An Observer shares striking photos of the massive California wildfire

Courtesy of Frazier Drake, the photography duo made up of John Drake and his wife Rebecca Frazier.
 
 
One of our Observers in Southern California, photographer John Drake, sent us pictures of the gigantic wildfire that has been raging near his town of Idyllwild (in the mountains above Palm Springs) for the past few days. He explains:
 
I was caught in the area of the fire when the authorities closed the highway on Wednesday. I had my camera with me, as always, and began snapping.
 
The fire spread incredibly fast, and by some miracle of the winds, went from west to east across the midsection of our mountain; there were some structures lost, but the fire consumed mainly trees and brush.
 
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
 
The front of the fire is currently a few miles from the resort town of Palm Springs. Our small town of 4,500 residents, Idyllwild, was evacuated two days ago, after a huge plume of smoke rose overhead as temperatures changed. It threatens to drop hot embers onto our town.
 
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
 
For most of us, dearly in love with this place, it is very hard to wait and worry about our homes.
 
Some 4,100 homes are threatened by the blaze, according to the local authorities. Nearly 3,000 fire fighters are hard at work to tame it. The fire has already ravaged about 22,800 acres of land.
 
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More images

Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.
Courtesy of Frazier Drake.

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