Monday, August 24, 2015

Washington's Wildfires Cause Maxine A Smoky Laundry Illusion With Tootsie Tonasket

A couple days ago  I asked Maxine if this year's Washington dire fire situation was the worst she can remember, because that is how it is seeming to me from my vantage point a couple thousand miles distant.

I also asked Maxine for a hiking report, which I enjoy reading due to it causing that homesick feeling I enjoy so much.

Today Maxine emailed in a hiking and fire report, with three photos, including the one you see here. The other two photos show how badly the smoke from the fires has cut visibility.

Maxine's message, including the explanation for that which you see above....

Good Monday, 

Definitely the worst fires in my memory. Saturday was very smoky, I thought the smoke had discolored the white laundry I’d hung out to dry but Mike pointed out that it was just looking thru the air that caused  the illusion of discoloration.  At one point we couldn’t see the hills across the valley from our house.

Sunday we hiked the Skyline Divide trail. We did it a couple of years ago but it was very foggy and we couldn’t see anything. This time we were at the trailhead by 7 a.m ., had to take lots of breaks on the trail because the air quality was so poor.  Once we got out of the trees Mt. Baker was clear and beautiful-we followed the trail up and around until we were standing right in front of the backside of Baker. The smoke was settling in by the time we headed back down the trail and we could barely make out the outline of the mountain even though it was a clear day.

Our house is surrounded by trees. So far there aren’t any fires near us. There is a very small fire behind Whitehorse Mountain and that is the only fire of any significance on this side that I know of.



Maxine's location is about 30 miles, as a crow flies, southwest of the Newhalem fire in North Cascades National Park, which has been in the news the past several days.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Washington, Okanogan County remains on fire at multiple locations. Aunt Alice, aka Tootsie, in Tonasket, is working hard to stay optimistic, while having trouble breathing due to the thick smoke.

It has been an impressive thing to witness to see how the people of Tonasket and Okanogan County are using Facebook to connect people and to let the helpers know who needs help.

Let me see if I can find an example of a person on Facebook connecting the Okanogan County community. Found one. Patrick Plumb, go to Patrick Plumb's Facebook page. I think he may be the mayor of Tonasket or the chief chief of the Tonasket Tribe.

I hope relief in the form of rain comes soon to all the states currently on fire....

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