Normally, our wildfire season happens in the fall, when the hot Santa Ana winds roar off of the high desert. Normally.
Only nothing is normal this year. 30,000 people are under evacuation from Santa Barbara, and we aren't just talking about the wealthy horse properties up the hill. We're talking the heart of the old city (see map). The evacuation area includes the historic Santa Barbara Mission, called the Queen of the Missions. It's not exactly easy to get to Santa Barbara, which perches right against the mountains. And there's nothing behind the city but the sea.
Those of us who have lived through wild fires know the horror of the blood-red sky, the ash like snow covering all the surfaces, the eye-watering, throat-searing, acrid taste of smoke that you can't escape. So do what you do, people, for the firefighters and residents and all the people in Santa Barbara. Because it doesn't much matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal, straight or gay, when the flames of hell come roaring down the hill.