For those who don't live around here: it smells like a campfire. The smoke permeates everything (the smell woke me this morning). The sky is white with it. Little flakes of ash float in the air like snow.
In the mountains above Sierra Madre, the pretty, Mayberry-esque community bordering Pasadena to the east, firefighters battle a brush fire that began Saturday. It still burns this morning. Over 1,000 people have evacuated their homes.
Yesterday in downtown Sierra Madre, people stood on the sidewalks and pointed toward the hills. Every conversation was about the fires. Command central was the Sierra Madre Recreation Center, its parking lot filled with vehicles from every surrounding fire department you could think of, including Pasadena's. A few firemen took a break at one end of the lot. At the other end, the news media set up their cameras to get the best views.
In this photo, a couple watches a fixed-wing air tanker drop orange flame retardant on the fire above their neighborhood. Across the street from the Recreation Center was this sign: