I hadn’t driven the Volvo in a while, but I had left the windows cracked open so that it wouldn’t fry inside setting in the sun.

When I did get in there, I realized that it had been open like that while last week’s brush fires had been going on about ten miles upwind from us.

Configured like that, it made a perfect little trap for ash and debris blown by the wind. The seats, floor mats, window sills, and controls were all covered with ash, twigs, and detritus. (I love that word!)

It’s also a good indicator of how these fires spread so damn fast in high winds. All of this was obviously cool by the time it got here, probably because it was fairly light. But much closer to the fire line, where the hot, heavier stuff is being carried, the fire will keep jumping and jumping, a couple miles at a time, hot embers falling into dry brush, dead leaves, the tops of palm trees…and the cars of people who left the windows cracked open.

Something to be remembered for next time, especially if the fire isn’t ten miles away!

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Filed under Disasters, Los Angeles, Photography

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