The only way to make sure though was to go outside and test the air for smoke stench. I also had some hope that the overcast might have moderated the heat that the forecast had predicted, but stepping into the back yard I found plenty of heat, though happily there was no smell of smoke. As I gazed up at the clouds I heard spattering in the leaves and felt a big drop of water smack my forehead. Actual water from actual clouds! I hastily folded my canvas yard chair and took it into the apartment, but I needn't have bothered. The sprinkle soon stopped, though while it lasted the drops were impressive, making quarter-sized splotches on the pavement.
Periodic short sprinkles continued to occur every few minutes for the next hour or so, and every fifteen or twenty minutes another plane would fly over. The Internets told me that there were in fact two large wildfires burning in Glenn County, which is on the other side of the Sacramento River from here. One called the Elk fire is a CalFire incident, and the other, called the Doe fire, is in Mendocino National Forest and so is a U.S. Forest Service incident. I'm not sure which was generating all the air traffic from Chico, but it was more likely the Elk fire, as CalFire uses the Chico airport. It might be both though. And it turns out that my little raindrops were related, as both of those fires and several others throughout the north state were started by lightning strikes.
So at least I had a distraction from the terribly hot day, and my power didn't go off, and the fires are unlikely to reach Chico, so I guess that counted as a good day. As good as they are likely to get anymore, I suppose. Anyway, it got me through another day of August, 2020. Only a couple more weeks to go, and I might get some respite from the horrible weather. If, as usual, I survive, of course.