Yesterday, as I left work, I couldn’t help but notice how gray the air was. It had been smoky like this for a while, but not this bad. In fact, today it was so bad that it was not only difficult to see, it was actually a little weird to breath.
I could actually taste the air around me. It tasted chalky, smoky and dusty. My throat felt dirty and scratchy very quickly and my nose felt like I had been cleaning the garage all afternoon. When I opened my mouth to breath I could almost feel the air filling my mouth with particulates. It was a little disturbing to be honest.
Given the insane number of fires that the state of California is experiencing at the moment it is no wonder that our air is as unhealthy as it is. There are, from last I heard, about 1,000 fires burning statewide which have consumed about 20,000 acres of property. That is a lot of burning land.
Throw in the winds coming from the North, where some of the most intense wildfires are taking place and you can see that the recipe for tasty, smoky, charred air is well positioned to bring itself to everyone’s door.
An example of what I am talking about can be seen in the following image, taken as I walked out of my office yesterday evening. It is a photo of the Concord airport airstrip, which is usually plainly visible. Additionally, the trees behind the airfield are usually well within view, not to mention the huge range of hills just behind it.
On my drive home I noticed that something seemed to be terribly wrong with my view. The more I thought about it the more I realized, it was that the mountains that are usually so majestically plastered against the skyline were absolutely non existent in the current airspace. The sky looked like a foggy winter morning when it was indeed a warm summer evening.
My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by these blazes. I am also praying for all of the firefighters that are upholding their oath to protect the public and are putting theirs lives at risk to make sure people are safe.
These are tough times for California. By most accounts we are entering into fire season about three months early and already we are experience more fires than we usually do in an entire season. Please keep the state of California in your thoughts while the brave men and women that are battling these fires continue to protect us even at the cost of the very lives.
On the way home, Southbound 680 in North Walnut Creek
More driving… I can’t help but notice no mountains
There should be more greens and blues in this picture
Usually at this point I would be seeing some hillside
Still not a hillside to be seen outside of the very close one here