Here in Victorville we aren't impacted by the flames directly, but the smoke from the fires has been horrendous. With the slight on shore flow the smoke has been wafting straight at us from two of the fires. The Oak Glenn fire is to the south east of us, and the Station fire is to the west. When you look at the sky during the day it's clear to see the plumes of smoke from both.
I've been painting the outside of my house, so Sunday I spent all day out in the smoke. My eyes have been burning constantly since then. You know when you go camping and you make fire? Occasionally the wind will shift and the smoke will come into your face and burn you eyes. Imagine that sensation happening all day long, that's what it's been like here. Ash is coming down on everything too. Between Apple Valley and Victorville there is a road that passes over the Mojave River between some rock formations. That formation is less then a quarter mile from where I work. Yesterday (Monday) I couldn't even see those rocks. When I went outside for a smoke last night the moon looked like a giant orange in the sky. You can't see any stars, but there is one orange dot that you can see which I believe is Jupiter.
Today it is overcast, it semmed like it might rain and then that would knock down most of the smoke, but I think the clouds are just trapping the smoke. Hopefully, it won't be any worse today, and this is not the worst smoke from fires that we've experinced here in the High Desert. A couple of years ago the smoke from a fire in Lake arrowhead almost blocked out the sun. It was weird I was able to stare at the sun, because it appear to be the brightness of the moon that year. So to keep it in perspective it could be worse, and I don't have to evacuate my house due to flames. It's seems like the last 4 or 5 years we get hit with this every year. The only thing is this year it started earlier in the fire season (which really only just started last month).
I don't know if anyone is familiar with the 10 tanker (http://www.10tanker.com/
). It is a converted DC-10 that puts out huge sections of advancing flames. It is stationed here at Victorville out at the old George Air Force Base. I do the patches, hats and other embroidery for the pilots and crew. It has been fighting the fires and I've been watching it fly out to hit the flames. A little side note to Collin: Even though the 10 tanker is stationed here, much of the crew comes from Texas. They really are a great group of guys. The Evergreen 747 Jumbo tanker is also going to be stationed here, but it still has some testing to complete before it is thrown into service.