The air has been free of smoke again today, which is another stroke of good fortune. The fire crews are doing a good job, and the big fire forty miles southeast of here is now 40% contained, and has still consumed less than four square miles of wild growth and no houses or other buildings. It could have been much worse. Locally, our luck is still holding out and no new fires have gotten started nearby. With all the wind today, any fire that had gotten started would most likely have spread pretty fast, and with fire crews busy elsewhere response would probably not have been immediate. I'm really glad we're not getting any lightning.
In fact we haven't even gotten any clouds today, not even over the mountains. The fires are still making the upper atmosphere hazy, though not enough to produce a decent sunset. There's more color in the eastern sky than there is in the west right now. I'm going out to do some watering before it gets dark. The oleander bushes are looking pretty sickly, and some of the other plants could surely use a drink as well. My water bill this month was a bit less than I'd expected it to be, so I can afford to be a bit more generous to the plants for the next few weeks. Getting the ground damp might help moderate the terrible heat for a while, too. No long term relief is in sight, though. The heat wave will continue into August. I'm totally ready for it to be over, but there's no telling how long I'll have to wait.