Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fires Very Visible From The Air As We Fly Into LA [Updated]

It got up to 50˚F (10˚C) in Anchorage yesterday and about 60% of our yard was snow free.  Unusual for mid December in Anchorage.

Our red-eye to LA was pretty uneventful - which is a good thing - but as we flew over what was about where Santa Barbara should be, I could see the fires in the mountains.  There was one big raging conflagration and then many little ones scattered all over.  These pictures demonstrate why I need to get serious about learning how to take control of my camera.  It works pretty well under normal circumstances, but not in unusual ones, like taking night pictures of forest fires from an airplane.  The first shot was the biggest fire.

Mind you, that's way off in the distance, and we were 30 minutes out of LA, so maybe a pilot can figure out what our elevation probably was - well over 10,000 feet I would guess.

These next two pictures are more 'artistic.'  The lens was open a long time so there's some jiggle and lots of reflection in the window.  This is with a wider angle view.  It gives a better sense of there being fire in a lot of different places, not just one ridge.

And this last one shows totally different hot spots.

As we got closer to LA we headed out over the ocean, so if there were any fires closer to LA I couldn't see them from the right side of the plane.

 My computer tells me it was 48˚F at 7 am in LA.  

UPDATE 4:30pm:  We got the bus to my mom's house, slept until 2pm, then I biked to the beach and up along the coast.  Felt great.  The only sign of the fires was smoke along the mountains to the north.
You can see that as you get closer, things clear up a bit.

From Santa Monica pier looking north.

A couple miles closer and you can see where the mountains meet the ocean.

Another mile closer and you can distinguish three different points meeting the ocean.


  1. My homeland. Terrible, if a collaterally beautiful sight, to see fire so large. I lived in Santa Barbara/Montecito for over two years and regularly some demented person would start a fire in the mountains behind the city, near Montecito -- but this time it's different...and seems the way of the future somehow... Gia is fighting back, all over the earth.

  2. Good to hear from you Barbara. We do have to be ready to change how we live. And we do have viable choices. A carbon fee with dividend is the one action that is most achievable and would significantly slow down climate change. The book Drawdown offers many more ways that we can (and many are) working to change how we do things to lower humanity's carbon footprint. But scientist predict our time for acting to stop the most serious impacts is getting shorter.


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