You’ll need a mask

I took this from the EPA site AirNow.

It doesn’t require a sensor to know the air is bad. And it is very bad here in Yreka.

I know we are lucky—so far—as people in nearby communities have lost their homes because of the fires.

We are at the mercy of the winds. In the old days they had Aeolus, the divine keeper of the Anemoi, or Winds. Some Winds were benign, but the Storm-Winds wreaked havoc upon land and sea, so it was up to Aeolus to keep them bottled up. This he did, mostly, but if Zeus ordered them cut loose, so be it.

These days we have windy.com with its entrancing animations. (Warning: serious time sink!) We don’t make sacrifices to the gods the same way, either. Instead of slaughtering a beast and burning offerings on a pyre we build super-computer forecasting ensembles that churn through powerful algorithms. This takes a lot of energy. Not just the human physical and mental energy, but the enormous amount of electrical energy devoted to these tasks.

And important tasks they are!

In geology, aeolian processes are ones involving the erosion, transport, and deposition of sediments by the wind. Winds don’t just affect our weather but also our landscape.

Particulate material from wildland fires can travel across the globe. While we are trying not to breathe in the smoke and ash from our nearby fires, long-traveled micro-debris from fires in other places comes our way as well.

I root for a fresh, cleansing breeze to scour out the valleys and let us breathe again. But I know that firefighters are also at the mercy of the winds, and the best-laid firefighting plans could be scuttled by abrupt changes in wind direction and speed. So, I hope for the best instead.

We all want it to cool down and we all want the rains to come, but it is only September and we have some weeks to go yet.

Stay safe out there!

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