Last Tuesday there was a haze of smoke in the air at the lake. There was a small wild fire burning to the south of us.
It was a relaxed, farewell fishing trip.
The next day my family and I would hop a flight out of Spokane heading for a week's vacation in Indiana with my family there.
So I was thinking about packing, and travel, and the week's agenda in Indiana when I drove home that night. And also, in the back of my mind, I wondered about that wildfire....
The trip was wonderful. It was the first time all six of my children and all four of my grandchildren (and another on the way) were together. We made the most of it.
And every morning we would check the news. That little lightning-spawned wildfire grew and joined others and exploded into the Carlton Complex Fire, the largest fire in the history of Washington State, burning over almost 400 square miles, prompting the evacuation of three towns--towns we know well, and destroying 185 homes. It came within thirty miles of our home before shifting direction and moving off into unpopulated areas.
We're home now. The fire is still burning, along with four other fires in the state. Conditions for fighting the fires have improved, and today was cool and rainy. The Carlton Complex Fire, which had been 0% contained over the first five days of its existence, has now been declared 16% contained.
And it's just the beginning of the fire season.