The winds snapped a large branch off our tree. (10/22/07)
Our house is not anywhere near hills or brush. We're basically surrounded by thousands of other homes that are also not near any hills or brush. But that's not to say that we haven't been affected by the winds or fires.
For example, we woke up Monday morning to find that the winds snapped a huge branch from our ash tree in the backyard. So there we were at 7:00 a.m. trying to cut the branch down to prevent any further damage (FYI, we don't normally dress in our pajamas when doing yard work).
James assesses the damage. (10/22/07)
Because half of the branch extended into the yard of our next door neighbors, it turned out we couldn't do much without enlisting their help later.
The other big thing we're dealing with is smoke. Lots of it. The whole sky is filled with smoke, as you can see from the picture I snapped during my morning commute to work. The smoke didn't let up the entire day, nor will it for several days to come.
The sun barely visible through the smoke. (10/22/07)
On top of all that, our swimming pool is absolutely filthy from all the leaves and dirt in the air. And the backyard is a total mess. Of course our problems are infinitesimal compared to the people who have been evacuated from their homes, or worse, lost their homes altogether.
Smoke billows about a mile from where I work. (10/22/07)
One last thing. I do want to give a shout-out to all the hardworking firefighters who have put themselves on the front lines in battling these intense fires. These guys rock, and we certainly appreciate their hard work.