The fires in southern California are finally under control, after a week of firefighting, mass evacuations and many destryoed homes. I'm currently on a 2-week educational programme just south of Los Angeles. I arrived here with the fires, about 10 days ago, and although there were no fires in the immediate vicinity of my location, until a couple of days ago the air smelt heavily of smoke. In the first few days, there was a cloud of black smoke in the sky.
Orange County is a beautiful place. So serene, so green and so obviously wealthy. And yet when natural disasters like these wildfires strike, suddenly everything seems so fragile. Some of the local people I'm with were on stand-by to evacuate. Suddenly, one has to decide what to salvage from home that can fit in the car: photographs, valuables, documents. I thought what I would have done in such a situation and there are no easy answers.
Now that the sun is finally shining again and the air is (relatively) fresh, I look forward to the few more days I have here.