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Los Angeles Burning
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The air is acrid with smoke and ash. I have to wipe it off the car each time I drive. My throat and nasal passages are dry and inflamed, raw with coughing--and just breathing.

Air conditioning brings some relief, though even commercial air conditioners are overwhelmed by the pollution of the air. It's thick and brown and you can smell fire. Not clean fire, as from campfires, but fire that has burned rubber and plastic and paint and tar. Ugly fire.

We wait hourly for the phone call that our friends have been told to evacuate, to abandon their home to the flames. We've cleaned the back bedroom, stocked extra food, and patrolled the back yard to make sure it's secure for their dogs. The last time I spoke to her, she was crying and trying not to, hiccuping and gulping back her tears.

She says she has said good-bye to everything in the house that they can't take with them. Even after several trips to bring stuff out, so much remains. They will come with the dogs when all hope is lost.

Los Angeles is burning.

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