Monday, October 22, 2007

Southern California Wildfires

I'm sure by now many of you have heard about the multiple (I think the number is up to around 17) wildfires burning between Santa Barbara and San Diego - the closest one to me being the Irvine/Orange County fire which was started by arson. The fires began late Saturday or Sunday, raging through the wilderness areas and even communities. The Santa Ana winds - hot dry winds blowing out towards the ocean from inland - have stoked the flames.

View Larger Map
The Santiago Fire, as it is now being called, is buring some of my favorite birding locations, including Modjeska Canyon and Silverado Canyon where I have gotten multiple lifers and birded many times over the years.
Here is a link also provided at Amy Hooper's blog: Wildbird on the Fly.
The smoke and ash are choking the air here, and my own campus, UC Irvine, is canceling outdoor classes and recreation, and making allowances for absences due to evacations of local homes, as well as health hazards for students with asthma and other respiratory complications.
This map has a lot more detail about the exact locations and various containment of the multiple fires.
The biggest problem are the bark beetle infestations which have killed out and dried out the local forests, as well as this extended drought that California has been suffering. I have family and friends who have been evacuated from their homes, so we're all crossing our fingers here...


John said...

I hope you stay safe.

Leigh said...

I'm lucky in that my parent's home, as well as my apartment are both in very manicured areas with less wild areas nearby to catch fire. My biggest problem is my asthma with all this smoke and ash in the air.

My aunt's house in San Diego, and my friend's house in Irvine are both threatened by the flames themselves.