Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For Anyone Who May Be Concerned . . .

Just hung up from a phone call from my dear brother in Illinois-land who called to make sure we were alright considering the news he's been hearing about the wild fires around us.

My blog posts have been scanty because of our time spent with Papa Pea's brother and SIL from California who have been visiting. Our usual day-to-day schedule and my blogging schedule have been topsy-turvy with our company here so worry was added to Brother J's thinking when my regular posts haven't been turning up.

There are several fires burning in the area . . . but keep in mind that our "area" is vast, heavily forested and sparsely populated. The worst fire has now burned 100,000 acres. The closest area that has been evacuated is about 30 miles from us as the crow flies. Our immediate area is experiencing heavy smoke and falling ash but we don't currently feel any danger from the fires.

In the 38 years we've lived up here, we've had a burning fire much closer to us (one within a mile and a half) but this is the heaviest smoke for the longest period of time we've know. My visiting SIL suffers from asthma which is aggravated by the smoke so this has been an unfortunate happenstance during their visit.

The fires that are nearest to dwellings or moving toward dwellings are being fought aggressively but some are in spots in the heavy wilderness with no road access and can be fought only from the air with droppings of water and/or flame retardants. These fires are being watched carefully but for the most part are left to burn themselves out which can take literally months.

The smell of smoke is very evident even inside our house and we'll all probably smell like smoked fish for a while after all is said and done. Forest fires are a natural part of the area we live in but they can also be terrifyingly scary and they are nothing that those of us living here don't take seriously. For us personally here at our little homestead, at this time, we're not in any kind of danger. And we're very, very thankful for it.


  1. Well, thank God - you know how I worry!!! Is CM okay in her area? Hope your SIL is doing okay - I'm sure this was not on their list of things to experience in Minnie-Soda.

  2. Glad to hear you aren't in any immediate danger from these fires. I hope the wind changes direction and the smoke clears for you. That smell gets old very fast especially when you can't get away from it.

  3. We had a special weather alert yesterday re: air quality from your fire. Clear down here! But you already knew that cuz your family is a stones throw from us too!

    I had no idea it was THAT close to you however! Seems like everytime I question the whereabouts of something going on up there you tell me it's across the state or something. Wouldn't ya know this time is too close for comfort!

    Hope your SIL makes it thru ok!

    Glad you's are OK. Keep us posted!

  4. I just got through goggling "how bad are the fires in northern ,MN. "I am glad your in no immediate danger. I hope a evacuation won't become necessary.sending my thought and prayers up your way-stay safe

  5. Thinking of you as you monitor these fires and praying that they keep their distance.

  6. I feel for your guest with asthma (as well as the rest of you). That smoke yesterday had me almost ready to pack my kids and myself off on a trip to visit family elsewhere. I am thankful, however, that it's just smoke affecting us right now, and pray all who have been directly affected are safe and well.

  7. So here's the part where you hear how much of a cave I live in and how lame I am. I don't watch the news. I get very little online. We don't get the paper. So I did not know ANYTHING about the fires up your way until this morning when my husband mentioned something about the Boundary Waters. So now you know how lame I am. :( I'm glad to know that you're not in any immediate danger. Stay safe...and dear!! Thanks for posting!

  8. Oh my, put your Darth Vader mask on and stay safe. I hope that it burns out soon.

  9. house smells like smoke too :-) Way down here by Green Bay we have hazy skies and smoke smell from the same fire. The first night I smelled it I thought the neighbors didn't put out their campfire very well! LOL. Glad to here you're in no danger....I had no idea you were up that "high" though :-)

  10. Susan - Yep, CM is out of direct line of harm at the moment, too. We find it hard to believe that just when M & D come to visit, we have this super-bad air quality. Fresh, pristine air quality . . . it ain't!

    Sparkless - I think we all enjoy the aroma of a campfire which is what this kinda sorta smells like. But knowing it comes from acres and acres of forest land and even people's home, businesses, etc. being destroyed puts a whole different slant on it.

    APG - Yes, I think that's what made my brother think it might be worse up here than it actually is. If the fire is big enough to smell the smoke 600 or so miles away, whoa! Shows to go ya wind currents can carry much more than you would think through the air. Which isn't an especially good thing sometimes.

    judy - Thanks so much for your thoughts, good friend. We're holding our own and in no danger.

    I'll Call You Jane - Such a good feeling to know you're thinking of us. Bless you!

  11. Patty - You know we're all tough stock up here and don't panic, but I sure will feel better when the fires are under control!

    Mama Tea - There's nothing in papers or on national news these days that isn't bad, terrible, awful news so we avoid much of it, too. Thanks so much for your good words. This, too, will pass.

    Jane - We're taking precautions and will be fine. Thanks, Jane!

    dr momi - Even though forest fires can be called a "natural thing," they sure don't do much for pollution! These fires will put more carbon into the atmosphere than how many gazillion automobiles??

  12. I'm glad that everything is okay there so far - I heard a report from one of the lodges that "It's snowing"?! - are they speaking of falling ash or is it seriously snowing LOL? Hope the skies clear up for you, our wildfire is still burning here after close to 2 months, but nowhere near as bad as the smoke you are having!

  13. So glad to hear you are safe:) Praying for those in your neck of the woods who are affected by these fires.

  14. I heard that they're evacuating up by Isabella. I hope that isn't too close to you.
    It actually snowed a bit here today. Good bye garden.

  15. I was wondering how you were up there. I have no clue what area you are in....
    We smelled the smoke clear over here.
    Hope you stay safe!!

  16. Erin - Yes! They did have actual snow up at one of the lodges yesterday morning. We had 33 here for a low overnight. Look out, folks, winter is a' comin'! (I'm ready. No, I'm not. What am I saying? Still outside "remodeling" stuff to be done!)

    Stephanie - Thanks, friend. Less smoke in the air here this morning. Odor is still prevalent though.

    odiie - We heard about Isabella, too. We're a ways away from there.

    Sue - It's amazing just how far and wide the smoke is traveling. Well, big fire/big smoke. Makes sense. We're still holding our own and are in no danger yet.