We are now well into the 2017 fire season here in California, and there have definitely been a few scary fires already.
Meanwhile, in a completely different part of California, I'm keeping a watchful eye on the "Island Fire", which for now is being quite well-behaved:
The Island Fire is burning deep in the Marble Mountain Wilderness on the Klamath National Forest. It was ignited by lightning on Sunday June 25 and first reported on the afternoon of June 26. The fire is being suppressed under an alternative suppression approach to clean up hazardous fuels from a area that hasn't burned in a long time. There is no recorded large fire history for this portion of the Wilderness, although it is surrounded on the north, west and south by recent large fires.
Those "recent large fires" were horrific; it's amazing how soon those memories fade.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for all of California in the wake of wildfires that killed one firefighter and drove hundreds of people from their homes.
California's record drought, now in its fourth year, has "turned much of the state into a tinderbox," he said.
The emergency declaration, which included the activation of the California National Guard, will speed up help for thousands of firefighters, Brown said Friday.
About 9,000 firefighters were battling 24 large wildfires in California on Saturday, Ken Pimlott, the chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire said in an interview.
Dry thunderstorms were expected to threaten much of Northern California through much of the the weekend, Pimlott said. Thunder storms with gusty winds and lightning strikes have ignited fires, hitting Trinity and Humboldt counties the hardest, he said.
The smoke traveled hundreds of miles; it was an inferno of heat ablaze.
Wondrous rain has changed things, and now it's hard to remember what things were like, just two years ago.
This year, we shall let (certain) fires burn, for "there is no recorded large fire history for this portion of the Wilderness".
But I'm still watching; I'm keeping my eyes open.