Monday, June 23, 2008

San Bruno Mountain Wildfire from up close

This evening we drove out to get some groceries from Trader Joe's and then just decided to drive around a little bit. I wanted to see the Bay side of South San Francisco and we just drove up on Oyster Point Blvd. till we reached the Genentech campus and related areas. While driving up, we noticed a small cloud of what looked like fog, but that is not too uncommon on the San Bruno Mountain. It just appeared a little pinkish and we thought that was just some kind of sunset effect.

Just 15 minutes later and it became clear that this was indeed some kind of fire. It was clearly originating from the mountain, although it seemed to come from the Brisbane side of it.

A little while later the smoke had started drifting over the Bay and it looked like it was almost reaching San Mateo Bridge. We decided to get back home soon in case the air quality got bad. While driving up on Sister Cities Blvd, we were able to actually see the flames from relatively up close.

We were able to see helicopters trying to douse the hills with water scooped up from the Bay. It really hits you how fast these fires can spread. It looked like the Brisbane side of the Mountain would have been hit worse, but as you can see from the photos, the fire had started advancing downhill on the South San Francisco side.

Last we saw in the news, they were lighting up control burns from the downside of the hill to try and starve the fires advancing from above.

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