Ah, the coming of fall in Southern California. Flakes of ash fall as thickly and softly and white as snow. Clouds of smoke bigger than mountains fill the sky. Orangish sunlight and hazy gray skies last for weeks on end. Thousands of firefighters struggle to contain blazes with flames twenty and thirty feet high. Bulldozers cut lines. Planes and helicopters water-bomb all through the day. Evacuation orders arrive in the dead of night, when the skies are glowing, and the traffic wild.