Glowing with No Ebb in Sight
This taken at 12 noon today (8/5/09)
Last night the sky glowed evil.
I headed out for an evening run at 7:45PM, after dropping Tristan off for soccer practice. Air quality was in the unhealhty for sensitive groups range, a pass. But at 82 degrees with no wind, breathing felt stunted and for the first half hour I felt like I was choking on the palpable air.
A large dark cloud of smoke was creeping from the west. It looked like a thunderstorm but at 15% humidity, no such luck. Smoke from the massive 480,000 Railbelt/Minto fire some 60 miles away. To the east things looked white, but an ashen hue.
Dark would win on this night.
As my run progressed the darkness began to envelop the town. Somehow I managed to finish the workout--9 miles with surges of 3, 4, 5, 4, 3 min and a short recovery jog. At least the sensation of impending suffocation went away. By the time I returned to the car just before 9:00 PM the sky was a glowing orange haze. The smoke was closing in. It was also unseasonably dark, the sun normally out at this time but we had an orange-brown dusk.
We headed home just as clouds of smoke itself came wafting and billowing over the hills and through the spruce.
Today's run at noon was no better, but much cooler at 60 degrees.
No rain in sight. We're in for it now and this will persist at least for a month. Everybody hates it.
2.58 million acres burned statewide so far, but that's an underestimate because the smoke is so thick they can't measure the size of the fires.