Sunday, October 21, 2007

Santa Ana Winds

This is my second Santa Ana Wind season here in southern California. Today we are having sustained winds of 25-35 mph with gusts up to 80 mph (74 mph is considered category 1 hurricane force). I do not think I will ever get used to this. Back in Minnesota, when there are strong wind storms (yes they come with thunderstorms), people are told to go to their basements until the storm passes. There are no basements here. Besides that, today is Sunday, this "storm" is supposed to last until Tuesday night. Can't hole up in the basement for 3 days...

There is a wildfire in Malibu today. The winds are making it almost impossible to get any control of the fire, Several buildings have been totally lost already, and this fire has only been burning for a few hours. The Malibu Presbyterian Church is gone, Malibu Castle (Hodge Castle) is gone, the students and faculty at Pepperdine University have all been evacuated to the cafeteria. Even a few houses on the beach front are burning.

Something I learned last year during the Santa Ana Wind season is that a lot of the wild fires (at least around here) appear to be arson fires. Things like that make me question humanity, seriously.

We live a few miles from the foothills, and the foothills are where the fire danger is the highest. We are far enough away that our house would not be affected by any fires up there. This past spring there was a fair sized wildfire in Anaheim Hills (about 8-10 miles away as the crow flies). Our air quality, which is questionable anyway, became very poor. I am thankful, though, that we are not likely to need to evacuate.

I guess it is time to start the steroid inhalers for both my daughter and I. I sure do not want to have the smoke from the fires to trigger any serious asthma attacks.

In other news, today is my 23 year sobriety anniversary. What a long strange trip it's been.

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