When you’ve been living in earthquake country for long enough you learn something important about them.
Some sway – some shake.
The ones that shake, jolt, and dance? They’re nearby. The energy that is bending and shaking the entire surface of the earth like it was tissue paper hasn’t had the time or distance to dampen out. If you’re bouncing like you’re on a trampoline set on a flatbed truck going down a dirt road at high speed, that epicenter is close.
The ones that sway and wave and make you feel like you’re in heavy seas? They’re a long way away – but they’re huge. By definition they have to be to be making you shake hundreds of miles away from the epicenter. But the energy that is destroying a city over the horizon has had the distance and time that the shakers and jolters haven’t, so you’re going to spend five minutes getting seasick while nowhere near a boat, instead of thirty seconds on the above-referenced trampoline with the building collapsing around you.
Now we’re learning the same about brush fires.
There are those where the whole sky is black and brown and you’re choking on the soot. That’s a fire that’s nearby and you might lose your house, your neighborhood, or your city.
But there are also those that just make the sky orange when it shouldn’t be. That fire’s a long way away – but it’s huge. By definition it has to be to be filling your sky hundreds or even thousands of miles from the live flame.
We’ve been pretty lucky here in SoCal with few fires in our part of the state (but remember, it’s a BIG state!) while others in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and all the way to the Midwest are choking on smoke from NorCal, Oregon, Washington, and Canada. That started to change today.
My first thought was that we actually DID have a local fire starting up. The conditions are all too ripe for it.
But there’s almost no smell of smoke, and a quick double check shows no new large fires near us, at least, not today.
Good thing we all have masks now. Right?