Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SoCal Fires

It's been one hectic week throughout all of Southern California.

The Santa Ana winds started over the weekend and by Monday thousands of acres were burning, starting first with Malibu.

San Diego has been devastated even more than it was back in 2003 when thousands of homes were destroyed and 16 people were killed. Estimates range anywhere from 500K to one million evacuated throughout the state--the largest evacuation ever for CA.

This year, Nicki's cousins Fiona and Chris who live in Poway, have been evacuated. At the time I write this, we don't know if their home has been spared. Thankfully they're safe and that's the main thing.

We've gotten a lot of calls and emails inquiring about how we're doing. We are so lucky so far (touch wood) and the closest fire to us is the Santiago fire, which is about 12 or so miles away. That fire threatened Nicki's former workplace which is still safe, though dealing with a lot of smoke blowing in from the fire.

Ironically, yesterday was relatively clear in Ladera, the wind still, and I was able to shoot a portrait session that had been scheduled weeks before.

Today, though, was an eerie morning as the smoke from the Santiago fire and perhaps from the newly erupted 6000 acre fire at Camp Pendleton, about twenty miles to the south of us filled the air.

When the sun came up, the smoke diffused it and colored it so it seemed apocolyptic...the photo above is from today in Ladera.

We're hoping that all our friends and family that have been affected by the fires (many photographer friends in San Diego have been directly impacted) are safe and come back to an intact home.

Edited to Add: Just got off the phone with Fiona, Nicki's cousin, and she and her husband Chris and the family are back in their home! Their block survived the fires, but homes were destroyed a mere two blocks away. Pretty scary.
Chris is a police officer so he's been working around the clock and Fiona is now busy cleaning up the house. She said the pool is black with ash.


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