I’m a bit late in posting this, but the issue is still present, though the evidence may not be.

It’s easy to dismiss dozens of raging wildfires consuming thousands of acres of the Northwest when it doesn’t directly threaten your home or anyone you know.  However, they force their presence into the forefront of those in neighboring cities when the winds shift and our beloved homes are shrouded in oppressive smoky haze.

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As tragic as the situation is, a photographer sees only opportunity.  It’s not every day that circumstances afford such a photogenic backdrop.  Therefore, duty-bound, I set out with my camera.

The sun rose (and set) a fiery orb, reflecting its anger at the devastation below, ominous for most of the hours that day.  It was eerie to look out upon a seemingly dawn sky at two in the afternoon.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

We live at the base of a popular lookout, and we have hiked to the top a couple of times.  However, hazardous smoke doesn’t make for a very good companion to active lungs, so we opted for the shorter car ride.  I was disappointed to see this got us a bit too far above the city, everything below hidden beneath the thick grey blanket.

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© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Returning closer to home, I ascended a long set of wooden stairs in my quest for just the right vantage.

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These were attractive in their own right, and my efforts were not in vain.  Just high enough to view the city, yet close enough to see through the haze, I got the pictures I sought.

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We quickly returned home, thankful for the cooler inside air free of the acrid scent of a thousand barbecues, and grateful we had to suffer only the smoke.

The wind shifted again the next day, clearing the air and returning our blue sky, but the cause is still wildly out of control.  It breaks my heart to hear of honorable men losing their lives to protect others’ homes and extinguish these relentless fires, and days like that which blanketed cities from Washington to Colorado in smoke for a day remind us the threat still persists.  Usually a sun-loving person, I actually welcome the oncoming rain this week foretells, and I hope it brings relief across the Northwest.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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