Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fire and Smoke Clouds West Coast



Hoh Campground
Olympic National Forest
Forks, WA

I woke up this morning wondering if this was the set of an apocalyptic movie. Then I thought that was a scary question to ask right now.

The campground seems somber this morning with the talk being of air quality. We are in hazardous conditions now. We could see the smoke yesterday, but it has settled into the valley overnight.

I walked out to the river and could not even see the mountain. Unlike the mists from the sea, this smoke is thick and brings an orangey haze to the air like using a yellow filter. The picture above does not allow you to experience the same eerie silence and chill that I feel standing among the trees.

As bad as it feels here, Forks is worse and Portland even more so.

This year continues to keep us on our toes.

There were rumors that Portland may have to be evacuated. I don’t know where people would go. There are fires spreading all over the North west including Northern California and Wyoming.

It is cold today. With a fire ban, there is no way to get the chill out of the air.

I am thankful for our RV and even more so that we have power and heat. I think about the campers out in tents and hope they are well.

Many have gone home earlier than anticipated. Probably trying to get away from the smoke and the cold. Several more have come in, mostly in RVs.

As I talked with one camper, it’s just a matter of where you want to ride out the havoc. Many have no place to go back to with cities covered in smoke and still closed down by Covid.

A few are heading further north, though there is not far to go unless you seek the San Juan Islands. I heard some campers say Montana is clear if you can get across the mountains. The wildfires are closing us in.

I am thankful to be among the old growth forest where there is some natural resistance to the smoke and fire. It is amazing how well the trees absorb some of the carbon dioxide.

Dear Travelers, please be careful out there and stay safe.



This post is also published my travel blog.
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