Thank You for Not Smoking




When will this smoke finally dissipate? I already know the answer…the question was rhetorical. As of today, 74 fires are burning out of control across the western part of America.

fire map of Western states
Current Wildfires

Extreme Smokey

Fires are currently active in nine states throughout the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Here is a breakdown of the acreage burnt so far in active wildfires reported by the National Interagency Fire Center since Aug. 28:

  • Arizona, 1 wildfire, burning 48,443 acres
  • California, 22 wildfires, burning 354,316 acres
  • Colorado, 1 wildfire, burning 1,405 acres
  • Idaho, 19 wildfires, burning 248,141 acres
  • Montana, 26 wildfires, burning 544,583 acres
  • Nevada, 7 wildfires, burning 111,379 acres
  • Oregon, 9 wildfires, burning 146,418 acres
  • Utah, 1 wildfire, burning 5,097 acres
  • Wyoming, 2 wildfires, burning 4,766 acres

For those active fires reported on since Aug. 28 it amounts to 1,464,548 acres actively burnt or burning.

Leah and I have been in the fire zone for over a month–always one-step ahead of the next outbreak–but fire finally found us at Yosemite National Park. Today, the evacuation of Fish Town was lifted, but steps are still being taken to prevent fire from invading Yosemite’s sacred Mariposa Sequoia Grove. Fortunately, Merced and Tuolumne groves remain unaffected.

tunnel tree (2)


fallen tree1

fallen tree

The air is filled with smoke. It’s impossible to ignore…it permeates everything. And nothing stays clean overnight after the ash quietly coats every surface by morning. With the winds blowing, mountains appear…

Tioga Peak (2)

twin peaks

Mt. Dana

Mt. Hoffman

and disappear under a gauze of gray in minutes.

El Capitan

Cathedral Rocks

Fairview Dome1

On a good day, the sun will sometimes break through,

smoky sun

if only to tease the highlights from the shadows.

Tenaya Lake


tree balanced on rock

Bridalveil Falls2 (2)

But the sky is fickle…

smoke clouds

It leaves us waiting …and wanting more, with no guarantee that the sun will return–until it means accepting the best of a bad situation.


Perhaps waiting has value if it slows us down, and gives us a little more time to appreciate what’s in front of us.

El Capitan and Cathedral (3)

10 thoughts on “Thank You for Not Smoking

  1. I really enjoy your blog. The stories and photos are amazing. I have only recently started my journey. I’m in the early stage of preparing to leave next year. Seeing all the news of the fires and hurricanes going on has managed to put fear in my head of even leaving but I will fight the fears and keep venturing onward. Blessings to you and yours.


  2. Dear Yosemite,
    I’m sorry my visit was not what I had hoped, but we will return another time without fire and smoke. At least what we did see was spectacular!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so enjoy your blog/website!! We are full-time camp hosts in OR/WA, currently at Cowlitz Falls Campground in WA. We are inundated with thick smoke here! Fires in Winnache WA, in the gorge of OR and Mt. Adams area it is really bad. Thank you for the active wildfire report and picture! It makes it a lot more mind boggling when you see it in graphics!! Be safe! Keep the pics coming! I also have a blog on WordPress and joined your blog from there. Nice the way you have done your pages! Thanks again! David Robinson

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your kind words, David. I hope you take the time to travel outside the fire zone on your day(s) off to get a break from the smoke. Health advisory warnings are prolific thru the area, with little chance of breathing easier in the near future. Good luck with hosting.


  3. Thanks for posting. It certainly is worrying seeing the number of acres burnt, and our natural treasures threatened. I live a little north of Seattle, and there has been ash falling from the sky. Some of my work is outdoors, and its bad enough here to cause burning lungs if you’re out in it breathing hard. Praying for rain.

    Liked by 1 person

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