Living In A Tinderbox

At lunch I posted this on FaceBook & Twitter:


I particularly liked the way the “wind chill factor” brought the 108° in the shade down to where it only felt like 102°. And while I might have stretched the facts just a bit with the comment about “2% humidity,” I wasn’t exaggerating much. and the wind was blowing pretty good.

What happens under those conditions?

img_9587Yep, another large brush fire. I had been hearing sirens every five to ten minutes for quite a while. We’re a half mile from a very large hospital (“Hi, Long-Suffering Wife! I can see you!”) and in Los Angeles, so sirens aren’t uncommon, but having that many for that long was.

Someone mentioned they had heard there was a fire up in the Sand Canyon area, and someone else said they had seen it but it was small and should have been put out quickly. Then we looked out the window toward the northeast where Sand Canyon would be.

Well, there’s your problem!


Sand Canyon is a part of Santa Clarita, which is where we’re building our 78 homes for low-income veterans. As in, where we currently have 28 homes in various stages of framing, roofing, plastering, and generally being very exposed to flying embers and debris.

The good news is that our site is about five miles just to the left of where the smoke’s rising, and the wind is obviously pushing it away from us and the city of Santa Clarita, off into the canyons and mountains. That makes it harder to fight and put out, but it keeps lots of houses (not just the ones we’re building) safe tonight.

As I left the office, just after sunset, there were two vastly different views available. To the west, it was a sunset that was a couple of notches above average.


To the northeast, the pyrocumulus clouds of smoke were still rising, lit by the last fading rays of the setting sun.


Is it me, or does that smoke cloud look like one of the dwarves from “The Hobbit”?

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Filed under Habitat For Humanity, Los Angeles, Photography

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