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Another summer of fire

Portland's getting smoke. It's most obvious, of course, at sunrise and sunset, filtering the reddish light to become redder. The smoke isn't as bad here as during the Eagle Creek Fire last summer, in the same county as us; this time the nearest big fire to us is in Wasco County, south of The Dalles and about 90 miles away.

So places south of us are getting it worse.

Southwestern Oregon and northern/far northern California are among those places, and the fires there are bigger and harder to contain. (The South Valley Road Fire south of The Dalles is 90% contained.) Firefighters are throwing so many resources at those; it's been a little surreal to see the footage of really low-flying tankers dumping vivid red flame retardant all over the U.S. West, like they're fighting it with color. Yesterday I was watching the view from the I.S.S. as the space station flew above California, and I could clearly see the plumes, grayer than the regular clouds. Places are damaged; some people have died. And I'm more and more bothered that we've had so many wildfires.

There's that wonderful visual in the (otherwise not very good) film Superman III, where Superman freezes the top layer of a lake, carries it to an on-fire refinery and drops it, so that the ice melts into rain that puts out the fire. It's nice to remember that. If only we could do that for real. Thoughts and hopes to everyone trying to stop these. Be careful. Do what you can.