Thursday, August 29, 2013


It's summertime in California and it's inevitable that there will be some fires along the way. The Rim Fire has been a blazing inferno for nearly two weeks and these dry conditions can be incredibly dangerous. Yesterday I had my own encounter with flames as I was cruising with the top down on 84 going towards Livermore. I didn't think much of the smoke and assumed it was a fire that was already under control, but within minutes the plumes were growing larger and darker. I knew I'd have to drive by the fiery hillside, but it was impossible to tell if I was going to have to drive through a curtain of smoke as well. As a precaution, I decided to pull over to the side of the road and raise the top up. It was obviously the safe thing to do and I was thankful I did, even though it turned out not to be entirely necessary as the smoke hadn't settled down and was instead hanging over the highway. However, that didn't stop me from literally feeling the heat from the flames as I drove by. Firefighters were not on the scene yet and I didn't see them until a few minutes later after I had descended the hill and pulled over to put the top back down. 
A quick picture of the smoke from the other side...
In spite of the breezy conditions, the firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it could cause too much damage. It's unclear how the fire began and it is still under investigation, but hopefully it wasn't caused by a careless smoker flicking a burning cigarette out of a car window. Now if we could only get a summer rain storm (without lightning) to help prevent some of these fires or at the very least slow the ones that are spreading. 


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