Mark D. Roberts

The news from Southern California sounds good, as the weather has changed and the fires are being controled. I will never forget when I was in first grade and we had to evacuate because of a Santa Ana wind driven fire that burned within 40 feet of our house in the hills of Glendale. We left our home not knowing if we would ever see it again.
malibu-ocean-fire-smokeI’m including a few photos that have been e-mailed to me by friends. The first shows the ocean near Malibu. It gives you some idea of what the sky looks like when these fires are raging. I’ve seen the sky look like this, and it is both eerie and downright scary. I remember as a boy looking straight up into the sun, which appeared to be blood red.
malibu-fire-windThe next photo was taken in Malibu. I’ve included it because it helps you to get a sense of the power of the wind. If you look closely at the trees, you can see how strong the wind is. This sort of wind whips fires into a frenzy. It also has the ability to carry giant embers for long distances. This means it’s almost impossible for firefighters to stop a fire because the fire will break out behind them.
The last photo shows the fire in the hills above Orange County. In the foreground is Lake Mission Viejo. This photo was e-mailed to me by a friend. Striking, isn’t it? Beautiful, in a horrific sort of way.

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