Monday, August 6, 2007

Smoke in the Valley

Last night, we had over 4/10 of an inch of heavy rain (along with wild lightning), so the air should have been clear this morning. But the smoke is as bad as it has been all summer; visibility is easily under 5 miles. As far as I can tell, almost all the forest fires are still to the north and west of us, and none are close - which means that the fires are pretty bad. Montana currently has 20 fires covering 256,829 acres, and only 4 of them are contained. Five of them are listed as 0% contained; one fire northwest of Missoula is listed that way "only because there isn't a lower number", according to a fire information officer. On the Forest Service map, the nation's fires are clustered in western Montana and central Idaho, with a few in Oregon and Washington. So as long as the wind is coming from the north or west, we will have smoke in the valley.

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