Saturday, March 31, 2007

Burning Burbank

When I said that I would tell you about my 'exciting' life, I was being sarcastic. But I actually have some exciting things to tell you about.
For the most part LA is pretty boring. No thunderstorms, no hurricanes, no hail, no snow, not even rain. Yes rain. In the past year less than 3 inces of rain has fallen here. All the smog grit, exhaust grit, and sand grit just swirls around (it is still nice here, come visit!) with nothing to wash it away into the Pacific ocean. So at this time of year, the winds blow, the temps rise, and, voila, wildfires! Yay!
I was in Hollywood yesterday, when about 1pm I saw this big orange and purple cloud billowing up from behind the hill. It looked like it was about a quarter of a mile away, but it really was 5 miles away. It was a BIG cloud. Mark called me up and told me there is a fire in Burbank, and I headed home. I wasn't worrying at all until I saw how freakin' close it was to our apartment. So I was in a controlled panic mode as I parked and ran inside. Okay, kitties are still alive. Whew. It smelled like a campfire. A really big one.
The hills behind our apartment were smoking with areas of erupting flames. It was about a tenth of a mile away. Too close. I went out to get closer, and was immedialtely struck by the scale of destruction. The beautiful green hills are now grey and barren with tree skeletons here and there. I started to tear up thinking of all the baby birds, squirrels, and scared critters that died a horrible death. It was pretty much under control by this time, about 4pm. I was then dumbfounded by the quickness of the fire, In a matter of a couple of hours hundreds of acres were burned to the ground. Jesus.
These pictures are from right across the street, and then from walking a few blocks toward the fire. By Southern California standards, this was an insignificant fire. But for me this was just too freaky. (In Connecticut, backyards don't spontaneously combust.) Mark came home, and we walked down together, and I noticed what seemed to be every firefighter and police officer in LA County setting up camp on Forest Lawn Drive. There were dozens of firetrucks. And I was so amazed at the volunteers who brought stacks of water and meals for the firefighters. I was walking by all these men and women who were ready to risk their own lives to save mine, and I can't describe that feeling. I was speechless.
I have to mention the helicopters. The persons piloting these helicopters are part insane and part heroes. There were power lines, other helicopters, thick smoke; I was awestruck yet again. They were amazing.
So we went home, back to an apartment that I appreciated so much more than yesterday, and so thankful to have all my stuff and to have my kitties. Life is okay.
Turns out, it seems like a couple of kids stated the fire. Nobody was hurt, and no property was lost.

1 comment:

ks1k said...

Wow, quite a day for you guys.