Thursday, October 25, 2007

california wildfires - (still) poisonous air

so things are supposedly least, the fires are better up in the mountains. but the smoke is sort of worse down in the Los Angeles basin.

if you look at the real-time Google map of the burn areas on my previous post (reference: wildfire california - (more) poisonous air), you'll see that many of the wildfires are under control.

thing is, i woke up this morning, and found i couldn't breath. i was wheezing just to get from the bed to the bathroom. my nose has been bleeding constantly. i've still got a headache, and i've been feeling lightheaded to boot. and all this was before i even got out of my apartment to go to class.

the air smells of ash. it's that distinct pungent odor of soot mixed with burned-out dirt and dead wood. and it's everywhere.

it's also thick: normally you can see all the way to the mountains from campus, which is about 12-15 miles, but today you couldn't even see the skyline, which is only 1 mile away.

i don't even want to know what it's doing to my lungs. i decided to go to the gym and get some training in, figuring a workout indoors would be safe...wrong. the tightness in my chest stayed with me through the entire workout, and i noticed that my breath had the distinct smell of smoker's mouth (you know, cigarettes)--and i don't smoke.

a friend of mine decided to do the big F-U to the fires, and went out for bike ride yesterday afternoon. he had to stop 12 miles in because of chest pains. by evening he was coughing up black stuff. today, he's still hacking and suffering just to make it through class. just peachy.

i was going to stay on campus and try to do some work, but i figured enough was enough and decided to go home. not that it's an improvement, but at least i can get more comfortable.

and at least i've got a place to stay. i pity all the people who don't even have that.

not that it helps, but here's a series of satellite images over the past few days.

this is today:compare it to yesterday:and then check out the day before, yeah. things are improving. maybe? somewhere? somehow?

well, somebody tell when they do. cuz right now, things are still pretty miserable.

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