Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fighting fire with fire. The ironies.

I live on the north side of a mountain whose south side is on fire.  Yesterday, the watershed called Boyle Ravine, just above my house, was filled with smoke and American Valley where my town of Quincy is located was quite hazy,

and particulates were raining down on our vehicles and homes.  At mid-day yesterday we took delivery on our first cord of firewood (preparing to build fires) for the forthcoming winter season and sweated profusely while getting it all stacked.  Meanwhile, the sky was busy with fire-fighting aircraft run on thousands of little fires as their pistons raced up and down carrying water and chemical retardants to the fire.  Fighting fire with fires.  The irony.
This morning, the immediate threat of evacuation has passed for the time being, but we are advised to be alert as conditions can change rapidly in the afternoon.  The winds pick up and the humidity drops.
Meanwhile, I am sitting at my bedroom window which faces the action and grading papers from my summer class for California's incarcerated students called Nature Literature in America.  AS one of the required "nature journal" entries, an inmate provided a nice colored pencil drawing of a mountain-top fire burning within view of he prison.  More irony.
I might get the urge later to walk downtown to a point from where I can get a photo of the smoke and aircraft to supplement this post. [Done]
Oh, one more irony: in the forest there are many species of conifers whose seeds must be exposed to fire before they will germinate.  Likewise, many species of wildflowers.  Next year could be a great season for many species of wildflowers.  I hope we can still live here to see them.

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