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Saturday, September 12, 2020

The "Super Massive Plume of Smoke" That Settled over My Area

 



A couple of you were asking about my area and the fire situation. While we do not have any fires near us, we are blanketed by a thick plume of smoke and haze from the California and Oregon fires. The other evening, one news source dubbed this a "super massive plume of smoke."

Here is a photo from this morning at about 9 AM. This is what the smoke and haze looks like in my backyard. The camera doesn't pick up the brownish tint of the sky or yellowish light throughout the yard as well as I am seeing out my window. If you look closely at the bottom of the V in the clearing between the trees, you can make out the silhouette of a couple of evergreen trees in the distance. These are behind the trees that you can see more clearly. Again, the camera doesn't pick up this image as well as I can see. But, these trees are on our neighbor's property, just over our property line. The smoke and haze are obscuring the view of these trees this morning. 

The air quality this morning is right around 200, depending on what source I check. This is the "unhealthy" to "very unhealthy" range for all individuals. The news has advised us to stay indoors with the windows closed. Even with windows closed and running an air purifier in one room 24/7, I've had a dusty feeling in my mouth and throat since yesterday morning. Parks, beaches, and some businesses have closed for the weekend. While this is not an emergency for my family, this is such a strange occurrence. I thought I'd update what it's like this morning for my area north of Seattle, for those of you who have expressed concern for our welfare.

BTW, air quality is expected to begin improving for us tonight into tomorrow morning. Until then, I am held captive indoors by air.

12 comments:

  1. Oh Lili! Praying for you an DC your family.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amanda. The air quality is supposed to improve later today. We appreciate prayers. The fires have devastated entire communities. My heart breaks for those families.

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  2. That sounds awful. Between that and covid, I'm sure life feels very surreal to you right now. Thanks for updating us.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      Surreal is the right word for it. The sun never did break through the smoke and haze yesterday. We stayed in a perpetual state of not-quite-daylight all day long. It doesn't look so brown or yellow this morning and the air quality index was 184 this morning (which is still unhealthy, but not very unhealthy). But still that hazy look. I stayed in the house for the entire day. I've delayed grocery shopping until the air is a little better. So many strange occurrences in 2020.

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  3. The fires are unbelievable, how fast it spreads. Hope you stay safe and well.

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    1. Hi Laura,
      The stories I've read of those in the fire zones are so sad. The reality is that this kind of devastating fire situation could happen anywhere. We all need to understand just how fast we need to act, should fires ever threaten our own safety. Fortunately for my community, we are quite a ways away from the fires. Just have the smoke and haze due to the magnitude of the fires across the west. Thanks for your well wishes!

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  4. Thanks for giving us an update, Lili. I hope things improve for you soon and you see no more effects of the fires than you see now. Fires are very scary.

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    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I don't know what the situation will be for other areas dealing with the smoke and haze, but for the Puget Sound region, we're expecting a storm that should clear the air here, to begin to enter our area in the next day. I really don't know if other areas will get the same sort of scouring of the air that we expect. I sure hope so. And yes, I am very grateful that all we see here is the residual smoke and not actual fires and evacuation orders. My heart breaks for all of the families who lost loved ones and/or their homes.

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  5. Hey Lili. I clicked on the photo and zoomed in. You can really tell how thick the smoke is covering the neighbors trees. I hope that this subsides quickly for you. Thank you for updating us!

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    1. Hi Lona,
      You know, if I didn't know that this was smoke, I would have thought we were shrouded in fog, like we often see in fall and winter, here. But fog almost always burns off by midday. This never left us yesterday and made the sky yellow to brown at different points in the day. And of course, this smoky air makes me cough all day. Surreal is the right word for this.

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  6. The light is sure weird isn't it? At our house it's more yellow than brown but I think we are up higher in elevation. The sun is a rusty, faded orange too. Honey in your tea helps with the rough throat. What a strange year this has been!-Kathryn

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    1. Hi Kathryn,
      By mid-afternoon yesterday, the sky seemed yellow, here. This morning, it looks a little better than yesterday. I hope the air improves bit by bit all day long. Thanks for the suggestion of honey in tea. I did have a cup of tea with honey last night, mostly so I could rinse out the hone jar. But I think it did help my throat. Do you know what I was thinking earlier, 2020 has been so unreal that I believe I will appreciate "mundane" years so much more, in the future. Give me boring and ordinary, please. Stay safe, Kathryn.

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