Montecito is burning (only Montecito could come up with a name as genteel as the Tea Fire). A friend in Santa Barbara described the situation yesterday like something out of a movie: It's like Apocalypse Now - dozens of Heli's, air tankers and they expect the big DC10 air tanker at any moment. They are throwing all they have got at it to try and get the upper hand before the winds pick up this afternoon.
And now Sylmar is burning, again. I took the dogs up to the Betty Dearing Lookout at 6 this morning (off of Mullholland and Laurel Pass) and we chatted with two lovely bikers who'd been up all night (black t-shirts, in each others' arms, still slightly drunk) and watched as the great Portuguese Man O'War which hangs over the National Forest in an indescribably pretty shade of purple gray gave way to flare-ups of bright orange which burst through the smoke. No birds this morning, oddly, but the whooshing buzz of bees in the pepper trees as we passed by. The LA Times has more information. The picture is only impressive if you realize that it is taken from at least 20 miles away.
Think good thoughts for everyone and pray that no more homes are lost.