olychick

Is your community on fire?

olychick
4 months ago

I was going to tag onto the Is it Cold Where you are? or Is it Hot Where You are? threads, but thought this deserved its own.


Terriks wrote that her home is not far from the fire lines in OR and she can't get home from CA because the roads are closed because of fires and smoke. It's a mess all along the west coast. WA is inundated by fires and smoke, too. The only thing that will save us is rain and I don't see any in the forecast. I feel so lucky that a couple of years ago, after a similar fire season and weeks of unbreatheable air, I put in a mini split air conditioner that keeps the inside of the house comfortable with the windows closed. I never use it except when it's too smoky to have the windows open, as our evenings always cool off. I have 2 air purifiers, one up, one down, so they filter the smoke (the mini split doesn't). It's pretty miserable for those of us with compromised lungs (and everyone really).

My late husband was a wildfire fighter and although he loved fire season, I think this one would have killed him.


Town destroyed by wildfire.

Comments (258)

  • morz8
    4 months ago

    Those photos are very hard to view. I've never seen forest fires that have moved out of timber and into neighborhoods. How heartbreaking. And what a long road ahead for so many.

    Sara, is your daughter doing OK? Did she leave with what she needs for now, to get by, to go to work?

    olychick thanked morz8
  • wildchild2x2
    4 months ago

    Things almost back to normal in the SF Bay Area. Lovely weather, good air in many spots today.


    olychick thanked wildchild2x2
  • terezosa / terriks
    4 months ago

    Those photos are very hard to view. I've never seen forest fires that have moved out of timber and into neighborhoods.

    The fire in Ashland/Talent/Phoenix didn't start as a forest fire - it was really no where near a forest. Many fires start as grass fires, and this particular fire was human caused.

    olychick thanked terezosa / terriks
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Wildchild, that is great to hear! Hope the good air moves north. Hopefully, new fires stop igniting and those already burning are quickly extinguished everywhere.

  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Same excellent conditions here ....a little north of SF...and inland over two mountain ranges...air quality excellent to breathe...clear blue skies and 80 degrees...no smoke smell but we can detect/ smell the dryness of the environment...just like any normal year ...mmmmm

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Unfortunately the pics from terezosa are not unfamiliar to many of us in our area....however over the years we have seen the gradual revival/ re-builds...where many people now have mostly nicer new homes to live in ..but still there are still views of the not so pretty burned areas surrounding where there are still black trees and bare land..and many people did not re-build...the only comfort is ...it is unlikely it will happen again in those areas...

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Oddly ...as we live in “wine country”...we have not seen or heard of any vinyards burning...tho’ we do hear the grapes will/may have a smoky flavor..and will most likely not be aged for the normal prime quality wines we expect from our normally world famous wines...

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    btydrvn, in the last several years I've bought smoked green olives, which were new to me. I wondered if they were 'invented' after fires smoked out the olive orchards. Not sure smoked grapes would be as appealing.

    We are having some blessed rain today, finally! Air here is still in the dangerous category, but moving down and communities on the coast are in the 'good' range. Hopefully, the rain will continue to fall and lessen the fire danger while cleansing the air. I saw that there were lightning strikes all over Oregon last night with power outages following. I hope no more fires were started as a result. Maybe we'll hear from our Oregon contingent soon.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    4 months ago

    No rain at my Puget Sound location so far and we are still in the "unhealthy" category for air quality. My county is still on an air quality alert until this time tomorrow.

    olychick thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • terezosa / terriks
    4 months ago

    I was able to walk outside this morning! I checked AirNow.gov when I woke up, and our AQI was 73 - in the moderate range. There was even blue sky! We have a small chance of rain. I hope it happens.

    olychick thanked terezosa / terriks
  • morz8
    4 months ago

    We're up to 53 from 43 earlier this morning. A blessing still, love those green and yellow numbers on the pollution charts. Somehow even with no discernible wind, our AQI dropped like a rock late Wednesday night.

    It stayed acceptable all day yesterday and throughout last night. No rain yet since I've been up today but it looks like it could rain at any minute. Quite foggy overnight but it was ocean fog - not smoke!

    I may never again take clean air for granted. We've had single days with noticeable smoke from fires before, but gone again with a tide and wind change.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    4 months ago

    We're still at 155 here on Bainbridge. Central Puget Sound is apparently a smoke sink :-(

  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Oly...what an interesting observation about the olives !...never thought or heard of that ...the valley the they grow them in

  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Is the same as the grapes..i will ask around about that....but it is still affecting the coastal cities somewhat....to be honest we are not trying to keep up as much ...just for our own sanity.....we are hoping it is behind us up here.....the fires are contained and the sky has been blue and clear for several days....the towns in the vinyard areas are suffering greatly as this has affected their whole tourist season....and nothing in the news bout grapes or olives...

