As you can see, winds throughout the night cleared out some of the darkest of the smoke clouds. The shot above was taken a few minutes ago, from our driveway, looking South toward Acton. Unfortunately, that is new smoke from the rapidly growing Acton fire, which is moving North, in our direction. It's still 12 miles away, and there's hours of dense brush that would have to burn before the fire reaches us, as well as several fairly high mountains (3000-4200-foot elevations) to cross. Our house sits at an elevation of about 2800 feet.
Until about a half hour ago, there were no airplanes in the air around Action and the head of Delta Rescue, one of the largest dog and cat rescue organizations, located in Acton, was on a local radio station bitterly complaining about the lack of air power. The super scoopers are not due to arrive from Northern California until tomorrow. In the past few minutes, though, I have seen and heard smaller fire-fighting air power headed in the direction of the fire. At I write, Governor Arnold is holding a press conference, and the questions from the residents are testy---they need information. A fire official tried to shine the people on with jargon-speak, and Gov. Arnold interrupted and said: "Let's give these people the name of someone here, right now, so they aren't lacking information." He's pretty cool, and suddenly several specific names materialized.
Yesterday the fire was able to travel over 10 miles in 8 hours in many sections of this massive fire, which stretches across a total line of nearly 125 miles. The concern at the moment is the mid-morning winds, which are blowing about 25 m.p.h; the higher risk, however, are the Sundowners, which come up around 5 p.m., and can blow upwards of 40 m.p.h. The winds that the fire itself kick up often reach speeds of upwards of 80 m.p.h.
Thanks to everyone for their well wishes! Robin, yes, I just remembered to email the book to myself---I have been off for several days while Kimberly, Karyn's sister visits, and while the sisters caught up on all the news, I wrote nearly 35 more pages, so I didn't have a backup of the new stuff until this morning. But I double insured by emailing it to myself, as Robin suggested. We're OK Ann, and yes, A-Lady, it's alarmingly close.
I will update briefly throughout the day.