Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bad Air Day


Actually, it is more like a bad air month. Our area of northern California was hit by a lightening storm three weeks ago, and the mountains have been on fire ever since, We started with hundreds of fires, and are now down to about 30 or so. Several of them have combined into quite large fires, and have caused a terrible amount of damage. Many thousands of people have been evacuated. The air has been calm, so the smoke is just hanging in the valley, and we have a layer of ash on everything that sits outside. The air quality is now defined as "hazardous," and we are being urged to stay inside and not work or play. Visibility today was less than half a mile. At times, the sun actually disappears like we're in a thick fog. Effects on the crops are minor compared to people losing their homes and the damage to our lungs, but I expect rice yields will be somewhat reduced by the lack of sunshine and excessive smoke this month.
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