Although chained to my desk, I've been monitoring the dense pall of smoke a few miles west of here from my office window for several days. No offense, but I'm grateful that the persistent breezes are pushing the billowing smoke and raining ash somewhere besides here.
With a dismal rainy season where about zero wet stuff has fallen since November, one has to wonder why the Forest Service would spark a controlled burn in the first place. My guess? Same reason the county chip-sealed the near-pristine macadam road in front of the casa two years ago. It was scheduled.
The FS apologizes yet denies blame, pointing out that nobody forecast a week's worth of hot, dry Santa Ana winds. That may be technically accurate, but high pressure over the high desert and/or the Great Basin coupled with temps in the high 70's to low 80's here are suggestive of a Santa Ana condition. Besides, nobody should be burning anything this time of year unless there's a dense marine layer moderating the temperatures. Otherwise you're likely to end up with more than 6,500 acres of virgin land torched, a couple of thousand evacuations, and marmalade skies from the OC to downtown LA.
It's what I love about California. You can't have two days of gorgeous weather in a row without a fire.
More photos here.
UPDATE from Ken F: OK, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but it occurred to me that instead of "prescribed burns" why not have "prescribed grazing" some animals will nibble the grass right down to the ground. What could it hurt?
tip of the glass to Ken F for making me grumpier about the fire than I already was