May 9, 2007
Yesterday was crazy here at the homestead. Southern California is usually a pretty fantastic place to live, particularly considering the weather and the surroundings, but when LA gets slammed by nature, nature doesn’t mess around. As you probably heard, there was a brush fire in Griffith Park yesterday (and still burning today). Griffith Park is near the Hollywood sign, and is home to the Griffith Park Observatory, hiking trails, a golf course, the LA Zoo, and lots more. Griffith Park is in Los Feliz. We live in a neighborhood called Silverlake, just next to Los Feliz.
I was trying to work yesterday afternoon (I say “trying” because I wasn’t coming up with anything particularly useful), and I saw smoke from what I assumed was a house fire across the reservoir. When I looked more closely, I could tell it wasn’t just a house. I took this picture from the deck.
A few hours later, the LA Fire Department started flying helicopters to the Silverlake Reservoir (the lake in front of our house) and taking water back to the fire. The first time I saw a helicopter strafe our house, I was a little freaked out.
AEJ and I headed outside to street level for a closer look at the choppers.
The smoke was still pretty bad.
Then they brought in the big guns. I’m not a fan of flying — and being in this low-flying plane would freak me out.
We weren’t the only people who were interested in checking out the choppers.
The squirrels were curious, too.
It was pretty exciting — and loud.
The fire had seemed to be under control, but as it got darker, the wind shifted, they had to stop flying the huge planes, and the fire got worse. Now we could see flames on our side of the hill.
The fire department doubled up the number of fire choppers, flying them not just to the far side of the reservoir as before, but also to our side of the reservoir — literally in front of the house. This was shot from our deck.
I wasn’t the only one taking pictures. (That’s Ed, our landlord.)
The smoke got blacker…
And the flames started to look almost like lava.
It was surreal. Last I heard, no houses were seriously damaged, and the fire fighters, so far, are all still unhurt. A few minutes ago, they resumed the helicopter runs to the reservoir, so that’ll be a fun distraction out my studio window throughout the day. Ah, the excitement of Southern California…