Desert Sun photo:
Took my now-routine mid-study walk, looking forward to crackling energy of the surprise gusting wind since this afternoon, and inhaled the sweet smell of burning timber as I walked out. Slowly walked a block and looked up at the stars, most covered in what I thought was wind-shredded clouds, and then I saw an orange halo to the west, flanking Mount San Jacinto, but it disappeared behind soot and/or actual clouds.
Neighbors were also standing outside yards and pointing, sirens wailed in the distance, and found out this is what's going on. There's no danger of fire making it to the valley floor because there is a whole lot of nothing for fire to eat between Mt. San Jacinto and the desert. But the smell is now acrid and heavier with airborne debris. The winds died for a bit, but looks like they're coming back; hope Idyllwild and San J people and all creatures are safe tonight.