Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day Two

These three photos were taken on the afternoon of May 6th in the space of about 40 minutes that started with an almost clear sky. We were lulled into a false sense of well-being during the day because the winds were blowing away from Santa Barbara during the day and the smoke could barely be detected in the sky. At about 3:30 pm an incredible windstorm blew in and everything changed.

I left this location at the office where I work and went home (six blocks toward the smoke you see here) through 60 mph wind gusts laden with smoke and huge hunks of ash raining down. It was 95 degrees before the windstorm and the temperature steadily rose during. These winds pushed the fires into the residential areas of the foothills above Santa Barbara, so homes have been lost once again. Not nearly as many as in the Tea Fire, but similar conditions are expected again today so anything could happen despite the increased air support coming in to fight the fires from the air today.

It is Thursday morning, day three. Our car is packed and we are home despite being under evacuation orders. We are watching news reports and observing conditions and are ready to leave at a moment's notice. Thanks to everyone who has called to offer concern, support, and a place to go if we have to leave. We are grateful for our friends and families always, but especially appreciate your support now.

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