It has been burning since the beginning of July, but it's been really close to the top of the mountain since the end of July. Variously we have beautiful clear blue skies that look like there is no trouble brewing over the ridge, and then we have days like today. Today there is this smokey overtone that looks like someone took a sepia-colored paintbrush to the entire visible world. The houses look paler, the trees are grayer, and the sky is brown. You can smell the smoke in the air. It's heavy and gross and potentially really dangerous.
The big concern is regarding the possibility of a sun-downer. These are great windstorms that could blow the fire up over the mountain and right down to the ocean. Apparently, this is what happened with the last big fire to hit this area in the 90s. There was a fire burning on the mountain, and within a day it had burned its way down the mountain destroying all the houses in its path and burned itself out at the ocean. Let's hope history isn't planning to repeat itself quite so soon.
I wouldn't say I'm afraid, but I am trying to get prepared, in case something bad does happen -- even if the "bad" is just that we have no power or water pressure drops to practically zilch. I've seen several disaster preparation checklists, and it just doesn't look like much fun, but these things seldom are. The big thing, right now, is to make sure we have gas in the car and our phones charged up and ready to go. Tonight we'll be doing some assessing of what we'd need to have with us if we needed to evacuate quickly. For now, there is no alert or evacuation order for our area, but you never know until the winds change (quite literally).
With way too many things running through my mind, I'm having trouble actually getting work done. I'm distracted easily and can't concentrate on anything difficult. I've been trying to investigate the same thing for the last two hours, and it should only be a 30-minute thing. You should see how long it's taken me to type this up.
Meanwhile, I had to call the customer that I've been trying to do the investigating for this morning, and they are in Houston with no power because of Tropical Storm Erin. Ah the irony. I love the irony.