Someone tossed some matches or a cigarette butt into some brush in Griffith Park around 1:30 this afternoon. Nearly nine hours later, approximately 300 acres have burned, and a massive fire continues to rage through Los Angeles' huge urban park. A huge smoke plume floated over -- and continues to float over -- the entire city, blocking out the brilliant May sunlight. casting a long shadow all the way to Pasadena. The entire city smells like smoke.
On the drive home from work this evening on the 2 north, I looked to my left and saw huge fires raging -- bright, nearly white orange -- on the tops of the hills of Griffith Park. The sky was black with smoke. Helicopters disappeared and emerged from the giant plume. Looking out from our windows here in Eagle Rock, we can see the flames in the distance. It's very unlikely that the fire will spread anywhere near us (the 5 freeway and the L.A. River are between us and the fire), but it's somewhat unsettling to look out your window and see a huge fire lighting up the night sky. It's a bit difficult to just brush your teeth and go to bed in these circumstances. (See this picture taken by Mrs. Octopus.)
The conditions here in L.A. have been ripe for a raging brush fire. We've had the driest winter on record, and early, unseasonal heat.
Welcome to the future.