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Old May 15, 2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Going to be a long summer...

Recently I mentioned how I envied Australia entering winter and how I thought it was going to be a long summer/fire season. It's already started. Taken today by my subdivision's mailboxes:

Venturing closer (the fire was about 8 miles from me and we are upwind from it):

Yes, those ARE high voltage lines, taking power to Los Angeles and points further south. And the lower power lines along the road feed our power - if the fire takes out those lines I have no power.

There were helicopters working the fire, but it was so intense and the brush so dry and heavy, it seemed to have less effect than usual - the fire quickly got out of hand.

I was hand-holding the DA300 and 1.7AFA so I was keeping my shutter speeds up, which froze the rotors more than they probably should have.

The fire is located between me and the freeway. I drove over to the gas station along the freeway to see if it looked any less fierce from that angle. It didn't.

At the Flying J there were a number of fire fighting equipment from a variety of services - Los Padres National Forest, Kern County, Los Angeles County, and Angeles National Forest. I wouldn't be surprised if units from Ventura County were on alert not far away.

As long as the wind doesn't change direction, it will continue to be a photo opportunity rather than something to worry about.
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Old May 16, 2013, 8:21 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing some fine shots. I know the Grapevine, Interstate 5, well having driven it dozens of times over the years to visit family in the valley. This is really early for this level of fire. We're also expecting an early fire season. Evacuation bag is ready to go as we sit dead in the middle of a dense, dry national forest.
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Old May 16, 2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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Very dramatic series. And more so thinking about how its in your neighbourhood. Here's hoping the best for your situation.

Take care,
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Old May 16, 2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Wow, those are pretty amazing, as long as you are upwind! I was driving on 126 through Filmore yesterday and I could clearly see the smoke. I hope the cooler temps today bring some relief for the firefighters.

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Old May 16, 2013, 4:03 PM   #5
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First I couldn't understand why a summer could be to long.

Great and scary pictures, thanks for sharing

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Old May 16, 2013, 5:01 PM   #6
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Excellent series, Harriet. I envy you and yet I don't. Great photo ops, bad place to be in.
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Old May 16, 2013, 5:51 PM   #7
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Been thinking about you since I first heard about it last evening. Our winds have now shifted to onshore, cooler and more moist, so the hot, dry winds are dying down, but they will shift again back to offshore in a couple of days. The fire is in rugged country where it is hard to fight a fire on the ground, but there is a big aerial attack, so let's hope they will be able to get some degree of containment before the winds pick up again. I heard that, although there were some evacuations ordered, no homes were threatened, so I assume you are well south of the flames?
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Old May 16, 2013, 7:25 PM   #8
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your pictures are all too familiar to Australians.

One of my wife's aunties lost her house in a big bushfire that destroyed a couple of rural villages in our last summer fire season
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Old May 16, 2013, 9:50 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the thoughts and comments. The weather is cooler today and overcast when I drove home. I was surprised there was still lots of smoke over a big area, so the fire is burning.

Saly, considering how big the smoke plume was, I'm not surprised you could see it clearly from the 126. It really isn't all that far from there to here - after all, the Day Fire a number of years ago threatened both the area you were driving through (Santa Paula area) as well as our area (we were evacuated for 3 days).

I'm actually north and west of where the fire is burning, the winds are mostly from the north so it is pushing the fire south, into rugged national forest land. It has burned through part of the Hungry Valley Off Highway Vehicle Park and was heading more or less toward Pyramid Lake and the Piru Creek area. It looks like while it's burning in an area that hasn't been burned in years, it could eventually run into terrain that was burned in the Day Fire. The evacuations were the high school, a couple of houses near where the fire started, Hungry Valley and a campground in Piru Creek. They lifted the evacuations for the couple of houses, the high school is being used as an incident headquarters but I assume they'll keep Hungry Valley closed as long as the fire is burning and perhaps keep some of it closed until next year as they do their mitigation work. Unless the wind changes significantly (which can happen), our area isn't threatened.
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Old May 16, 2013, 11:30 PM   #10
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Great photo's. I particularly like # 5 of the fire copter dumping it's fire retardant chemicals (I'm assuming that's what they are)...great action shot.

Hope fire poses no danger to you.

Just the other day in my town...a prairie grass fire destroyed a new car compound and yesterday the province used De Havilland Water bombers to douse a prairie grass fire on the edge of the city.

These water bombers are generally used to fight forest fires....but it is very dry right now.
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