  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Just one thought ...i doubt if the olives would be healthy if they were smoked by the fires..so probably not the case with your olives...🙄

  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Down here we have olive shops of every flavor and type of olives...delicious but unbelievably expensive!

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I think smoked olives are a long known and purposefully processed product, no different than something like smoked salmon. At least in the US, the predominant location of olive groves (California's Central Valley) is not an area that regularly has fire-caused smoke. Smog and air pollution, yes. But not smoke.

    I don't know if the green olives used for this product are from there or one of the lesser regions but I've known of smoked olives for quite a while and doubt wildfires produced some kind of serendipity for a new taste.

    Edit to add to btydrvn's comments just above that I didn't see:

    We're lucky in California to have access to a wide diversity of fruits, vegetables, and products made from same. Aside from the nearly food monocultures of the Midwest (corn, hogs, soybeans, etc), California remains the major agricultural producer of a very wide range of food products for the US and the ONLY source of many such products.

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • sephia_wa
    4 months ago

    Still at 165 here in my area of the Puget Sound region.

    olychick thanked sephia_wa
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    I actually spent the whole morning thinning out our gargantuan wisteria which i stupidly planted right over our outdoor living space...beautiful when it blooms ...but so messy ...and so happy ....it gets too heavy for the pergola to support it....🤷🏼‍♀️

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Was a joy just to be outdoors again

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  • Sherry
    4 months ago

    Oh, but how beautiful!

    olychick thanked Sherry
  • terezosa / terriks
    4 months ago

    btydrvn - your wisteria is gorgeous!

    olychick thanked terezosa / terriks
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    An added comment about the central valley ....it was a desert in the beginning....sunny and very hot every summer..their biggest challenge has always been bringing in water...and of course enhancing the sandy soil....they do produce almost all the tomatoes for the country and supply fruit and vegetables for the whole united states...but the best grapes are really grown in the mountain valleys near the coast as this is the most ideal weather for any ..but especially ...wine grapes..( and apparently olives too)as they flourish in the conditions like morning fog from the ocean and humid conditions that turn hot in the afternoons...the wineries are the big tourist draw here as the tasting rooms and gourmet restaurants are also huge draw for tourists and locals as well...

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Yes, with covid around the world and fires in CA and WA, I'm a bit concerned about my wine supply next year, lol.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Drink better wine that's aged properly. If so, the effect of the fires, if any, won't affect the supply for a few more years!

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • lizzie_grow
    4 months ago

    It's raining in Seattle.....YAY!!!!

    olychick thanked lizzie_grow
  • socks
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    So. California, air a little better (70-118 depending on which service you use). The dog was really feeling the confinement as he's used to a romp every morning. Today I got him out, and he was so happy! Bobcat fire was at 6% contained, then it dropped to 3%, but now up to 15%. What a summer, what a year!

    Friends in Australia are concerned about fires this summer after a disastrous fire season last year. I hope it doesn't happen again to them or to us!

    olychick thanked socks
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I saw the sad news that a firefighter died on the fire that was started by the gender reveal party. What a legacy stupidity has.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I think the Central Valley is still desert, there's very little rainfall. Irrigation water comes from groundwater and snow runoff from the Sierra.

    The Central Valley remains the center of table grape production, in and around Delano. There's little elsewhere. Remember the Cesar Chavez-led table grape boycott of the 60s that was active there? Wine grapes, sure, the coastal (not so much mountain) valleys of the North Bay are important but I think measured by output more wine grapes are grown in the Central Valley though of lower quality. Think Two Buck Chuck and others like that. Heck, Napa is so close to sea level, it often floods when there's a high tide in SF Bay and a good downpour.

    California is the very largest grower of tomatoes (70-80%) but there are important tomato growing areas elsewhere too. Tomatoes aren't as demanding of consistently good weather conditions as so many of the other products California is best known for.

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    I guess I sorta left the punchline off on my comment about food and wine... wonder if food and wine affected by smoke.. but everyone’s livelihood in these industries has definitely been affected... another effect of the smoke and fires😫

    olychick thanked btydrvn
  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago

    "everyone’s livelihood in these industries has definitely been affected."

    Yes, that's true to an extent. Given the low level of concern for farm worker health and the conditions that prevail normally, I can't imagine any growers are delaying field maintenance, picking/harvesting of products ready for market nor delaying planting simply because the air is unhealthy.

    Also, remember that other than in areas where there's ag employment and little else, total ag employment in California isn't that large compared to the rest of the state. It's some hundreds of thousands of jobs in a state with tens of millions of jobs. Earnings from agriculture are high and very important because the products produced are of high value but the employment numbers are not that great. Sadly, those affected if so are farm workers at the very bottom of the income scale and like others whose employment has been disrupted by the pandemic, these are people who can least afford to be out of work. Again, i don't think these are that numerous.

