June 18th, 2021

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Rest Twenty, Day Thirty-Eight

So I survived Thursday. Sleep was not very good, and waking to the hot afternoon was worse, but nothing compared to stepping out the back door into the torrid shade. I avoided direct sunlight completely, and thus did not burst into flames. However, something did burst into flames, or was made to so burst. Around ten o'clock in the evening I smelled smoke, and checked the Facebook pages that follow the local fire reports, and found that a fire had started not long before in Upper Bidwell park, which, for those unfamiliar with the mini-metropolis, is a large and mostly rustic municipal park that extends from the edge of Chico into the Sierra foothills.

As near as I can figure, the fire is between three and four miles from my apartment, and as the wind (not a very strong one, thankfully) is blowing this direction I have been inhaling thick smoke since shortly after it got started. the last report I heard said that it had burgeoned to 300 acres, which was a pretty rapid expansion, but nothing like that of the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise. Several photos were quickly posted on social media, and they showed a very impressive conflagration. Though it is visible from many parts of Chico, my neighborhood is not one of them. Well, there might have been a faint rosy glow to the sky in that direction, but that could easily have been from the brightly lit commercial district that lies immediately east of here.

The worst part is that I must have the air conditioning on, and the fan is bringing the smoke indoors. It smells quite bad, and is making it hard to breathe. Today will be a long, 108-degree day. There's no telling how long it will take to get the fire put out, as it isn't even under control yet, but it's apt to be a few days. With morning, the wind is supposed to shift around to the south, so at least some of the smoke could bypass the town, but it will shift again with evening, so I suspect we'll be inhaling smoke for some time yet.

Three more days of extreme heat loom before we return to merely unpleasant heat. But then the long range forecast shows a return to extreme heat late next week. And it's only June. And I'm still sneezing. Fires and heat waves and pollen, oh my.