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June 2012
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Summer of Fires

The other day my friend made an animated jpg purporting to illustrate where there are wild fires in Utah. It showed the entire state in flames, which is kind of how it feels. In the past week over a dozen large fires have burned forests and homes while requiring thousands of households to evacuate just in case. It seems that every single day brings report of a new fire. Nearby states are suffering the same or much worse. Colorado is suffering a fire of epic proportions. Yet at my house all is normal. I work on my projects, do my work, and the only direct effect of the fires is that sometimes the sunlight is red from smoke and yesterday we got a light coating of ash. Yesterday a friend told me that a couple of years ago the law was changed preventing people from gathering deadwood in national forests. He posited that this lead to a build up of underbrush. I suspect that much of this is caused by last year being so wet and mild while this year has been dry. Obviously something is different this year. We get one or two big fires every year, not more than ten in a single week.

Thus far I don’t know anyone whose home has burned, though I know several people who have been evacuated or were at risk of evacuation. I find myself thinking through the contents of our house and making a list of what I’d take if I could only remove one van load of combined things and people. There are lots of things in my house I’d miss if they were destroyed, but only a very few items that I would bother to pack. Most of the space would probably go to kid treasures. They love their things far more than I love mine. Mostly I would pack things that would let us continue to function as a business and a family while we were in exile.

Independence Day is next week. I’m not sure if I’m all that excited about lighting fireworks. I’ve kind of had enough of the smell of smoke.

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