Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wildfires Hit Close to Home

Sunday morning I awoke to some thick, dark smoke coming from the East. After thinking for a while, I decided it would be best to skip my planned bike ride. I spent the rest of Sunday carbo loading (read drinking Newcastle) with my neighbor who also decided to skip his bike ride.

Fast forward to Monday @10am...I get a call from my daughter telling me she can see flames up in the hills above our house from her bedroom window. I went to the local Fox affiliates website and started streaming their live video to see what's going on. It turns out that a massive wildfire broke out up on the hills above Porter Ranch. It looked pretty bad and with the gusty Santa Ana winds, the fire was moving at a rapid pace. I continued to monitor the video as well as trying to get some work done. At one point, I saw some video of a couple of palm trees on fire in an area that I normally run. I watched a bit closer as that point is about 2 miles from our house, but the fire seemed to be moving down the hill. I talked to a couple of neighbors by phone and they assured me that everything seemed OK in our neighborhood, so I decided to stay at work. There was one moment where I started packing up and getting ready to head home after I saw a small spot fire break out in some trees about 3/4 mile from the house. Fortunately, LA City Fire were able to get to it right away and extinguish it. At 5 pm, I started my trek home. With all of the freeway closures, it took a bit more time taking surface streets, but it really wasn't that bad.

This morning, the fire seemed to move to the East and spread a thick smoke around the area. Once again, I decided it was in my best interest not to run. I went back to bed and then heard an abnormal noise coming from the laundry room...our water heater burst and was leaking water on the floor. Got the water turned off and cleaned up the water. Spent the morning getting it replaced and now everyone is happy they can take a shower.

The fire fighters made some progress in this area today and the smoke has dissipated, but the fire is now burning to the South and West. Hopefully the winds will die down on Wednesday and they will be able to get the upper hand. I am not planning on doing any running until Thursday evening when I run with my group. We run in Griffith Park, which is about 25 miles from the burn area and smoke doesn't seem to be a problem over there. We'll see about Saturday's long run in this area.

Here is a link to a recent run in the area.

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