Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Los Angeles back to normal

We have had a miserable couple of weeks in Los Angeles. The huge fire in the Angeles forest is still only about 60% contained, but the fire has moved east, away from populated areas, and the wind is now blowing the smoke further east rather than into the city. Temperatures have dropped by more than 10 degrees. It's actually beautiful today.

When the fires were burning I could see flame from my bedroom window. The fires I could see were about 10 miles away on the sides of the hills above La Crescenta and La Canada. The first night of the fires the flames were near the top of the ridge but on the other side, rather than flames I could only see the orange glow of the flames reflected on the under side of the clouds. But by the next day the fires had come over the ridge and were moving down the hills. My house was in no actual danger, and although I could see that some houses were threatened that was not much danger for anyone in the area I could see. But still it was disturbing to see the flames burning all night. And then especially disconcerting as they continued night after night with the fire for several days getting steadily larger.

On top of that there was very little wind so the smoke settled into the LA Basin and just stayed put. The air was thick. It smelled. News reports told people to limit activity and stay inside. Even with minimal exposure I could feel myself getting sick: respiritory symptoms like a cold or allerigies, fatigue, and a headache. And being warned away from exercise also meant suffering through the usual symptoms I experience when I'm disconnected from my gym days and cycling: more fatigue, depression, and decreased spiritual health.

It's great to be back to normal

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