Where there’s smoke …

Slurry bomber for blog

Firefighting plane drops retardant on Panorama fire/Waterman Canyon, Calif.; 2012. (c. Holly Ocasio Rizzo)

At 4 a.m., someone fired up a barbecue. Or at least it smelled like one – minus the aroma of grilled chicken or hot dogs.

The wind had shifted during the night, carrying smoke from a wildfire more than 10 miles away as the buzzard flies.

Lights snapped on in the neighborhood. Nobody sleeps when there’s smoke. They worry.

We still see the scars of the massive 2003 arson-caused wildfire that scorched a path to our road and took out seven houses a couple of roads away – more than 1,000 houses in all. People still talk about the two-week evacuation, More

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