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Through The Nikon Glass

Yorba Linda and Brea Fire Photos - 11/15/08

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by , 11-16-2008 at 09:26 AM
So yesterday I'm shopping at Fry's, and when I walked out around 9:45 AM, I knew it was going to be a bad day. The Santa Anas were howling and smoke was suddenly in the air, coming from the East, somewhere up near the 91 freeway. I drove home hoping they could jump on it quickly before it got out of control. About an hour later, my son walks in and announces that this fire is starting to look pretty bad. I grabbed my camera and went up on the roof to have a look around.

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/Fire081.jpg[/IMG]

The smoke was certainly worse as I looked East, but what concerned me more was that a new fire had broken out above Brea to our North...(You can see how hard the wind was blowing by the shape of our palm trees.)

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire087.jpg[/IMG]


After about 1PM or so, I went back up only to find that the Yorba Linda Fire seemed to be exploding with a mushroom shaped cloud beginning to fill the sky to the East...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire082-1.jpg[/IMG]


At the same time, the flames from the Brea fire were now visible from our house...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0817.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0818.jpg[/IMG]


Neither fire seemed to be an immediate threat to us, so I wasn't too concerned about having to evacuate. But I have to admit I was somewhat alarmed when the wind shifted and the towering cloud of smoke from Yorba Linda came directly over our house...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire089.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0810.jpg[/IMG]


All of a sudden, it was like the apocalypse. The sun turned blood red and the clouds of smoke were like something out of Independence Day...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0812.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0813.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0814.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0816.jpg[/IMG]


After the wind shifted a bit...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0815.jpg[/IMG]


...I grabbed my camera and headed to the corner of Bastanchury and State College, which offers a panoramic view of North Orange County. I had to park a couple blocks away and walk up the hill as it seemed that every photographer in OC had the same idea...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0835.jpg[/IMG]


On a clear day, from that intersection, (across the street from the Summit House restaurant) you can see all the way into downtown LA and catch a glimpse of the Santa Monica Mountains. On the other side, you can see Mt. San Bernardino. Yesterday, however, the 91 was completely buried in smoke...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0819.jpg[/IMG]

and the view towards LA was equally hazy and filled with smoke...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0827.jpg[/IMG]


The flames were easily visible across the valley...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0829.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0825.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0826.jpg[/IMG]


Notice the traffic on the 57 in the foreground. All of the Northbound traffic was taken off at Lambert...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0822.jpg[/IMG]

Helicopters were making regular water dropping runs...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0830.jpg[/IMG]


Here's the view of the sky back towards Disneyland...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0833.jpg[/IMG]


On my way home, I stopped in Brea, several blocks from the fire line, and walked over to Lambert and Associated. As I was walking, I kept looking at thick black smoke seemingly right behind these homes...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0837.jpg[/IMG]

Why weren't these people evacuating?

Keeping an eye on the smoke, I quickened my pace and finally came to the intersection. It seemed that most of these residents were chatting, watching the walls of flame on the other side of Lambert...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0836.jpg[/IMG]


The fire department was hard at work, and some of the news vans were just arriving...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0841.jpg[/IMG]


[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0840.jpg[/IMG]


As the flames were just on the other side of the street, I promised myself I would take off as soon as the wind shifted. In the mean time, the people next to me were walking dogs, pushing strollers, and chatting...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0838.jpg[/IMG]


Before too long, a loud roar came from over head, and a helicopter appeared for a drop...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0851.jpg[/IMG]


[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0849.jpg[/IMG]


[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0848.jpg[/IMG]


This fireman was videotaping...maybe for study later?

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0852.jpg[/IMG]


As I was photographing, the flames got bigger...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0847.jpg[/IMG]

and bigger...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0846.jpg[/IMG]


until I finally figured out it was time to go...

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/Pythonrules/DLR%202008-09/fire0843.jpg[/IMG]


I left the corner and raced back to my truck. The dog walkers, stroller pushers and other folks just kept watching. As it turned out, the fire was contained without crossing Lambert, but that was plenty close enough for me. I left for home where we prayed for the safety of the fire fighters and those who were affected by the fires. I can't wait until the rainy season begins, and this year's fire season comes to an end. I'd like to think we won't continue to have devastating fires like these every year, but I think we've had them now for about 4 years in a row. Whatever happened to El Nino?

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Updated 11-16-2008 at 07:18 PM by Mac Daddy

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Comments

  1. knittingknerd's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh, that's so scary. Seriously I know I'm going to sound like a broken record to everyone in that area: don't be a hero if it looks scary at all leave! Grab your stuff (clothes a good trick is to grab your hamper because that's the stuff you wear) and go.
  2. Rixter's Avatar
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    Absolutely breathtaking. It seems that wildfires have taken the place of earthquakes as our official state disaster.
  3. Wendygirl's Avatar
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    Wow! Those photos of the smoke and stuff are amazing. It did look like Independence Day.

    Sad day. I see now that Diamond Bar is involved.
  4. mark's Avatar
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    So sad to see my "mother land" once again up in flames!