The Effects of Drought and Heat in the West

News Item: ” As of Monday, 59 large fires have burned 863,976 acres across the country this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.”

One of the pleasures of living in Colorado is looking at the landscape. A short walk from our house brings into view a cluster of mountains that rise well above the timber line. They’re between about ten and thirty miles distant, but are sharply defined and decked with snow most of the year. Since we returned here from travels ten days ago, the mountains appear as if seen through a thin layer of gauze. Throughout western United States, this summer, visibility is reduced by the countless smoke particles in the air. I’ve seen a video simulation of how smoke drifts downwind from fires. Sometimes I can smell the smoke; sometimes not.