Where There’s Smoke

I was in the Trinities this week and there was thick smoke everywhere. It’s burning season in Northern California. We had quite a lot of rain in late November. I assumed that some agency was doing a large burn project. However, I couldn’t see where the smoke was coming from. It appeared to be drift smoke.

During my drive down from the mountains I heard a news report. They reported that smoke from the Thomas Fire was drifting up the coast. I checked Google Earth that evening and the smoke had drifted nearly 500 miles from the Thomas Fire in Southern California to north of Redding. The residue of so many homes and so much wildland was adrift in this smoke.

wildfire, forestry, smoke, Thomas Fire

The late afternoon sun filtering through the smoke in the Trinities.

Billys Peak, Trinity River, smoke, wildfire, Thomas Fire,

Looking north toward Billys Peak across the old dredge tailings along the Trinity River.


reflection, forest, sun, smoke

Smoke tinted sunlight and trees reflect on an old dredge pond.

24 thoughts on “Where There’s Smoke

  1. Now you know how I feel! I had to go to an Otolaryngologist and pulmonologist to find out why I was having problems breathing? After all the test we’re said and done – “it’s the smokey air”. They said it’s temporary. And they’re right. As the wind blows and the fires dye down my breathing is fine. Kinda scary at first. I’m worried about My Tommy because his nose is closer to all the ash and debris that settles on the ground. But we had it good compared to all the poor people who lost everything, including their health!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were so many fires that I found it hard to remember what started what…but here’s what I heard: The Be Aire fire was started by homeless people with a portable stove who had been living under a 405 Fwy offramp in the Sepulveda Pass. They also discovered lots of cooking fuel. Everyone saw them there before the fire started, but since this is LA nobody wanted to report them because it would be unkind. The Creek fire was started by faulty power lines. The power company has yet to respond, but is investigating. Authorities are still investigating the Thomas fire, but I read that most of the hillsides hadn’t burned for over 100-years. I think I heard that the San Diego fire may have been intentionally set. These wildfires were so terrible that I still can’t get my head around the magnitude of the disruption left in their wake.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I meant to say”destruction” not disruption! Sorry, completely wrong meaning. This fire destroyed so much for so many I have no idea how they will ever recover their previous lives, let alone property. So much is gone. I know a lady who lives in shadow Hills. She was evacuated. When she came home she was delighted to see her house was untouched by the fire. But her delight gave way to hysteria when she found her house vandalized and all her belongings were stolen and broken by looters. They had accommodated themselves for the few days her house was under mandatory evacuation. She’s an elderly lady who’s known for her phalanthropy and gentle, kind heart. She has not been herself since the fire and is afraid to leave her house. This is just one example of the grief and anguish of one person. Imagine this scenario multiplied 1000’s of times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So much burning out west this year. My son lives in Boise ID now and this summer they had smoke come in from Oregon(?) and they could hardly go outsidewith the baby for a few days. Not something I am familiar with here in Indiana, thank heavens. I feel so bad for those who have lost everything in the fires. 100 years with no burns is trouble in the making.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true Ruth. Our governor likes to say it’s because of climate change and this is the new normal. The reality is that 100 + years of fire suppression with no fuels management make these fires practically un-fightable during strong wind events, but that doesn’t fit the political narrative.


  3. Hi Tim first of all I want to wish a very Happy New Year for you and your family with a lot of beautiful drawings.
    We hear on french TV that they were many fires in California after a lot of water. Your pictures are b eautiful but it is a tragic event. Hope is getting better now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Chantal and a very happy new year to you too. Fortunately for us the fires were far to the south. Those poor folks had a tough time. We are in our rainy season now so the fire danger is gone. However, in the areas downslope from the burns they are getting terrible mudslides when it rains hard. More people have died from the mudslides than did from the fires. Hopefully the worst is over.


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