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This is the view of my back yard about a month ago-- the day one of the biggest fires in California history started, by arson, about 30 miles from our home. The sky was blue but we soon realized the "white clouds" were smoke.
The smoke grew so big that it looked like a giant mushroom cloud over the city. This smoke literally goes 20,000 feet UP.
For days and weeks our view looked like this during the day-- Thick with dark smoke. Ash was everywhere and it was hard to breath. The temperatures were usually over 100 degrees.
The fires grew and grew until the smoke covered the entire 180 degree view from our yard. 89 homes were lost in the fire and miles of national forest and neighborhoods were burned.
But as of this past week, the fires are now mostly "contained" and the winds have picked up a little helping to clear away a lot of the smoke. For the first time, in a very long time, we could actually see the HOLLYWOOD sign again through the trees!
And today, I took this picture. The white you see against the beautiful blue sky are actually clouds-- glorious smoke-free clouds!
Even though we were blessed and never in any direct danger, it was a scary time for us. I know a number of people who live much closer to the fires and either had their cars packed to flee or were evacuated. They could have lost their homes but thankfully did not.
Everyone in Los Angeles is so grateful to all the firefighters and first responders who have, and continue to, work to put these fires out. There are no words to express our deep and sincere gratitude.
Today I pay special homage to two brave firefighters who lost their lives while working this blaze which grew to more then 250 square miles. Arnie Quinones and Ted Hall were killed when their fire engine rolled down a hill while they were trying to escape flames on August 30, 2009.
This past week, on August 25, Lori Quinones, wife of the deceased firefighter, Arnie, gave birth to their baby daughter Sophia Grace.
My city-- Los Angeles-- is the City of Angels. I hope the angels watch over Sophia and her mother Lori.
How is your Sunday?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna