So I told mauvaise_etoile that I would try and describe what it’s like to have fires like the ones we’ve been experiencing.
I was thinking about that on Saturday night, actually. How completely foreign and unimaginable it would be if I wasn’t here (and like I told her, much like trying to imagine what it feels like to have a tornado siren go off in your neighborhood – I can’t imagine it).
Saturday afternoon and into the evening was the worst of it. The sky was thick and a greyish brown. If you have ever smelled someone burning their trash, it has the same smell. I remember it very clearly from the days when my nana would burn the trash at the house in Mexico because there was no trash service in their small desert town. But the smell doesn’t go away after a while, it seeps into everything, your clothes, your hair. You don’t even notice it after a while until you go someplace air conditioned that doesn’t smell like smoke (that is, unless you have respiratory problems, then you notice it with every breath you take). I haven’t been able to shake this head ache completely away
Worse are the particulates though. They get into everything and onto everything. I’ve been in more ash snow than real snow at this point. When we got out of the movies last Saturday, our car was covered. This was less than three hours worth.
Most, if not everyone, around here have thought about that ash and how it must be someone’s home, someone’s personal belongings that are drifting on your car, your hair, the house, etc. And that is really depressing.
The weather has shifted for the better, so I hope that it is almost over. Thank goodness that no lives have been taken at this point (from what I know). Those firefighters are incredible.