Showing posts from August, 2016

Smoke gets in your eyes . . .

What a month.  That's all one can say about the month from July 23rd to August 23rd.  Monterey County's problems started with the Soberanes Fire, which started back on July 23rd.  Due to prevailing winds, the smoke from Soberanes infiltrated our canyon and permeated every aspect of what we do.  While it is unlikely this fire would ever reach the rancho, its smoke certainly has.  It is now 83,000 acres, there are 2,421 fire personnel battling this fire, and it is 60% contained.  The expected containment date is September 30.

Some time during the first week of August, with temperatures nearing 115 in our area, the Mineral Fire started, which was approximately 20 miles due north of us.  This fire did have the potential to reach us.  There was no big fire break between the rancho and the Mineral Fire, such as the 101, and our winds generally blow from north to south, so we were definitely on edge.  Thanks to the work of the amazing firefighters, this fire was held to 7,050 acres an…

“Smoke veils the air like souls in drifting suspension . . . ” ― Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark & Termite

Since July 23rd, life in Monterey County -- whether north or south -- has been dominated by the Soberanes Fire in North County.  For those in the northern part of the county who are having to evacuate, live in shelters, and who have lost their homes, there is little one can offer to console them and assure them that life will resume normalcy again some day.  For those of us in the southern part of the county, our lives have been dominated by smoke.  

Due to an abnormal weather pattern, winds have been pushing the fire southward and the smoke has been funneling down the canyons toward this area, making it difficult to be outside for any period of time.  Eyes burn.  Breathing is hard.  Concern is mounting that smoke taint will ruin wine grape crops.  We are not certain if the olives will be affected.

However, it is difficult to complain when we are reminded that this fire could just as easily have been down here.  There are 5,200 firefighters in north county fighting this fire.  They need…