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Olychick
    4 months ago

    btydrvn, I wasn't thinking that they actually processed grapes off trees smoked by wildfire, just that maybe sometime someone picked some and found they'd been naturally 'smoked' so decided to create a new product because they liked the taste - and smoked them in a more controlled and healthful way. Although I don't think any smoked food is healthful, but an olive or two once in a while probably doesn't hurt.

  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    OMG, a few hours of rain and our air quality #'s have gone down to under 10. I cannot wait to actually go out to do some things and just have covid19 to worry about! I hope many others are breathing easier and the fire danger has lessened somewhat.

  • terezosa / terriks
    4 months ago

    The rain never came to the Rogue Valley 😢

    olychick thanked terezosa / terriks
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Oh, I'm so sorry. Hopefully, soon.

  • sephia_wa
    4 months ago

    Yayyy, mine has gone down to 82. It was 186 earlier in the day.

    olychick thanked sephia_wa
  • morz8
    4 months ago

    We're at 9 today. A single digit, and it feels like Christmas came early ;0) It was raining hard at 5:30 AM. Now if some of the rain would just move into Oregon where they needed it so badly.

    olychick thanked morz8
  • olychick
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Mine was down to TWO this morning. Not sure what it normally is because I never check it except when the smoke is bad. I wanted to double check before I opened all my windows! Light rain falling; hopeful it will move down to Oregon and CA.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago

    That's a good thought but for California, unlikely. Rain here is rare in September. Maybe less so close to rainy Oregon but not for most of the state.

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • terezosa / terriks
    4 months ago

    You have to travel a bit north of the California/Oregon border until you get to the famously "rainy Oregon."

    olychick thanked terezosa / terriks
  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Fair enough, I don't know that much about the climate zones (other than knowing the east is dry, like Washington's east) to spot where it's more or less rainy. The state has a rainy reputation down here and that's what I had in mind.

    Are the major fires in areas more likely to have rain, and rain this time of year?

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Lars
    4 months ago

    We're still having smoke, but the fire is not that close to us. The Getty Fire was much closer,

    However, we did have a 4.5 earthquake last night around 11 pm, and it made quite a bit of noise and caused some pictures on the walls to become crooked. No real damage, however, that I can see. I'll have to check the doors and gates and make sure that they open and close okay.

    olychick thanked Lars
  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Oly...about the olives...i imagine the smoke thing is probably just to add to the array of “gourmet” olives...and broaden the market...they add a nice flavor highlight to dishes when sliced thin on handmade pizzas for instance...especially when you are not using meat...as to the grapes there are a hundred different opinions (as you can see if you google it) that vary from it damages the taste to only if the smoke is direct and has not traveled in the atmosphere...but vineyards do carry insurance for this so no one goes out of business over this ....and usually this industry is based on wealthy types that can survive it financially...so the vineyards do keep on plugging regardless of smoke..and the seasonal workers are still tending the vines so the businesses that are suffering most are the tourism businesses as they are restricted by covid as well as smoke...we get our gourmet olives in St. Helena where the some of the top rated restaurants in the world are located..where in some cases there is a wait of months for reservations...not sure what is happening there now..but pretty sure it is not good

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  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    And incidentally..(sad) our smoke is back too..tho not nearly as bad as before

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  • btydrvn
    4 months ago

    Temperatures still cooler as the sun is impaired a bit

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    "we get our gourmet olives in St. Helena where the some of the top rated restaurants in the world are located."

    Not exactly. The two best restaurants in the Valley are in Yountville, French Laundry (3 Michelin stars, the most) and Bouchon (1 star). Also there are two others we really like too, Ad Hoc (another T Keller place) and Bistro Jeanty.

    St. Helena, not so much.

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Sherry
    4 months ago

    If you can not give a 100% positive comment, please just scroll on by and hold your fingers off the keyboard. Or at least, useful information. No my way is better, my town is better, or I am just better than all you hoi poi. Just stop, please.

    olychick thanked Sherry
  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I was commenting on what I believed to be incorrect information. It was factual, not personal. MY town? No, I don't live there.

    Take your own advice, your comment added no useful information for someone to learn about or visit the Napa Valley, including where the better restaurants there are located. What are your personal experiences in the area?

    olychick thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • lizzie_grow
    4 months ago

    Just stop Elmer...please just stop....

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  • sjerin
    4 months ago

    Our AQI number is heading upwards again. Sigh, it was nice while it lasted. And I've certainly nothing to complain about, considering what many others are going through.