Without the usual Santa Ana winds that accompany these infernos, the plume of smoke from the fires rises 20,000 feet into the air. A giant mushroom cloud probably visible from space. I took this from my front porch a few hours ago. Last night I drove along the base of the foothill freeway for about 15 miles watching the fires burn. You don't expect them to be mesmerizing, but they are. Terrible and beautiful at the same time.
Imagine mile-long strings of giant orange Christmas lights draped over the dark mountains and you'll get the picture. Red light glowing from behind the ranges not yet burning, and right next to the fire lines, thousands of paler lights from the homes that rest in the canyons and passes of the foothills. The prediction is that firefighters won't even get this thing contained until September 8th. Walls of flame 100 feet high. Less than 10% humidity. Brush that hasn't burned in 40 years. That's a BIG fire. An epic fire.