Oct 24, 2007

Southern California Fires—How Is Ventura County?

We WERE affected by the fires here in Ventura, California—in a small way. Sunday was the worst—and creepiest. We awoke from our 3PM family nap to a sky that was as dark as dusk—the air completely full to saturation with ash. The sun, which you could barely see, was a frightening crimson. It was apocalyptic. The air was so smoky, I put a towel at the bottom of the front door to seal it, closed all the windows, and turned on the air cleaner full-blast! We even made our dog, Kiko, sleep inside because the outside air might have choked her!

The next day was a bit better, but you wouldn't have wanted to be outside for longer than a few minutes. Yesterday, the air was good enough for me to run, though I didn't go far for fear that it would get to me. Many schools were closed and the ones that weren't were not allowing the kids to play outside (our little Jaclyn played inside at her preschool). Today looks almost normal with a mere smoky haze in the distance.

We were lucky to be a good 20 miles from the nearest fire in Santa Rosa. There was a ranch fire near Santa Barbara, but that's about 40 miles north. Ash everywhere coating the ground and floating around, but can't complain. Poor San Diego—two counties and three hours' drive south of us—it's truly a war zone down there. Our hearts go out to them and to the firefighters. We do get Santa Ana dry winds and fires in October every year, but this is a particularly bad one.

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