There is something about rampaging unstoppable wildfires and the literal and figurative pall they cast that both agitates and depresses me to marked degrees. It’s like such disasters create an internal tug-of-war wherein I want to got to irrational extremes — on one end I want to seek out destroy anyone even remotely resembling a past, present or future arsonist, and on the other I want to move to a place of permafrost and ice wherein there’s no chance of such disasters happening to me.

Because they do happen to me. Sure I’m not someone in the inferno’s path who’s lost property or suffered injury, but however indirectly and from whatever distance I am from the devastation I am nonetheless deeply affected by it.

As the following timelapse video of the Station Fire shows, I’m physically far away. From the roof of our Silver Lake home I set up the camera and captured the footage, condensed down to four minutes from an hour that passed last night beginning at 5 p.m.

It’s not very dramatic from a visual level, but with the spewing white plumes that power up above the hanging haze of ash and smoke, it makes me imagine gargantuan steam locomotives unseen behind a curtain of poison, destroying everything in their predatory paths. And it breaks my heart.