I couldn’t go to work today — the freeways leading down the hill are closed.

The two fires I’ve been watching all week have merged into one at the Cajon Pass, which is the local high altitude point between my home and the communities “down the hill.” The fires in Southern California now stretch in a line (not unbroken) from Claremont to Riverside, and up to Arrowhead Lake and Big Bear.

The wind is strong up here — but as long as I see it blowing from the East, I’m less concerned than I might be. The Santa Ana winds that fuel the Southern California wildfires originate East of here, blow through my area, and funnel down through canyons and passes, picking up velocity and strength, before they dissipate over the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a hot wind. In the fifties, they called in the Red Wind, because when it blew, tempers would rise and blood would spill.

Tens of thousands of acres have burned. Hundreds of homes have been lost.

I’ve got about twenty miles or so between my house and the nearest fire line.

Airports are shut down in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ontario because they had to evacuate an air traffic radar tower in San Diego.

The Governor has declared Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties Emergency areas. Hopefully this will lead to FEMA and National Guard help in fighting these blazes — local firefighters are strapped.

Sorry for the ramble… I’m just writing what comes to me.

A few days ago, I spoke about all of this with some wonder. That remains… but now, with the high school down the street designated an evacuation center…

It’s astounding, is all.

Here’s a satellite image of what’s going on around here.