Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Inferno

It's not the same when you see it with your own eyes.
The fire, which got a lot worse as night fell is hard to describe. On television, the aerial shots are horrific: firefighters dragging houses, dwarfed by flames that are inhaling trees and brush.

The smell of smoke is in the air. There's no escaping it. inside, outside, it doesn't matter. It's in our clothes.
Tonight we went to a friend's place in Pasadena. Like the photo I took in the last post, the smoke is awing to behold - however, to see the flames. That brings a different level of disbelief.
As we drove along the freeway (134N) to our left, the fire - not a string, not even a wall - more accurately - fields of fire, raging deep orange flames - stretched out over not one, but several mountain and hillsides. I've never seen anything like it and I find myself grasping for words.
On the way back home, the sight was equally surreal: A ring of flames in the mountains, appearing to be perhaps a mile in diameter, the center a flickering, pulsing faint red. The best way to describe it would be that the mountains look like a volcano, the opening a mile wide, full of seething lava. In the sky, helicopters point beams of light into the smoke and flames below.

All in the middle of the city I live in.

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