October 14, 2008 - The billowing smoke of yesterday has become a permeating brown haze. All the windows in my house are closed, but the smell of smoke fills each room. I'm running the fan just to pull smoke out of the air, but I feel the layer of soot on my skin.
The fires are miles away, across the valley, yet the wind has been blowing this direction since the burning began. A smudgy russet veil colors everything. The band-tailed pigeons sit nervously in the neighbor's eucalyptus tree. They can't seem to decide if it is safe to come down from their perch.
A feeling of hesitancy hangs heavy. Sirens blare, speeding down the street. Where are these fire trucks headed? Has the wind really stopped? Is this place safe? Where is the fire now?
While the fire departments work tirelessly, we all wait. Wait to see if the wind will die down. Wait to see which direction the fire will head. Pray that watchful eyes will spot any new blazes before they become roaring flames worthy of a name.