Saturday, August 22, 2015

Slow down, people breathing...

Outside a small town in Montana, beside a dirt road, is a sign that says "Slow down, people breathing."
I could say the same thing about the forest fires plaguing the west, although the firefighters involved I'm sure are doing all they can to not just slow them, but stop them.
It's only a matter of time. I feel badly for those who live nearby, especially those who have lost their home, land, and in extreme cases, the few loved ones who have perished because of the fires.
Here in Utah, all we have to deal with is a little smoke in the air. Then again, smoke in the air, trapped by ridges of high pressure, is what causes our inversions in the winter. We do have those in the summer too, but because there isn't a lot of cold air, we don't normally see the pollutants we're breathing in. We hear from time to time news announcements not to use our lawn mowers and things like that, and that's usually how we find out about poor air quality in the summer in the Salt Lake Valley.
 For the past week or so though, it has been highly visible as smoke from our neighbors to the west builds up and is trapped in our valley. Here are some images I took yesterday.
Looking toward the Wasatch Mountains from just west of I-215

A look at the Oquirrhs from 56th West

Looking at the Wasatch from 56th West, not even visible.
We are hopeful that the firefighters will soon get these blazes under control, not only for the lungs of those of us living in the Salt Lake Valley, but for the homes, livelihoods, and lives of those in our neighboring states, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and others who are threatened by these destructive fires.

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