I remember as a girl at school thinking it was perfectly normal to have ash falling on the playground during the month of Halloween.
The Santa Ana's, of course, were complained about as often as people toss around "the humidity" here in Gotham during the summer. The wind was always wild, edgy, somewhat exciting and always hard to explain to someone who has never lived in SoCal -- although I do highly recommend this collection of essays by Joan Didion who came the closest to capturing the charged bite of these winds in words.
But it's so hard to see these images coming from home. Thankfully, none of my family is in danger, yet. And no friends either. But remembering when one brush fire licked the canyons just a mile from our house one year, I know how things can change in an instant.