The view from my backyard (1-22-07)
On 22 January 2007, a fire started in Thousand Oaks, CA, aided and abetted by Santa Ana winds. It spread to the hills behind my house, affording a rather uncomfortably close view of our very talented firefighters at work.
7:02 PM (PST). At first, the fire seemed content to remain beyond the housing development up on the aforementioned hill.
8:10 PM. Water-dropping helicopters repeatedly swooped over the blaze and, for awhile, the fire seemed to lie down.
8:36 PM. However, the fire rapidly progressed to the south, behind and around those houses, reaching the hill beyond my house shown below. Soon thereafter, the flames came over the ridge and onto our side of the hill.
8:38 PM. The tree at left in the picture below had just burst into flame a minute earlier.
8:57 PM. Weirdest thing? The spectators who came to look at the fire. People parked their cars in and across my (private)driveway, blocking it.
9:17 PM. The firefighters made a firebreak across the hill, and lit backfires to contain the blaze.
10:17 PM. Only embers remain now. We've had a number of fires nearby in recent years, but this was the closest of all. Another bullet dodged.