The evacuation line is now about two blocks away from our street, but fortunately the fire is much farther. However the Santa Ana that pushed the fire west will give way this evening to the more usual ocean breezes that flow east and that could bring the fire to us. Here is a picture from shortly after the fire started this morning. All the area in the picture has been evacuated. The chaparral in the foreground makes good fuel once it catches.

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Glad to hear you're safe, Allan, though for what you have to say of the area, this is going to be an ongoing issue.

Have you considered a sprinkler system for your lawn and...!  [grin!]

We're in the middle of a serious drought, and formerly liberal Gov. Brown just signed a bill allowing oil companies to pump more precious water into the ground ("Fracking").  While Los Angeles and other cities are rationing water.

The world is going crazy.

PS: I'm in the San Fernando Valley, and I've been hearing sirens and helicopters for days, but haven't seen any smoke around here  (Knock wood)

@ssk8ycat, did you see on the national news where the number of earthquakes has risen tremendously in Oklahoma that are attributed to
FFracking.
The world is crazy indeed and ran by big money more and more.

Yes I did see that...Daily KOS had an article about fracking in California, and mentioned the Oklahoma quakes.    And the Monterey Shale area here that the oil companies want to frack/drill.  Just what we need, more earthquakes, less (and more expensive) clean water...and probably more uncontrollable brush fires.

I did notice an unusual number of quakes in one area of Oklahoma when I was looking at the USGS quake maps a month or so ago...and thought it was strange.  Now I'm wondering if that poisoned water is going into the aquifer under the prairies...largest aquifer on the effing planet!

Then there's this from a Colorado blogger that I admire very much:

http://thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/fracking-water-...

Or just Google Think Banned Thoughts - Fracking  (But do read her other posts, too.  Bree is one highly intelligent woman...interested in everything.)

Thanks sk8ycat.

The most pressing need I have right now is to have some more trees trimmed. Palm  trees grow from the top and accumulate dead leaves there. They are expensive to trim since they are tall and you need a trimmer with good insurance. You only want irrigated ornamentals near the house.

Irrigation systems are a must and they are often expensive to maintain if you have a large yard. During the drought we have been told not to use them. This puts us at odds with the HOA—they like nice green lawns throughout the complex.

Isn't the time for lawns in drought areas out of date? I know, lawns are pretty, they require mowing and watering, and they must be sacrificed in times of dry weather in desert areas. Is your HOA open to negotiations? 

This is my front yard, 50' wide, with not one blade of mowable grass, front or in my back yard. Of course, we don't live in the desert region, but it is a way to cut back on lawn work and costs. It was taken May 5, 2014 

My daughter lived in Pheonix for several years and I designed a desert garden for her, they took out the grass and replaced it with plants native to that region and white stone. I had never lived in that kind of desert, and it was a real treat to create a design for them. 

With climate change a real possibility, we have to be adaptable and flexible. Already my garden area has gone from USDA Zone 5 to Zone 6. I don't believe that zone designation and I am not going to garden for zone 6 because the weather is far too erratic to be able to depend on warmer climate plants. We had very little snow but very deep freezes this past winter. No zone 6 plant can survive that kind of condition. 

I am so glad you escaped fire damage and hope things ease up for your part of the country. In any event, you have the chemical name and information so you can prepare for prevention of damage. 

My frieinid in Mission Hills got rid of her lawn and automatic sprinkler system three years ago...I wish we could do the same.  AND get rid of the "see-ment pond" in the back yard.  This photo was taken right after she made the change...the trees are much bigger now.

Visitor to our "see-ment pond" this spring (The female  is difficult to see; she's right in front of the drake.):

Our HOA, in north San Diego county, has been removing lawns for the last couple of years. In our case, it's probably due to cost. The HOA pays our water bills and they're trying to save money. They've got a ways to go though as only two years ago they found out the HOA was paying for the water to a separate community on the other side of the golf course. Apparently, when the water district installed the lines they put them on our meter. No wonder the HOA couldn't figure out where the leak was coming from.
Back on topic now...

While I understand the need to reduce water consumption, I hate (Hate, HAte, HATe, HATE!!!) the desert plants they've used to replace the lawns. I feel like I'm living in Anza Borrego

I guess my problems are small so I'll roll with the punches. I'll see if the wife wants to move to Canada. I hear it's going to be much nicer as the next few centuries roll in.

My neightbor across the street removed his lawn and put in various desert plants that need little water. He didn't have much lawn to begin with and it was badly sloped. However I can't say that the results are that pretty.

If I could I would put in a Zen garden in the front, but I'm sure the HOA would not like it.

We have had restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars so our lawns don't look this good.

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