Late summer and fall are fire season here in Southern California. With all the rain we had last winter, the weeds got really high. So now we have lots of high dead grass for wildfire fuel. Last week there was a fire east of us. Today driving home from work I passed a fire about 15 miles north of us. The fire came right up to the freeway and then retreated. When I passed, there were fire trucks, fire planes, and helicopters aggressively trying to keep the fire from crossing Temescal Canyon Road and burning Tom's Farms. Tom's Farms is a landmark. It was just a fruit stand off the highway when I was a kid, then they started selling burgers, and now they have expanded to include an antique store. It would have been a loss. They were able to get the fire contained and Tom's Farms is safe.
The fire season lasts until November when the weather cools. Rains start at the end of November or December. October is the most dangerous fire month due to strong, hot winds ("Santa Ana winds") that fan the flames.
I took these pictures with my Blackberry as I was driving on the freeway past the fire: