Sunday, October 21, 2007

Los Angeles Fire 2007: The ramifications of a year without weather

Hey Kate!

Contrary to the massive press coverage, it's not just the rich and famous who are being affected by this year's fires. The California Condor habitat is threatened by the blaze that has now spread to the residents of Agua Dolce. And then there's me.

This picture is taken out of the window of my second story apartment. Though the temperature outside is nice, we can't open the windows because of the smoke, dust and wind. And we had to cancel our brunch outing this morning.

I know, our troubles are not even close to those who have lost homes and I am very grateful for that. But the wind damage and power outages and smoke aren't making life in the San Fernando Valley any easier.

Not that any of the locals are surprised at this turn of events. (Nor are you, Kate, since you used to be a local. I'm just pretending we have other readers.) It's what we get for a year without weather.

That's one of the reasons I live in the greater Los Angeles area: the lack of weather. I like being surrounded by people (like me) who complain when the temperature drops below 60. I like never having to check the weather before venturing outside. I like having to plan for rain about 2 weeks out of the year and never having to worry about shoveling snow. This "no weather zone" isn't for everyone, but it is for me.

The problem is, this year, our "no weather" weather really contained no weather. There were only a couple of hot weeks here and there, but overall it was the kind of weather the rest of the country dreams of. We don't get much rain here at any time, but this past "winter", we got practically none. This isn't because of global warming or anything trendy like that. It's because we are just visitors in this desert and periodically Mother Nature likes to remind us of that. So everything is dryer than normal and then the Santa Ana winds are nastier than normal and then powerlines get downed and sparks fly and fires start and the winds carry more sparks to more dry stuff and more fires start. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I don't know where all this smoke is from. It could be from Porter Ranch to the north or Agua Dolce to the northeast or Malibu to the southwest. It could also be from some fire that isn't getting the press coverage that the other fires are getting. Wherever it's from, it's here and it's smelly and it's trying to cover up our blue sky.

Though there is still some fun to be had.



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