Tuesday, July 08, 2008


California is smokin' these days, and not in a good way.

I don't know how many people pay attention to the wildfires in California. We get tons of them every year, so I don't blame anyone for not paying attention. I see footage every year of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, but since I'm so far away they seem abstract to me most of the time. But Mother Nature isn't going to let me overlook the wildfires.

According to The Wall Street Journal there have been over 1,700 fires sparked this summer. I don't know about you, but that seems like an awful lot to me. And for the last two weeks we've been breathing in the smoke from all these fires and my lungs are getting sick of it.  I am very grateful that I don't live in one of the affected areas, though I don't want to take it for granted that we're safe. We were 110 degrees here today and I'm pretty sure just thinking hot thoughts could spark a fire in my backyard. I don't know how we survived the 4th.

But I am also a little worried about sucking in all the smoke in the air. When I lived in L.A. years ago, it took two weeks for my eyes to stop burning because of the smog. This is worse. I'm afraid we may have already gotten a little used to seeing the haze and aren't realizing how hazardous it is. I thought it looked pretty clear on Sunday and took the kids to the pool at the gym and I've been regretting it ever since. I was feeling ambitious that day and swam laps in the lap pool and now it hurts when I breath. I'm not one hundred percent sure it's from the smoke, but I suspect it is.  And that leaves me wondering one thing.

There are people out there who smoke? Voluntarily?


Stewart Sternberg said...

It's funny to read this. As a person in Michigan, I love the smell of smoke. Not cigarette smoke. The smoke one gets on the wind when someone is burning leaves. Or the smell of the winter brush being raked into a bonfire in a ditch.

I suppose fire can happen just about anywhere. I know that most of Michigan's thumb burned down around the turn of the last century.

To all those in California. Be safe.

furiousBall said...

be safe you cali folks.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's definitely scary. I grew up worried about fire in Arkansas, where we lived in the middle of a prairie almost. I'd also hate to have to breathe that smoke constantly. I hope the fires die away soon.

Carl V. said...

I certainly pay attention, at least in the sense that I hear them talk about it on the news every year and each summer I cannot help but wonder how much of California is left that hasn't yet been on fire! What a scary existence! I feel for everyone who loses homes, lives, etc. dealing with this year in and year out.

Fab said...

That really seems like an awefull lot of fires. But what I don't get is the fires people start. What goes on in their mind? In extreme heat starting fires? I can't imagine the the dispare of people with houses near those fires. Breathing it in and losing their houses. Losing everything. Terrible.

Heather said...

When I lived in Redlands, CA, I could see the fires burning in the San Bernardino hills from my porch. I love California, but ultimately I'm glad I moved because if a fire doesn't incinerate your home, earthquakes or flooding/mudslides will do it in.

SQT said...


I wish this was a little smoke from leaves or a fireplace. This is a major blanket of smoke the covers the whole city in haze. When the sun goes down at night you can look directly at it. It glows red. Beautiful but eerie.


We're trying...


We don't live in the middle of a forested area, which seem to be hit the hardest. But the smoke is crazy bad.


That's how I feel about people who live in Tornado Alley.


I don't get arson either. We get a few of those a year, but this year it's lightening strikes that account for most of the worst fires.


I haven't been in an earthquake in over 20 years, so I don't worry about that too much. SoCal seems to get it worse than we do most of the time with quakes, mudslides and fires. But this year, the fires are bad.

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Steve Malley said...

Quite a few fires here at the moment too. Of course, they're mostly to keep us warm.

In fact, they're all to keep us warm. I think it's too cold here for that other kind...

Di Francis said...

I know exactly what you're saying. I live in fire country MT. And I used to live in the valley in CA. And breathing that smoke is just . . . rotten. And out here we don't have AC, so there's nothing to clean the house air. I wish there was hope for a quick end to the fires, but I've got a feeling that you need winter to come early.

Sending good vibes . . .