27 June 2012


Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 3:13 pm

It’s not just the smoke any more, billowing out from the notch. Now the fire has climbed up and over the last ridge, preparing to make its descent into town. Airplanes drop their payloads of slurry at the leading edge, but it looks like they’d need a hundred times as many planes to stop the advance as one by one the tall evergreens turn bright orange. The thunder offers false hope, signaling not rain but dry lightning that sparks even more blazes. Neighbors, their cars loaded with whatever they hold most dear, water their lawns, their trees, their roofs. Even the police have pulled their squad cars over to the side of the road, just watching and waiting like everyone else.


  1. Yikes! Your comments about running in this cracked me up over at DV. I hope that ends up being the worst of it for you.


    Comment by CarlD — 27 June 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  2. I just watched two big helicopters drop fire retardant on a tendril of fire trending toward the northeast. Evidently containment is still 0% but it’s mostly staying within fairly limited confines because of the steep terrain. No further progression eastward down the mountain toward us. And no, I didn’t run today.


    Comment by ktismatics — 27 June 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  3. Fire now 30% contained. Pre-evac notice for our area has been lifted.


    Comment by ktismatics — 27 June 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  4. And I thought this was an extract from your novel in the fashionable present continuous. It would do in a novel, wife and lover asphixiated with charcoal gas, accelerants left carelessly behind…

    I hope that it becomes pluperfect.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 28 June 2012 @ 9:17 am

  5. The proximity of dire events looming from a smoldering mountaintop triggered in me not panic, not efficient problem-solving, but dissociation, as if I were a character in an apocalyptic fiction. One of my neighbors, busy loading cardboard boxes into her car, asked if we’d packed up yet. Smiling, I shook my head. “Let it burn,” I told her as I walked toward the burning mountain.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 June 2012 @ 10:13 am

  6. The firefighters expect to have this fire largely contained by tomorrow, which is great. The problem is that it’s still only June, with at least two solid months of hot dry weather likely to come.


    Comment by ktismatics — 29 June 2012 @ 11:42 am

  7. Climate change as a result of global warming has such biblically prophetic/apocalyptic parallels, doesn’t it? Especially when the world is burning.


    Comment by erdman31 — 4 July 2012 @ 2:17 am

  8. Remarks from National Weather Service meteorologists:

    While only one heat wave cannot by itself be linked to climate change, a significant increase in these types of events over time could be a hallmark of a warming planet. “An increasing frequency of heat waves —that’s one aspect of climate change you can point to,” Carbin said. Over the past few years, daily record high temperatures have been outpacing daily record lows by 2-to-1 on average, according to the website Climate Central. A 2009 study found that if the climate were not warming, that ratio would be expected to be even. So far this year, there have been 40,113 high temperature records set or tied, compared with just 5,835 cold records, a ratio of about 7-to-1. “This could be a harbinger of things to come,” Weber said.

    It’s been observed that a lot of people have an easier time imagining the apocalypse than an improvement in the status quo. If you happen to be a proponent of creative destruction with extra money in your pockets, then global warming isn’t just a catastrophe: it’s an economic opportunity. Just think of all that oil under the Arctic ice cap, all that new coastline to be bought for a song and developed into luxury properties, all those levees to be built for shoring up Manhattan. One man’s apocalyptic nightmare is another man’s goldmine. Certainly traditional Christianity regards the Apocalypse as an opportunity: clear out all the sinners and the saints have it made in the shade.


    Comment by ktismatics — 4 July 2012 @ 7:22 am

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