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This picture was taken at about 3pm on the first day of the Languna Beach Wildfire, October 27, 1993. A strong Santa Ana wind was blowing all day long and I was heading home early to get in some late season windsurfing.

I just happened to have my camera with me.

This shot is from the Newport Blvd. waterway overpass looking down the Lido Channel. Mariners Mile is on the left.


A wider shot from the Newport Blvd. Pacific Coast Higway overpass. The smoke plume filled the sky off to the right, obscuring Santa Catalina island.

Incoming flights to John Wayne Airport were already landing from over the ocean due to the Santa Anas. After a while they had to shut the airport due to the heavy smoke.


A picture from the Bay Island bridge, looking down the Newport Penninsula towards Balboa and Corona Del Mar. At the time I lived on West Bay about a minute walk from Bay Island.

This was close to sunset when the wind really started to kick up again. (Probably between 4 and 5pm.)


A view from Anade Ave. on the Newport Penninsula. The Balboa Island ferry landing is the lit-up area in the middle of the picture.

By this point dozens of houses had burned in Laguna Beach, the city had been evacuated, and thousands of homes were threatened in Laguna Hills and Laguna Beach.

A picture from the beach side of Anade, looking over Balboa towards Cornona Del Mar and the Newport Coast. The tower is the Balboa Inn. This was just after dusk, at about 6pm.

The height of the fire as seen from the Balboa Pier. (~300mm, ~16 sec, f-stop unrecorded, ISO 400) The lights in the foreground are the houses in Cornona Del Mar. The fire line is just behind the Newport Coast ridge at this point.

This picture was not retouched -- this basically how it looked to the naked eye.

This was at about the time when we started considering what we were going to take and what we were going to leave.


The fireline by about 8pm as viewed from the beach. At this point ash was falling very quickly, coating everything in sight. My eyes were stung badly several times setting up for this shot.

I headed over to a co-worker's house in Laguna Hills to pitch in on the moving effort after I took this shot. Thankfully the Santa Anas died about an hour later and we didn't have to evacuate. The fire did not make any further advance towards Newport Beach or Laguna Hills after about 9pm.


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