I spent much of the afternoon and evening yesterday up in Angeles National Forest photographing the fires and general devastation up there. You can see some of the photos in my Station Fire photo album. The Associated Press has licensed a couple of them – and I’m pretty psyched about that. Let me know if you see them anywhere. (And, in the “dubious honor” department, my smoky Hollywood Sign image is on the front page of the Drudge Report as I write.)
Once past the police checkpoints, it got very eerie. The roads were debris-strewn and entire neighborhoods abandoned. I explored the neighborhoods briefly but decided to save that for evening.
Once up into the forest, I was prepared for the flames and the smoke – but not the sound. It was perhaps the oddest sound I’d ever heard. Not just the roaring-freight-train sound you’d expect a mountainside of fire to sound like – but a strange, squealy-popping sound – almost like a cackling scream. There were lines of fire everywhere. It was really touch-and-go and “intense” is understating it.
It was a humbling experience; I hope to write more later – but for now, check the images.