Smoke gets in your eyes… and your lungs too
BBC News reports on warnings over fire pollution from the Kahl-ee-forn-ee-a wildfires. And sure enough, though burning pine and eucalyptus trees smell nice in a campfire, you don’t want to be engulfed in the smoke from millions of tons of fuel.
It’s not a local problem, either. Chris over at Creek Running North tells about his experience with a previous fire four years ago:
I got to that Mojave altitude, at Mid-Hills Campground, and woke in the middle of the night smelling smoke. I panicked: the campground was in a thick forest of juniper and pine. Had I left a stray ember in my firepit? I burst out of the tent. There was no light to be seen, no fire, no moon, no stars. The air was thick. The wind had shifted, and all the smoke from 2003’s fires in San Diego and San Bernardino streamed toward the interior. My campsite was 120 miles from the nearest fire, the Devore Fire in Cajon Pass. A hundred twenty miles away and the smoke stung my nostrils.
In his illustrated post he goes on to describe what happens if you try to exert yourself in a smokey environment.
Predictably the god-botherers are saying the fire is the fault of gay people, but I have an alternative explanation even though it sounds a little bit radical. People built their houses in an area that would partly burn every 50-100 years, and suppressed every little fire for over half a century so there was a fantastic concentration of fuel. The let the brush grow right up against their houses. And when the right wind conditions and lack of moisture combined…
Naah. Nobody’s going to believe that…