Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wildfires

When we were still in South Africa, my Facebook feed began to fill up with stories of the fires in the Pacific Northwest. We'd known that with the dry conditions this year, the fire season was likely to be bad, but nobody knew it was going to be this bad. 

August 16


My cousin posted about evacuating their farm and horses. 


Burning around the old Finkel house, where my family lived when I was a baby. A lot of lost pasture and hay. 



All over the area, news articles posted about livestock and pastures being lost. 


August 18


The area around highway 12 and Kamiah burned. 


Three firefighters were killed near Twisp. 

August 20

Fire crews from Canada and even Australia came to help. Local volunteers trained as relief crews for the exhausted firefighters who were working non-stop. 



This repurposed DC-10 flew over the school in Chelan, Washington, trying to save the buildings. 

August 21




August 23


Wind from the west brought smoke into our town, even though the actual fires were miles away. The air quality index dropped to "hazardous."


The photo of this firefighter circled the Internet. After a 32-hour shift, the photographer reported that the man sat down and fell asleep within seconds, despite the small blaze just behind him. 

August 24


Comparison photo in Lewiston, 35 miles south of us, where my parents live. 

August 26


A friend and I had planned to walk downtown, but instead we drove. Even walking between buildings caused my asthma to flare and my eyes to burn. 


School started at the University, but the students had to brave the smoke to get to class, and outdoor activities were canceled. 

August 27


A reprieve of blue sky! We took a few deep breaths and went for a walk. 

August 29 (today)




Back to staying indoors again. It feels like winter in August, when we get cabin fever from staying in so much. 


Curly and Mister made homemade masks. 



The weather forecast predicts a bit of rain. We're all hoping there is enough rain to help the firefighters, but not lightning to start new fires. 

Updated: it did rain a bit tonight!!! It smells heavenly. 




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