Friday, May 11, 2007

The Florida Fires: Living In Smoke

Yet another reason to not move to Florida. We burn every so often. In 1998 an ENTIRE county (Flagler) was evacuated as forest fires roared through the palmettos and pines. We lived that entire summer in a smelly, smoky haze.

The photo above was taken Thursday at 5:00 PM on my way home. That's not a localized cloud of smoke, in fact, there's no forest fire within 25 miles of here. No, the view above is what the entire region looked like yesterday afternoon.

You could not get past it ... as it had no end.

It's simply everywhere. You see it, smell it, taste it.

Everywhere.

It has been smoky here for several weeks, although in varying degrees of smokiness. Yesterday was especially bad, it all depends on the wind direction and your proximity to the fires. We need rain desperately. Our county is one solid pine forest about the size of Rhode Island. It is also bone dry.

We are holding our breath.


On a lighter note, and still following the smoke theme, here are some chicken nuggets Katie was microwaving earlier in the week.
I was sitting here blogging (what a surprise) when I heard Kate and her Mom yelling, "Open the windows! Get it out of here!"
When I popped my head around the corner, the entire kitchen was filled with smoke which was still billowing from a scorched lump on a paper plate.
I dashed the sizzling plate of goo out to the porch and grabbed my camera, much to the chagrin of Katie. "This has Pure Florida post potential" I thought.
"No Daddy, no!"
It's tough being the kid of a daily blogger.
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17 comments:

Wayne said...

That is pretty spectacular. The smokey highway, anyway.

It's a common observation around here too - hmmm, that's bloggable.

Cathy S. said...

Oh, I was thinking about Katie and how her allergies were responding to the smoke when lo and behold, you tell me that she is making her own. We have the haze here, too, but I am sure it is not as bad as it is there. Fires to the north of us and fires to the south as well. Stay safe and indoors. More opportunity to practice your through the window photo shoots, but please keep your clothes on.

Doug Taron said...

That looks really bad. People in your area with respiratory diseases like asthma must be suffering terribly at the moment.

pissed off patricia said...

It got down here too and I'm pretty far from you. We were in the Daytona area this week and the smoke was awful. Man, we could use some rain on our state. Anyone good with rain dances?

Mark said...

I'm happy to say in NW Georgia we don't have smoke. Of course we have what is considered extreme drought, so a careless cigarette smoker could change that.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Living in all that smoke must be awful. When you mentioned that it was too smokey to take bird photos the other day, I thought you must have been exagerating a little bit. Boy, was I wrong!

roger said...

thank kate for the science project. i've wondered what over-nuking would do. never had the nerve to really try it.

the smoke looks very uncomfortable.

kevin said...

I spent a couple of weeks in '98 hanging out of a UH-60 dropping water on fires in and around St. Johns county. A couple of good tropical storms would take care of all the problems.

Deb said...

The air smells smoky here in east central MN this morning, and it's a little hazy but not nearly as bad as it looks there.

From the looks of the caramelized charred stuff, those nuggets must have a lot of hidden sugar in them!

robin andrea said...

That air does not look like Pure Florida at all. What a smoky, hazy mess. Hope it clears out soon.

The blogger's motto: Everything has potential.

rcwbiologist said...

Ah smoke, the bane of the p burner. There is a great satellite loop of the affect Andrea had on the wildfires down your way here;
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/MargieKieper/comment.html?entrynum=151&tstamp=200705

ImagineMel said...

you know...maybe you should reconsider letting your children use a microwave...first the tostones and now this. EMMA!!! STAY AWAY FROM THE LIGHT, LOOK AWAY! Happy weekend!

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
Believe it or not, it's worse today.

Cathy S,
Somehow, Katie has so far gotten through this with no episodes.
I'm knocking on wood.


Doug,
It's tough on them. My best buddy at school had a severe allergic reaction to the smoke and ash today. They had to call an ambulance for her as she could not breathe. She's okay now.

POP,
I hear ya. We are desperate.

Mark,
All it takes is the careless cig or the copycat arsonist. Scary stuff in a drought.

Hal,
No, I was understating.


roger,
i've heard of people setting their house on fire with the microwave. my kids have demonstrated how this might occur twice that i know of.

Kevin,
We need a TS Frances. Man, I loved that storm. So wet.

Deb,
I read that Minnesotarctica was burning. Sorry about that.
It's probably the insipid corn starch that is put into everything.

Robin,
How true. Not like the usual blue skies I toss around. This too shall pass.

RCW,
For a few days, we had high hopes for Andrea, but she was a fickle girl who was just blowing smoke.

Mel,
Truly, they should have to take an operator's test before being allowed near it.
The table and floor still bear the burn scars of Jr's tostone episode.

Hurricane Teen said...

ugh, the smoke has been horrible. I really hope those fires don't make it into Osceola Nat Forest...That's one of my favorite places for upland hiking.
And poor Katie seems to be down on her luck lately...How in the WORLD did that happen??

SophieMae said...

So far, the smoke hasn't been THAT bad around here, but it got worse this afternoon. Last I heard, they were gearing up for the possibility of shutting down I-10.

I was just about to break into the Myposian dance of joy the other day when I heard raindrops on the skylight. But it stopped before my feet got the message to get happy. >8\ Ah, well, those were a joyous 5 seconds.

Laura said...

I've been wondering about your area. We have friends in Gainesville who said there were ashes floating in the air, lots of people showing up at the hospital for breathing problems as well.
I took a similar photo yesterday when I was out driving around.Even our clothes smell like smoke!
Be careful up there!!

Sandy said...

I'm laughing my head off because of the chicken nuggets and Katie's comment about how tough it was to be a kid of a daily blogger...Priceless.

So sorry about the fires and I hope that they'll get them under control VERY SOON for everyone's sake.