Portland's gone a couple of weeks without smoke. The wildfires nearer to us are out, and prevailing winds have been kind to us, keeping smoke from the Washington Cascades or Southwestern Oregon from getting over here. We're lucky.
I'm making sure to remind myself other areas aren't so lucky.
Firefighters are still working across the U.S. West, making progress. California's Mendocino Complex fire, the largest in this country this year, is 97% contained.
Still. Two summers in a row of especially bad fires on my side of the country. A year ago, Orgon had the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia Gorge: big, close, disruptive. That fire hit me hard, psychologically; it hit a lot of us Oregonians hard. And now I'm also thinking of how bad the 2007 wildfires were in Southern California, a former home of mine where the fires burned into a town where I'd lived, Rancho Bernardo. My former neighborhood there was untouched. Plenty of other neighborhoods were touched. I remember that being hard to watch.
It's feeble to say this, but: I want less to burn. I want more controlled, controllable fires, and to do whatever's possible to make burn seasons like these last two less likely. I want less ash in our lives.
(...I'm tempting the fates and Mt. St. Helens' gonna erupt again, isn't it. CURSE YOU, superstitious thinking!)