California Fires

It’s back. With a vengeance. After a one-day reprieve on Friday—when it was actually possible to spend time outdoors and breathe deeply—the smoke has returned. The sky is no longer blue, and even though the sun is shining, the light is diffused by all the gunk in the air.

At present, 1781 fires are burning in the state of California—1450 of them contained. 558,738 acres have been destroyed so far.

Even though we’re dealing with the side effects of all the smoke, our Northern California town is not threatened. Many residents, however, are walking around in hardware-store masks, apparently unaware that the CDC says these are designed to block larger particles like sawdust, and are useless for smoke. But I think there must be some satisfaction in thinking that you’re doing something—anything—to protect yourself.

This is the view from our back deck in mid-afternoon on July 6:

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