How about a little fire, Scarecrow?

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August of last year. That’s smoke haze.

Oh golly, it’s hot and dry. The sky fills with stray clouds once in a while, then clears back to that blistery blue clearness that betokens

no rain, you idiots who live in a rain shadow, no rain forever

Midvale, Idaho, is being evacuated. There’s a giant fire up by Mann’s Creek or in that area, which is above Weiser, Idaho.

Weiser’s not that great, either. Smoke, ash falling on the small town, I’ve heard. No, I’ve not driven over there to see for myself. No thanks.

Last summer, the skies seemed to have a permanent smoke pall to them. No sun, just a weird gray-reddish haze and the smell of burning. It reminded those so minded of Mordor and Mount Doom. It was that sort of world for a bit.

Redding, California is also being emptied as wildfires rage toward it, around it and have, probably by this writing, reached it. Northern Cali, for those not intimately in bed with California’s geography and towns and cities. By Mount Shasta, an actual volcano, no less.

So far, here in this area, only a small local fire, that got handled in an hour, on the Fourth of July. I have pictures of it, as it took place close enough to watch it from the back yard. Yes, we did sit and watch an actual wildfire sweep from the local butte toward actual farms and herds of cattle.

Then the magical airplanes and helicopters showed up. And the BLM firetrucks trying to get up there and having to probably ask the local watchers of this fire what roads to take to get where they needed to be. Listening for the rumble of big engines, and the crunch of big wheels on the pavement.

I tell ya. Listen here now. Excitement is watching a BLM firetruck rush by. And not sure if you’re rooting for the fire or the BLM. There’s that ambivalence. Do you root for a destructive force for evil or ooh and ah at the flames and smoke plumes?

[[See history of the BLM in the West…and the Hammonds and the Bundy Standoff and…]]

Oh that sploosh of fire retardant dropped on the advancing line of that fire! Bright red, rather showy. the smoke boiling up but the flames gone.

And the plane, almost hitting the ground, flying upward again like an odd giant pterodactyl. We wondered how those planes, as there were several by then, did not hit each other. Probably modern stuff installed to stop that from happening, was our opinion.

But now the West is on fire. Everywhere.

It’s being blamed on the liberals, no. I’m not kidding.

Their policies and environmental everything, of course, caused all this. Not so much about global warming or that the weather patterns have been cray cray dry here or that…two winters ago, it snowed and snowed. And then the grass grew because of that, cheat grass, which explodes when on fire and…yeah.

I mean, the least little spark and the hills around here turn into raging infernos. And I do mean the least little spark.

Everything is outlawed, fire-wise…even cigarettes being smoked outside…but the states can’t outlaw thunderstorms.

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from the Baker City Herald.


Which build in this heat and usually arrive with little or no rain and lots of…lightning. THUNDERSTORMS, YA’LL. 

Which is the actual scourge of the west, not liberals or city folk. Nobody in the real West is a city slicker, a’course. And those city slickers? They’re from CALIFORNIA. Yep. [Spits raw tabaccy juice somewhere near ya.] 

I think I’ve mentioned the antipathy toward Californians here in Idaho and Oregon. Yes? No?

We watch the skies here when those big bad clouds start boiling across the cosmos. We sniff hopefully for that rain smell. Petrichor. The smell of rain has a name. It’s petrichor. 

We flinch at the thunder, wait for the light show to spark our little world into something out of a disaster movie. Fire is both a way of life here and cheap theatre. 

Fear of liberals is second to fear of lightning strikes in the middle of the night. By far.

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Sept. 2017. Still hazy. Also, hey, that’s the Clark Boulevard featured in my BOOK.
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from sfgate/s. hudnux photo. Northern California.
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from KTVB. Highway 95, Idaho, around Midvale.
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from KOIN. The Dalles, Oregon. Substation Fire
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Enjoying the Fourth of July fire.

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