I went up to Oakland yesterday for a meeting, so I took one of those commuter flights from Burbank (the same plane just goes back and forth to Oakland all day long). It was really great to see Southern California out of the window of the plane. I’ve never actually seen it this way, I’ve never flown north before from here during the day. As we got north of Los Angeles county, I spotted a few small brush fires in the hills, but that’s not at all uncommon. I have no sense of where I was, so I’m not sure which fires they are.
On the way back in the evening the captain came over the loudpseaker and announced that there was a large brush fire north of Los Angeles and that we’d be flying through the smoke and we shouldn’t be alarmed if we begin to smell smoke in the cabin. He reminded us that we’re not on fire.
Sure enough, we went through the very dense smoke for about a half a minute and sure enough, not only did it smell like smoke in the cabin, my eyes were actually stinging.
(photo from NASA’s Earth Observatory and taken on 9/13/06 … I hope they put up some more recent images tomorrow)
The fire is called the Day Fire and is located south of Pyramid Lake and west of I-5. It’s already 80,000 acres so if you’re driving up there keep an eye out for any road closures or diversions. The temps are low right now, but the humidity is as well.