Today is the second full day of a serious wildfire in our vicinity, the coastal redwood forests of the northern part of Santa Cruz County, California. The fire is large, and largely uncontained at this point, but so far has not taken any lives or structures. Also, while only about four miles from us, geography (it's on the other side of a steep mountain) and prevailing winds are keeping our San Lorenzo Valley from danger.
Above: a panorama of smoke from the fire, made from five frames. This view is from a vista point along California Highway 9 about halfway along my workaday commute from Boulder Creek to Cupertino. Ft. Harrington is located just a little bit left of the center of the panorama; Monterey Bay and the more distant mountains of Big Sur are at left. If you click on this to see it larger (and I urge that you do!), it will take you to a 2500-pixel wide version that you can scroll around for good detail.
The fire is called the "Lockheed" fire because it is suspected to have started somewhere near a research facility that Lockheed-Martin has atop Ben Lomond Mountain. There is no current suspicion that the facility had anything to do with the fire (and the campus is not in danger from the flames at present), but the folks at Lockheed are probably not happy with the name.
The research facility is near the location of two of my favorite photos:
I hope this lovely home of horses has been spared.
[Click here for a short time-lapse movie of smoke billowing over the top of Ben Lomond Mountain.]