Before the fires came, our skin turned dry and the winds cleared the smog from the air. November passed with barely any rain, and on Thanksgiving the high was 92 degrees. We Angelenos had been blessed with a beautiful autumn. But all the while, we felt a sense of doom.

Last week the outdoor humidity as measured by my home weather station dropped below 10 percent. By Wednesday morning, wildfires were burning on a wide crescent of mountain ranges on the fringes of the metropolis. One of them loomed near the treasures of the Getty art museum and threatened homes on Linda Flora Drive in Bel-Air — the street where my kid sister lives.

Read on, courtesy of The New York Times...

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