Today, the skies are clear. At present. The last couple of days, it has varied quite a bit from time to time, depending on the direction of the wind. We’ve had some weird looking skies, too. Taken a couple of days ago, these pictures are not of rain clouds – this is drifting smoke and ash:
The great number of fires have created uncertainty. Thursday evening, we had seen the plume of another fire off in the distance. Distances of such things are very difficult to judge, due to the terrain and trees. So we hopped in the truck after work to go see where the new fire was. This isn’t ambulance chasing; it literally could have been over the next hill, and we needed to know that if it was so. It turns out we were chasing the southern edge of the Bear Creek fire, which burned 50,000 acres. For reference, you could drop Manhattan Island in that area, about 3 1/2 times.
We wound up at Lake of the Pines, again, where we got to watch two of the fire-fighting planes reload with water for their next run:
And from a few days ago, here is my son’s deer stand. It’s difficult to see, but the burned area is perhaps 100 yards beyond it:
Others weren’t so lucky. We saw at least two homes burned to the ground by the fires, on the way to the lease.
All in all, we’ve been personally lucky; our land, our homes, our lives have not been damaged. But most of us knows somebody who has been touched by the fires.