Golden skies
The fire is raging

Pictures courtesy of
Work is ever so close to the fires.

[ Tuesday - September 1, 2009 ]

I have upon occasion written and shown video about the potentially bad events of a commute, but never about the story around the commute itself.  I guess there is a first for everything.

When the name Los Angeles is mentioned, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Smog maybe?  Gangs?  Perhaps a vision of a metropolitan area enters the mind.  An area filled with concrete, tarmac, and other humanly creations.  If you had asked me this question about 15 years ago, I would have told you exactly this.  However, this is not necessarily the case.  Just a couple miles north of Pasadena or immediately north of Altadena, is the Angeles National Forest.  The forest occupies a large area of very rough terrain.  It is also one of the most beautiful forests.  Unfortunately, it's on fire and has been on fire for a good week.

Driving in to work today has me a bit concerned.  The closer I get to Pasadena, the more smoke I see and smell.  White ash flakes are falling from the sky as if it's a winter wonderland.  However, this is no typical winter wonderland.  The white fluffy matter in the air makes the eyes water, and the throat rough and itchy.  Of what can be seen of the sun, as it peaks through the cloud cover, it shines of a hazy golden brown color.  It's the same color that tells you there is a forest fire raging somewhere.  In this case, it's a matter of tens of miles away.  All too close for comfort.  Numerous people have already lost their homes, and some are just waiting for the inevitability to happen.

As I get closer to work, I notice some of the fire fighters resting their smoked filled lungs at a convenient store.  I wanted to stop and thank them, but at the same time I didn't want to disturb them.  They need the rest.  So I simply waved as I rode pass.  It's the least I can do in appreciation.  Even the security officers at work are suffering from the smoked filled air.  The words that are uttered to me are, "The air quality was much better yesterday than today."  As I reaching my destination, I can't help but hear the cacophony of helicopters buzzing overhead carrying water to douse the fire.

Even my office smells of smoke and ash.

Heading home, I see the golden brown glow permeating the surrounding cities.  Arcadia fairs better than Pasadena, but not by much.  It's everywhere.  Just then I spot a Sikorsky helicopter flying over head with a monstrous dangling water hose heading to a water source for the next water pickup.  Even now, the fire is still raging out of control.

Yes that is all smoke.  Only the white plume one top is a cumulous cloud created
by the smoke capturing moisture from the higher elevation.
(Thanks to Jaime for this impressively scary picture)

For more images related with the 2009 Angeles National Forest fire, follow the below link.

[ Wednesday - December 30, 2009 ]

Finally.  I have a chance to put together this video of the Station Fire.  It is as massive as it looks.

Written on: September 1, 2009
Last modified: December 30, 2009