Chariot Fire

Captain’s Log   5,634

Our local mountains are on fire again.  This time, the fire is named “Chariot.”  We have been through the Cedar fires and the Witch fires.  Now, Chariot.  Whatever they are called, they are deadly.  Winds up in those mountains can change in an instant.  Highways are closed and people are being evacuated. Even though those communities are remote, there are a lot of people living up there.  A school about 15 miles away has been set up as the main evacuation center.  Some campgrounds are already burned to the ground.

chariot fire

Surprisingly, only minor injuries reported so far.  At this writing, the fire is less than 15% contained.

I am supposed to be going up to these mountains on Saturday for a birthday celebration.  I think we need to make alternate plans.  Even if the fire is out, we would most certainly be in the way of clean-up activities.  

The Cedar Fire in 2003 was the largest recorded fire in California history.  2,232 homes were destroyed and 15 lives were lost.  The Witch Fire in 2007 burned 1,500 homes and killed 9 people. I certainly hope the Chariot Fire is contained soon.  When the Santa Ana winds gust up to 85 miles per hour up there, anything can happen.

I have a long day ahead of me.  It will end with a speech I have to give at 7:30 this evening.  I’ll consider myself lucky if I am home before 9:30.  This is why I earn the big bucks……NOT!

The Cooper’s hawk continues to astound me.  He spends most of his days on Febreze Lady’s roof while he watches my yard for foolish and slow doves to make a mistake.  She would definitely have a fit if she knew he was up there.  He’s young and not very skilled yet.  He smashed into the patio door the other day and I thought the house had been hit by a truck!  But he will learn.  In time, there will be a swift end to a dove….leaving a puff of feathers and nothing more.


Shot with a zoom lens through two panes of glass.  Did not capture him well but at least you can see his markings and his demeanor.  Young hunter!

Off to the salt mines.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

21 responses to “Chariot Fire

  1. Fire seasons have been on the upswing unfortunately. I hope it rains soon. Very, very soon.

  2. Yes, plan something on Shelter Island or Harbor island instead. Nice and cool over there. That is a great shot and a very handsome young bird. We just have crows here.

  3. Love that pic of the bird. So young, already so regal. Stay safe!

  4. Hope the winds die down and the fires are put out. It has to be such a huge fear for people who are in that path.
    Maybe the hawk is addicted to the scent of Frebreze in the air. We’ve had one around here too……

  5. maryz

    So scary about the fires! I hope they can be contained soon.

    John keeps our bird-feeders filled, too. We’re happy to provide a smorgasboard for the hawks…even though we know the red-tails usually don’t eat other birds. They’re mostly after rodents. And we have plenty of those, too.

  6. Patty O'

    Excellent reporting on the fire. I worry about our backcountry a LOT…and I also worry about our park. The Father’s Day fire was thankfully limited to 110 acres but WOW did those firefighters attack it aggressively! Very scary. As for Mr. Hawk; that is a wonderful photo of him in his youth. I will share with my personal falconer and he will be GREEN with envy.

    • You have a personal falconer? How cool is that????

      • Patty O'

        Yeah, he the old BF. He did rehab in cooperation with an OC veterinarian for years. He had an actual mews in his backyard where he kept birds. It annoyed the Hell out of the neighbors when a hawk reached the point of being well enough to be freed, because he had to exercise them vigorously to get the old wings back in shape for flying. To do that he held the bird on short jesses (leg restraints) and the pumped his arm up and down rapidly so that they had to flap their wings to maintain balance. The birds, of course, HATED that, and screamed accordingly. The neighbors thought he was torturing small animals… He hasn’t had a bird for years now, but still maintains both state and federal licenses…JUST IN CASE.

  7. The hawk is beautiful. We look for red-tailed hawks around here; I have only seen them in Massachusetts. (Maybe my companions are better watchers there.)

    The fires are terrifying — all of them. As much as I hate the floods, I think I prefer floods to fires. (And hope God doesn’t strike me dead for saying so.)

    Wishing you a good evening…

  8. bholles

    Hope that fire settles down.

  9. joanie

    Good looking hawk!

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