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¶ Irvine Wildfires
In the end, we were able to get some testing done today. Ford has a big research center in Irvine, and there's a large, unused parking lot that they let us use. It's not as good as an actual urban road network, but it's better than nothing and we were able to do some productive traffic behavior and e-stop tests.

We'd been hearing reports of wildfires spreading throughout the LA area throughout the day, but didn't actually realize how close they were. Then one minute we looked up and realized -- holy cow they're practically right next to us!

Turns out that they were even closer than that. Just a few miles down the road from our hotel, the hills were ablaze. On our way home, we swung by the shopping center where we usually get lunch, and there were dozens, probably hundreds, of people just standing on the side of the road watching Irvine burn. Seth, David, Ed and I stood there mesmerized, looking at these vast expanses of hundred-foot tall flames sending soot, smoke, ashes, and embers flying everywhere. I climbed up on a backhoe to get a better view, and overheard a group of high school students contemplating the fate of their school, which was within a stone's throw of the fires. People began ignoring traffic rules and parked their cars almost in the middle of the road, got out, and just stood there watching. It was quite a sight, and definitely not the sort of thing you'd see in Boston.

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