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The fires this time

Published 2020-09-09

Monday the fires were a potentiality. A thing that could happen, maybe. By nightfall we could smell it, faintly, and the air had that familiar bluish tinge and distant campfire smell. We’ve been through this before, I thought, 2017 and 2015 and 2010 and 2003 and years before. Yesterday the smoke was literally on the horizon. From Council Crest I could turn South and see it looming. Today it rolled north, like the murk from Mordor, turning the sun red. We have not been through this before, I thought. This is something new.

But unnervingly: the air down here, on the ground, is crystal clear. Not a sniff of immolating forest. All the dead landscapes are a mile overhead now.