The Santa Ana wind driving the Southern California fires has eased, offering hope that the fires can be soon contained. Photos in the slideshow above are from the Flickr group Southern California Fires - 2007. Our thoughts are with friends, firefighters and bloggers living, breathing and feeling the fire from way too close.There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
-- Raymond Chandler - Red Wind from Trouble is my Business
Dale Franks at Q&O Blog has a photographic report in "San Diego Fires":
"This volume of displacements easily eclipses the size of the Katrina evacuations in Louisiana. At the same time, however, things seem to be working far better than they did in New Orleans. San Diego's "Superdome" is Qualcomm Stadium, and it is a primary gathering point for refugees. By all accounts, the crowd is calm, and in mostly good spirits, despite the fact that refugees are being accosted by roving bands of clowns. Yes, you read that right. Clowns. With red noses and everything. I can't think of anything that would lower my spirits more, but apparently there are some misguided people who do not believe that clowns are the embodiment of menacing evil."
"The good news is that the wind has died down. The bad news is that the wind has died down.This is the view to the southeast (over the persimmons) to the southeast at about 7:40 this morning.1 That’s not fog. That’s smoke. Bad day if you need to breathe."
"Monday morning I made my usual weekly drive from Palm Springs to San Diego for a few days at the office. I was not fully prepared for what I would encounter. I made my usual journey from I-10, and discovered that route 79 through Banning was closed for some reason, so I took the mountain pass through route 60. There were intense winds blowing sand, making visibility quite difficult. By the time I made it all the way south on the 15, it was nearly 5:00 AM and I-15 was shut down. The wildfire had jumped the freeway, making it impossible to pass. I was diverted along route 78 to the I-5 freeway along the Pacific Ocean coastline. After several hours in the car with Shimi (dog) and Owen (cat), I reached the area where there was evidence of the massive San Diego wildfires that were burning."
"It's been heartbreaking to see the devastation. We watched a local newscaster stand before his burning home yesterday. Again, he was one of many. And that's what we all are -- one of many. A week ago, I was worried about what I was going to do when my comp PDA checks stopped in a month. Compared to those who don't have homes anymore, I feel lucky.Go to the San Diego Red Cross website to find out what you can do. Please. There are so many people who need your help."
"The infernos engulfing thousands of acres in rural and residential Southern California are being amply covered by bloggers in and around the region. Here is a sampling of citizen journalists/live bloggers documenting and photographing the disaster."
"Romance is something that needs to be kept alive as often as you have the chance to do. And what better way to do so than by opting for a romantic getaway in a place that has the right atmosphere, great dining, quiet surroundings and the life of a metropolitan city as San Diego. Why Choose a San Diego Romantic Getaway? San Diego, California boasts of the best possible weather you can wish for year round, mild and gentle never too warm nor too cold. This makes Sand Diego a place that many choose for vacations."
On the other hand, for graduates of the Glenn Beck School of Silver Linings, this could be used as tag-line for an advertising campaign to re-invigorate the San Diego tourist trade. As Chandler wrote, when the Santa Ana blows anything can happen.