October 2003 brings us many fires raging through Southern California, all at once of course.
Here's an up-close view early in the week of the Grand Prix Fire near Lytle Creek
just in the foothills near Rancho Cucamonga.
This picture was taken by Jason Dunn who got evacuated from his home there.
The flames are visible from Chino at night. Smoke and ash are everywhere. The sky has been darkened.
The 15 and 210 freeways are sporadically closed.
Here's a link to our local fire site where you can find maps and stuff about our fires.
There is a lot of smoke everywhere. Here's a picture of the smoke as seen in my neighborhood 15 miles away.
You can see the dot where the sun is trying to shine through.
This photo was taken at 9am Saturday morning. Everything is in an orange haze.
And the ash is falling everywhere. My car needed a wash before but now it needs a scrub.
Looks like someone dumped a giant ashtray over the whole area. What a mess.
Later in the day I saw on the internet that San Antonio Heights, north of Upland had received evacuation orders.
I called my friend Kevin Deal who lives there. Kevin is a hifi dealer of mine and runs a great boutique hifi shop called Upscale Audio. He told me was kinda thinking of evacuating. I gave him my cell phone number and told him I would be nearby down the road watching a movie at Mountain Ave. and the 10 Fwy with my pals Will and Vieve and to call me if he needed my help. At around 10pm (during the last scene of Kill Bill) he called and we left to run up the road to his house.
I was able to talk my way through the police blockade and proceed up to Kevin's house where I found him and a few friends frantically packing up anything expensive, of which there were many expensive things: scads of tube amplifiers and a garage full of irreplaceable and rare vacuum tubes. This isn't to mention the Isetta and H-D also in the garage. When I arrived, there was just a glow over to the east over the ridge.
Within 15 minutes flames popped up on the ridge above where Kevin lives. It looked like this:
No, that's not snow. That's ash and embers falling from the sky. It sounded like sleet.
We packed and loaded up cars frantically. All tube amplifiers were welcome in my car.
The local newspaper snapped this shot of Kevin loading up his van with rare vacuum tubes as the fire approached.
Within another 15 minutes the flames were marching down the hill closer and closer to Kevin's house.
Appropriately named, Amber, gets little Willie out safely as the flames get closer.
We took several cars down the hill to bring stuff down to his warehouse. Then we went back up in a van to grab one more load of things. By this time the fire had engaged one or two houses down the street. The whole hillside was ablaze and you could feel the heat bigtime.
An action video of the moment EveAnna tells Kevin it's a good time to leave now...