It’s raining here today. That’s a very good thing. Not only do we need the moisture, but it does wonders for the air quality in our neighborhood right now.
A wildfire started early yesterday on Stone Mountain: just over a mile from where I sit. The smoke in the air was noticeable here by mid-morning and got steadily worse. By early afternoon an easterly wind moved in and blew the smoke the other side of Piney Mountain down through Bat Harbor. When the wind died down yesterday evening, the smoke moved back in, in force. It was nasty.
The photo is a shot of the fire taken Wednesday at dusk from the Lowe’s parking lot in Newport – probably about 8 miles away as the crow flies. Unless it’s a drunken crow; then that would be hard to judge. It shows the smoke plume that is drifting along Piney Mountain: our home place.
We sealed our house windows yesterday to keep the smoke out. The gentle drizzly rain started around 4 a.m. and has dropped 4/10th inch so far – at 8 a.m. – which has done wonders toward dragging the smoke particles out of the air and making it far more breathable. It should help some in the firefighting efforts as well.
We are in no danger from this fire except for the annoyance of the smoke. The biggest danger presented – other than to a few homes in that area – is to a spot at the crest of Stone Mountain called Hall’s Top, which is the location of a major communications antenna array. If this gets taken out by the fire, it would put a major crimp in wireless communications – cell phones, internet, business and emergency vehicle radios, etc. – in this county.