Last I heard there are some 600+ 1000 fires burning in Northern California at the present time, courtesy of a lightning storm last Saturday. Although they are some distance from us, Chico is completely socked in with smoke. The hills have disappeared completely, as has everything that’s more than a few blocks away. Hardly anyone is out and about. We’re being told to stay inside because of the air quality, and it seems people are heeding the warnings. Driving through downtown, which is usually always crowded, feels post-apocalyptic. (I’ve never used that word before – it fits just right here, unfortunately.) They are saying that two years of inadequate rainfall left the woods unrefreshed from last summer, creating conditions ripe for what is happening. It kind of brings home the idea of global warming.