Tuesday, November 3, 2009

an ashen-packed lunch

I had lunch plans with my co-worker Rod, who recently bought a house down the street from me. As he was waiting for me to hit send on one last email, he noticed huge smoke clouds out the window, billowing over what looked like Lincoln Park.

First thing we did was call the non-emergency cop line and ask if our houses were burning down. "Where do you live?" the dispatcher asked. Upon being told, she assured us that oh no, it's south of there.

The next thing we did was hop in the car and follow the smoke. And then once we got close, we found a taquería (Tacos Mexico at the corner of Garey and Olive), sat in the window, and watched the tankers.

And man, were the tankers out in force. There were two fixed-wings and three choppers, all dropping what looked like black paint. They got the fired knocked down in pretty short order, too. When we arrived, at 12:30 or so, the hillside south of the 71 had a number of rivulets of flame running along it, plus giant plumes of smoke. By the time I'd eaten my ceviche tostada and Rod his chile relleno, no flame was visible and the hillside was steaming more than it was smoking. And the car was covered in ash.

As for Tacos Mexico, it was perfectly fine but nothing special, for the most part. Too bad the fire didn't occur tomorrow -- we could have enjoyed 60¢ tacos!

And yes, that photo is by me.


Pride in Garfield Park said...

Same fire as this?


meg said...

Yup, that selfsame one!

Anonymous said...

It REALLY messed up my trip home from work.
Mine & several thousand others on the 57 & 60 frwys.

Robin said...

I saw 7 separate columns of smoke rising into the air. Two red and yellow tanker plans, flying in tandem, flew over the house repeatedly, very low, on their way to the fire and the lake. Kids in the nearby school yard screamed with excitement because the planes were so low. TV news showed a pickup truck that had a catalytic converter on fire to be the most likely culprit... the truck fire had ignited cardboard boxes that flew into brush alongside the freeway.