Well...We're getting a reprisal. We presently have a fair amount of high thin smoke from the fires south of the metropolitan area. The pall is not as dark as the earlier incident, but the light is odd again...this time very buff, or yellow, light diffused everywhere. Sepia tones.
I don't know about 'coming my way', but Swimmer, whose farm is some twenty miles dead south of my location, has been keeping me posted as to the circumstances there. The entire county (Clackamas) is on 'evacuation alert', a system whereby the county officials keep residents posted on a traffic-light color coded evacuation notification system: green (ready), yellow (set), and red (go). Her place has consistently been far enough north that she has always been in the green areas. However, for a brief period yesterday, the yellow zone was a mere quarter mile down the road. The highway which runs past her drive was closed to traffic for half a day. Puddle City seems to be encircled by a 'Ring of Fire', as I just found out that Washington County (to the west of Puddle City, which is in Multnomah County) also has a series of wildfires burning on its periphery.
View at 9 am Wednesday at Swimmer's farm.
Here in Puddle City, the sky this morning is yellow-gray and one can stare directly at the sun, which is a weird ruby grapefruit color (orangey-hot pink?) disc in the sky.
Really bad news is that Detroit, a small town on a beautiful pristine water reservoir high in the Cascades, has burned to the ground. We're hoping to hear the Breitenbush, a wonderous counter-cultural retreat just a few miles north of Detroit Lake survived....
Well....It's bad enough that they've brought in the specialists:
Canadair CL-415 water bombers. The best in the business. Maybe not the biggest, but I'd bet good money they are the most accurate. And, they needn't return to the airfield to refill; they can just skim a nearby water source (lake, river, ocean) and refill within minutes. If they work four of them as a team, it is awesome to see. Thanks to the Canucks who came up with this awesome tool.
Part of the problem with the smoke is where it comes from....This is not fireplace, or even campfire, smoke. It includes squatloads of burned undergrowth, with things like poison ivy, oak, or sumac, and other toxin producing vegetation, which also goes up in smoke, including the volatiles which engender reactions. As if those with asthma or other respiratory conditions didn't have it bad enough...
Update...Swimmer posts that the county changed her farm's status from 'green' to 'yellow', indicating that she should be ready to evacuate ASAP. 'Red' status means 'get the hell outta there.' Any way, she's pitching feed at the chooks, grabbing her fuzzwad, and fleeing to my place in the big shitty.
The weather wizards are prognosticating a 'change in the weather conditions' some time today, but I've yet to see any evidence of that.
Well, Swimmer and her cat, Molly, are sheltered in place in the upstairs suite. She said that while she was prepping her birds (chooks and turks), the status went 'red' for her area. Then, it was a hideous multi-hour drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic with some half a million evacuees from large portions of the southeastern exurbs. Even suburbs, like Oregon City.
Well, it is even more hazy this morning, prolly because we have fog mixed with the haze. Temperatures plunged in to the fifties overnight, bringing the first 'chill' of the looming autumnal season. I actually briefly considered turning on the household heat to knock the chill off, but restrained myself and threw on a sweatshirt, instead.
How are the fuzzwads getting on with the interloper?
Molly has the entire upstairs suite to herself. She did meet Murray through her carrier, upstairs, when she had just arrived. It was all congenial, as there was not a single hiss, just curiosity by both parties. They have not met each other since.
Cleo has not met Molly and can only surmise by what she hears or smells.
Molly has not taken it well, but she is in alien territory and has met multiple aliens. She has used her litter box but she has not eaten since arriving yesterday...so, I'd guess she's stressed. She has taken to hiding in the back of a closet and comes out in the evening when Swimmer is present. I have not seen Molly except as a vague shadow at the back of a closet.
Murray knows what is afoot and seems to want to satisfy his curiosity and get to know the guest a bit better. We think Cleo is picking up on Murray's vibes more than she really knows what is going on. In other words, they know there is a secret guest and they want to meet her. She is not enthused at that prospect at all. We, the human minions, agree with her assessment, as we view Cleo as the unknown wild card.
Heavy fog/smog this morning. Outdoors is 'moist'. In checking the conditions, it shows a humidity of 91% and the winds made a near 180 degree change in direction and are now soft, cool winds blowing from the Pacific. Morning temperatures are in the low 50s. The fire incident maps are starting to change to more positive outlooks with the 'green' zones diminishing the 'yellow' zones, while the 'red' (get out!) zone remains static. Rain is being forecast for Monday....or Tuesday. But then, three more full days of rain are forecast for later in the week.
I live in the center of a huge urbanized metropolitan area. The detached single-family homes are set on small lots. I am a long ways away from the massive temperate rainforests which, with all of their crowded undergrowth, annually become dried by the climatic conditions and serve as the fuel for wildfires which get started in a number of different ways. This time, two days of gusting winds toppled power lines and fanned almost any spark into flames with the dry tinder. Then, the winds carried smoke and embers downwind and far from the sources. There were multiple fires in the western reaches of the Cascades mountains, to the east of the string of communities along the Willamette Valley floor.
This morning brings news that the farm is no longer in the 'red' zone and has been moved to 'yellow' status. Not out of the woods, yet, but a distinct improvement. On the upgrade.