It's almost 1:30AM as I write this. I shot this image standing on Grand yesterday evening -- or maybe it was Arroyo Drive. I'm addle-brained from a day of watching the wildfire triple in size and leap across my beloved San Gabriel mountains like some kind of demon lightening bug doped up on speed and steroids.
The smoke is extremely intense here now, and it is really uncomfortable to breathe outside for any length of time. For the first time since moving into our charming 110 year old house with original fixtures, I actually understand the concept of duo-pane vinyl windows. We have towels rolled up against our drafty door jams, paper towels stuffed into the gaps of our original sash windows, the AC pumping air through a 3M filter and a portable air purifier cranked up to high.
It still feels somewhat like being inside a mesquite barbecue pit.
I can't explain how surreal it felt earlier tonight to actually see flames in the mountains as I turned the corner to my house. We've all seen movies of huge fireballs sweeping across ridges. It's unsettling when it's so close to home.
Click my overflow blog here to see many more of my pictures of this devastating wildfire.
I'll update here with news as it unfolds.
UPDATE: 9:45AM Fire almost doubled in size overnight. Currently burning over 35000 acres moving primarily northwest and east. La Canada threatened. Flames near Kinneloa Mesa area of unincorporated Pasadena. So far, Mount Wilson communications area untouched. More here.
UPDATE: 10:45AM I'm getting email from area residents wondering about exact location of fire. Altadenahiker also mentioned increase in visitors looking to bloggers for up to date information. Here's a link to the current fire zone. I believe it is dynamic and will change as day progresses but if not, at least it gives a snapshot of this morning.
UPDATE: 11:15AM Okay, folks. Current info: South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has the current air quality, smoke advisories and advice. Inciweb, a multi-agency reported website, updates regularly with wildfire overview, conditions, current evacuation info, weather, outlook, etc.
UPDATE: 5:20PM Depending on the source, the fire is reported to be between 1 and 2 miles of Mount Wilson -- which would mean a devastating possibility of loss of communications systems for media, police and fire deptartments. I'll try to verify this. Media coverage is spotty about these details. Anyone with more information and a source, leave it in comments.
UPDATE: 7:00PM LA County Fire Dept. Mark Savage told reporters as of 5:30 fire "hours away" from Mount Wilson. Latest from Pasadena Star News. Was in Pasadena today, and South Pas is oddly more smoky. I think we're getting channels of the stuff funneled down the Arroyo.
UPDATE: 8:50PM Here's the view from the Mt. Wilson web cam. Yikes. 18 homes lost in fire's path, 2 firefighters perished in vehicle crash. The view from South Pas is less dramatic than last few days, but still unnerving as fire moves toward Acton to the north and Sunland to the west. Smoke is less tonight than last night.