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    Posted May 16, 2014 by
    Yucca Valley, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    California wildfires

    KatieJune and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Southern California wildfires
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    Smoke over 100 Miles from Fire


    We live in the high desert of SoCal and the smoke from the fires has made its way to our valley. We are up the mountain & about 120 miles NE of the fires. The smoke began to appear here earlier today & has been getting thicker throughout the day. From time to time we smell the smoke, but we are across the valley on the N side of Hwy 62. The photos I have taken are looking S toward Joshua Tree National Park. On a clear day, which is most of our days, we can see the mountains surrounding us. As you can see, the mountains are almost blocked out.
    Our hearts go out to all those who are in the fire area and especially to those who have lost their homes.  Another very sad part of these & all wildlife fires are the Critter Homes that have been destroyed.  As you can see on the news, the area of North San Diego County is full of old tree growth and chapparal which is home to so many critters.  It's scary to see what these fires can do & it looks like we're probably in for many more in the future. (fingers crossed I'm wrong)  Global warming who knows, but we are in a long drought with apparently not much hope in the near future to change things.  I just wanted to mention the critters because I don't ever hear any mention of their homes being destroyed when I watch the news coverage.  The closest mention in my experience was yesterday I think, when a teenage boy pointed out a terrified Coyote running through their neighborhood ahead of the 100 ft. flames!   Our homes can be rebuilt in a short period of time...theirs NOT so easy.   How Sad!  Bless them all.
    We experienced the horror of nearby wildfire back in 2006 with the Sawtooth Fire. Our home sits on the edge of the canyon backed up to the Sawtooth Mountains. We were lucky enough to have the wonderful Firemen from Rialto spend a couple of days camped out in our driveway watching the fire coming up to the top of the mountain. We had the fire retardant dropped all around our land & surrounding mountains which I'm sure is what stopped the fire from coming into our neighborhood at the NW end of town.


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