As I write this, I sit here in the hills between the Semi and San Fernando Valleys with fires burning on three sides within 20 miles and hoping for a break in the wind. The sun is quite dim due to smoke overhead and the wind is gusting up to about 45 mph with a steady 20 mph. I'm just hoping our little section of brush covered hillsides are spared from this years conflagration. We had a small (less than 200 acres) fire just down the hill last year that was quickly handled by the FD but with such a strain on resources as is going on right now if a fire gets started here they may not be able to put enough manpower on the fire line to quickly contain it. If you have been watching the news you have seen that homes are being lost in some of the canyon areas. This is the price we may pay for trying to live outside of the congestion of the homes down the hill. There is a fire burning in Santiago Cyn. right now just a couple of miles from Irvine Lake and less than a mile from the fire station that I plumbed not three years ago. A new fire has just started in Lake Arrowhead that due to the high wind turbulence they can't get any air support for. That's in San Bernardino National Forest where they have many standing dead trees due to drought and bark beetles killing them off. That could be a major fire by this evening.