I got a call from grandma Monday night. Steckle Park was on fire. That's where she and my late grandpa used to take us (me and my sis) to see the peacocks when we were kids. She's lived in Santa Paula for her entire life (92 years now) and she told me the Santa Anas were some of the strongest she's seen in years. She didn't have to evacuate... her home was far enough away from the fast moving flames. I was relieved. But throughout the night, the fire spread quickly -- moving west into Ventura -- where I grew up.
This is when things got surreal. I was watching aerial coverage of the fire from L.A. stations here at KOGO while I was live on the air. I saw neighborhoods I knew well exploding. Some of my old high school classmates lived in these homes that were now on fire. For all I know, their parents still lived there.
I texted a friend from elementary school last night. Bob and his family lived in a beautiful, ocean view home in the hills of Ventura, where the fire was burning. I asked about his parents. They had to evacuate and were safe with him... and the good news is -- their house survived. Some of their neighbors weren't as fortunate. In fact, Bob told me a large neighborhood known as Ondulando was 90% gone. Mind boggling.
The weather is expected to be bad here in San Diego over the next few days. Be sure to take precautions. You never know when or where the next fire will break out.