Yesterday I went on a crazy impromptu trip to Disneyland with all three kids, because it was parent conference day and I had already met with my kids' teachers. It was such a strange day, because Orange County and San Diego Counties were ablaze with wildfires. I didn't know it at the time, or I wouldn't have driven down into the ash-laden air to spend the day outdoors. Not that it was much better up here in L.A. County. In fact, I thought I would be escaping the smoky air by heading south. But instead I was driving into even more smoke. The hot Santa Ana winds and the orange light from the smoke in the air made the day at the theme park a more surreal experience than usual.
When I got into the car to drive home, I heard on the radio that 500,000 people have had to be evacuated from their homes in San Diego County, 1300 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and two people have died. I don't know anyone personally who was evacuated, but friends and relatives of friends have had to grab a few possessions and go. What a stark contrast to our carefree day at the Magic Kingdom.
Here's hoping the winds die down soon, and the firefighters get the fires under control. The article in the L.A. Times gives a good account of what is going on, and the photo galleries in the article are worth looking at.