There’s a remarkable amount of smoke in the skies here in Los Angeles. Strangely there is little or no wind to accompany this super-hot day, and so the smoke is largely staying over the region where the fires are – the San Gabriel mountains, North of La Canada, Altadena, etc.
There was a bit of movement of the smoke overnight, and early this morning (while the sun shone dull and red like a sunset instead of a sunrise) there was some ash fall over where I live (I was working outside on some writing while it was still cool), a good number of miles away from the fires, in the city of Los Angeles itself, but this seems to have gone away. So there are clear skies in all directions, and then ominous-looking mushroom clouds in one direction. It is odd. This stillness is the reason the firefighters are having a lot of difficulty fighting the fires, actually – the smoke is affecting visibility for the various ground and airborne crews. There’s a lot of concern about what the fires will do next, (including a threat to the Mt. Wilson Observatory) and so let’s all keep out fingers crossed for luck. [Update: 6:30pm - I've heard that they have no choice but the let the fires take Mount Wilson. I hope that the Observatory survives ok. If you're not familiar with the significance of the Mount Wilson Observatory, read here and here.]
Here’s a recent (about 5:00pm today) shot of the mushroom clouds of smoke. You can just see the edge of the foothills near the bottom:
(Mount Wilson solar tower camera pictures can be seen here. To the right is one I grabbed last night. Click for larger.)
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):