Stay out of Irvine

My wife just called from her commute south on Interstate 5 to her office near The Spectrum. Here’s what she said:

“It’s like driving into hell! I’m passing the Culver exit now. There is thick dark smoke everywhere and there is an orange glow all around me. There are ashes flying horizontally at the car. It’s like a black snowstorm. When I left Anaheim the temperature on the car said 75 degrees and now the temperature says 96 degrees. There are cars pulling over on the side of the road and I have seen several traffic accidents. There are road and exit closures and traffic is moving at about 5 to 10 miles per hour. It’s windy too – very very windy.”

So if you’re commuting to South County on the 5, please use extreme caution and be careful folks. Make sure and put those air vents on recycle while you’re at it.

There have been unrelated spot fires all over the county (including one at my workplace in Anaheim yesterday). We’re keeping our firefighters very busy. Are you in the Irvine area? Let us know what’s happening down there.

7 Comments so far

  1. Joe Maller (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 8:28 am

    Latest OCFA report says the cause was arson.

  2. Jon (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 8:31 am

    Well that’s just great. Seriously, arson is something I have yet to wrap my brain around.

  3. Nick S. (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    I live in Lake Forest near El Toro Highschool and work at Rockfield and Bake (considered part of Irvine Spectrum area). This is the worst fire effects I’ve ever seen. My wife picked up the kids from the elementary school because my son wasn’t getting enough oxygen and is now taking an Albuterol inhaler and his skin is getting back its normal color. Sage Software (located on Technology near Alton) has closed its offices today (hundreds of employees there). I’m in a third story office building and I can see a brown/grey haze that has now blanketed the sky in every direction (it happened over the last hour or so). Large (3/4" square) pieces of ash are drifting against the glass of my office window. A huge amount of ash is landing on the cars, coating them in dust. They have evacuated the Musick (sp?) Jail already. We’re supposed to tune into 1640AM for evacuation info but they don’t appear to be streaming that station on the net unfortunately.

  4. dgm (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:38 am

    I can’t believe so many places are still open for business around the areas burning. I commute down to San Diego from south OC and my employer (a big university) shut down even though the area itself isn’t in danger. The city doesn’t want people on the roads unless they are evacuating.

    Go home, people! Work cannot be that important.

  5. Gary Kephart (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:49 am

    I came up on the 5 from Ladera Ranch. Just before I got to the 405/5 intersection, I reached the edge of the smoke. And boy was it thick. I exited the 5 at Sand Canyon, and that seems to be on the northern edge of the smoke. So, the smoke path seems to be narrow, but very intense.

  6. Jon (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 11:01 am

    My wife reports they can see the flames licking up the hill from their Sand Canyon offices. Yikes. Proceed with caution…

  7. vivian (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    how bad is it in south county? i have an internship in san juan capistrano, and i’m commuting from uci (bad luck that it’s an outdoors/physical activity-required?).
    right now it doesn’t look so bad by uci, but my car is covered in soot.

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