Happy October, California!

We had high winds all day gusting to 60 mph. Along with the fires up in Malibu and out in Fontana, we got one of our own between Santiago Canyon and Irvine.

It’s almost 9:30 pm and the temp is 76F, wind is in the 30 mph range, and there’s a choking stench of smoke. The fire is spreading at least right now.

Of course the fire started at the edge of populated Orange County, where Foothill Ranch meets the real canyon country. Once again they put a suburb right at the mouth of the bellows where the fire will always blow hottest.

I’m lucky to be living where we just get the stench. Dad picked the house well.

This is the fourth or fifth time in my life that I’ve seen a suburban shopping mall parking lot full of tumbleweeds.


I was listening to the fire radio in my car last night because I am a dork.

There was an apartment fire, and the fire department got two wrong addresses and a lot of bad information at first, saying it was a storage unit or a shed or a different apartment building. But they got there in less than five minutes anyway, and charged on in to the burning apartment to put out the fire.

Meanwhile, a full “structure fire response” (lots of engines and trucks) from three other cities and the County got there in < 10 minutes. By then the commander had divided the people he had into functional groups and assigned each of the group leaders the people needed to do a task (putting out the fire, ventilating the building, checking upstairs to see if the fire had spread, searching for people in the building.)

Some of the people from the other cities and county were able to help and sped up the process tremendously.

In less than half an hour the fire was out, no one was hurt, only one apartment was badly damaged, and almost all the outside helping people had been sent away.

I am very, very impressed. And this among other things is why the next AIP post will be about the fire department.