Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stuck in a Post-Apocolyptic Hell

There's a fire burning behind the mountains of Santa Barbara a few miles away, and for the past three weeks or so we've had on and off ash downpours. Usually it's a slight sprinkly over night, and you can't really notice it until you go to your car in the morning and there's a very fine layer of ash on your vehicle.

About two weeks ago it was literally raining a heavy downpour of ash when the wind shifted direction for a day and blew the flame and smoke directly into town. There was a brief health warning issued for the city a while ago, but again, as wind changed direction it was just as quickly dismissed.

For the past couple days there's been a slightly noticeable increase in ash coverage, and it didn't look like it was going to stop coming into the end of the week. This morning I awoke to a pretty awesome sight.

Usually in the morning the sunlight peeks through the bottom six inches of my barely pulled blinds, and I can see the light coming in around the edges of my bedroom's doorframe from the hallway. This morning was different. I didn't catch that slice of light under my blinds, nor did I see the small glow around my door. There was no birds chirping outside as usual, and it felt like it was the middle of the night.

I went through my morning routine and got ready to head out the door to work before I even noticed anything about the sky. When I opened the front door, however, I was blasted full body by a blanket of red atmosphere. The entire sky seemed like it was on fire, though it was just the color of the fire bouncing off of the mixture of smoke and morning grog.

I already had my sunglasses on so it wasn't too much of an extreme situation, but it couldn't have been healthy to look directly upwards today. It resembled the setting put out by all the movies ever done about travels to Mars, with a reddish/orange tint all over everything in the range of visible sunlight.

Once I got into the office, my eyes seemed to be overcorrecting my vision, as I was quickly eyewashed with a room full of blueish tint. I closed all the blinds in the office, yet the orange/red light was visible from pretty much any open crease for the majority of the day. By the end of the work day the warm-colored overhead seemed to dissipate a bit, and I was able to come home to a bit of regularity.

Hopefully when I awake tomorrow I'll be able to move freely and breathe without hassle. The fire department is saying that September 7th is the expected full containment date. If I have to live in this post-nuclear wasteland for much longer, I will be pissed. Trust me.

Until next time.

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