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I've been following the news about the wildfires in California and up the west coast. I've been to Napa Valley and other areas now devastated, so it's a bit more personal - but even without a direct connection, it's been really terrifying. I recall the awful news reports from the wildfires in Portugal earlier this year, too. The speed and devastation of fast-moving fires is frightening - and fire is one of the hazards that can strike anywhere.

And that "anywhere" can be very close to home; it seems that this morning, while I was still asleep, a house just up the street (less than a quarter-mile away) burned, and I slept through the arrival of fire engines and the surrounding chaos. The good news is that the people and pets got out safely, but the damage is considerable... I do have smoke detectors in my house, and I change the batteries annually, and there's a small fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen, but it's still jarring to be reminded how easily disasters (great or small) can crop up.


It's very scary.

My sister is in San Francisco; she is trying to stay inside, and does not go out without a filter mask. She just send me a photo of SF, with what looks like a blanket of fog, but it's not, it's smoke from the fires.

She has heard from the folks she knows in Napa and in Santa Rosa, and they are okay. But the situation is very volatile and very worrying.

A slightly amusing note, though: she said she heard someone joking that Trump was going to come to town and throw bottles of Perrier to the crowds. Ba dum dum!


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