Wildfires are an omnipresent fact of life in the Southwestern United States, so moving to New Mexico didn't change that part of our lives one bit. At least we moved out of earthquake land. (I say that cringing a bit because I don't want to jinx this place.)
What's different here is the way smoke moves. In Southern California, where we lived up until a year ago, we usually smelled smoke or experienced raining ash when a fire was within 10 or 15 miles or when we could see flames. Smoke meant fire, so we'd move into fire watch mode. When Pat and Ric lived up the hill from us, I could call Pat, who had a police and fire scanner. Up to date news, courtesy of the neighbors.
Why does the smoke travel so far? "It's wind," Tom said, wisely. And it's as good an answer as any, so I will go with it. I have a hard time when Tom acts smart, but I will give him credit this time.
At times this is "get a respirator" smoke, thick ash raining down when all we want to do is eat an al fresco meal on the deck. Then I wonder where the people of Los Alamos are eating their dinner and I stop getting all uppity.
This was the view from our deck Sunday evening when we were eating dinner. That's smoke, not rain clouds.
So I keep scanning the skies, checking the internet, and listening to Patsy Cline, hoping the rains will come soon.