeling the one towering over Los Angeles this week is of a whole different order of magnitude.


Papa Bradstein said...

I believe that it was John Muir who observed that every day above the Sierras, clouds formed that were several times the size of the mountains that towered above him. Nature never ceases to amaze.

miles zarathustra said...

Amazing photos.