Around a year ago, I woke up to find that the sky was tinted orange.
This was around September. We’d been dealing with bad air quality on-and-off for a few weeks by then, because the CZU Lightning Complex Fires were burning in some of the nearby hills, leaving us choking whenever the wind blew the smoke our way.
But this day was different. Instead of being low-hanging smoke from nearby fires—which tended to leave the sky a hazy grey—this was high-altitude smoke from fires burning all the way up in in Oregon and Washington. As a result, the air quality was counterintuitively less bad than it had been on the worst days of the past month.
But then the ash fell.