Out my window this is what I saw first thing in the morning. I've seen it before, the sun burning brightly while the skies are dark and murky and ash is raining down everywhere. The fire was blazing more than forty miles away from my window.
WARNING: A fire was burning out of control. The next question, how close and should I prepare to evacuate?
Of course this is more of a concern for a resident than a tourist, but it is important for tourists to understand the serious consequences that can be caused by a thoughtless act, such as throwing a burning cigarette out the car window or not making sure the camp fire is completely out before leaving the site, even driving a hot car over dry brush in the back country can spark such a devastatingly horrendous fire..
A few moments later I opened the door. The sky had gotten darker and ash rained down!
If you can see the specks against the black sky, they are ashes falling on the camera. The air didn't smell foul yet, but you know it's time to close all windows and doors before breathing in the pollutants. Time to check the news to find out what devastation has arrived.
California is well known for it's earthquakes, but there has never been an earthquake here that has cause as much devastation as one of these out of control fires. This type of fire usually happens in October because by then the summer has dried up everything that isn't watered artificially. It is usually still pretty warm in the first part of October, so the slightest spark can set this type of fire off.
During a fire that is this big and out of control, there is almost no place one can go to get away from the polluted air, the acrid smell or the ash.
Keep in mind that this photo was taken from over forty miles away from the fire, at about ten in the morning!
If you happen to be visiting during a time like this, plan to stay indoors where it is safe, cool and the air is filtered.
You may be able to see the ash collecting on this plant. After checking the news I found out that the fire began about thirteen hours earlier more than 50 miles away and because of various factors, it raged out of control, wiping everything from it's path. These photos were taken the morning after it started.
It took days for the winds to change direction and weeks for the air and sky to clear, but the fires continued to burn hot spots for more than a month! More than 300,000 acres burned. 2,400 homes destroyed and at least 17 people died, including firefighters.
The moral of this warning is that coming to San Diego during an out of control forest fire is no fun and can be very dangerous to your person and to your health!
In September and October, San Diego is still beautiful but is very dry and hot. All of Southern California needs to be very careful when camping, smoking, or doing anything involving fire! In past years many people have lost houses and even family members and friends due to wildfires and people's mistakes. Just be careful! It really isn't that hard to be a little extra careful when lighting a cigarette or remembering to put out a camp fire. And if your visiting here and a fire occurs go to Qualcomm Stadium, that's where I stayed a few years ago during the fires and many people came out with donated food, clothing, and everything else people could possibly need!