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.
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.
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…
and disappear under a gauze of gray in minutes.
On a good day, the sun will sometimes break through,
if only to tease the highlights from the shadows.
But the sky is fickle…
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.