Friday July 26th 2019
I woke up this morning to a very hazy day. The wind direction changed overnight and the smoke from the Mile Post 97 fire had settled into the area. The fire had also increased in size from a few hundred acres to around seven thousand acres by the end of today.
The smell of burning wood was in the air and there was a fine white ash on my car. The amount of smoke varied throughout the day, but the sky never cleared. The sides of the valley went from invisible to partially visible through the smoke haze. Similarly, the sun was blocked by the haze most of the day. Toward the end of the day the haze lifted enough that a red ball sun was visible through the haze as the sun set.
I went out for groceries and to start the scouting mission for a gas station to fill the motorhome on my departure next Wednesday. Oregon gas stations tend to be smaller with tighter turns. They only need to have as many pumps as they have staff to service the pumps. The smoke in the Grants Pass area, nearer the fire, was thicker than at my RV home. I drove west on the Redwoods Highway about thirty miles and the smoke haze persisted. My search for a good gas station wasn’t that successful either. I’ve got a few more days to figure it out. Going a few miles in the wrong direction is always a possibility.
Loaded up with enough food to last another week, I returned to my RV home around 3PM. I decided the prudent thing to do was close the RV windows and turn on the AC. Other than a few minutes to cook a couple of hamburgers on the grill and another couple of minutes to take a picture of the red sun, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening inside. The fire is expected to continue for weeks, so I need to plan my activities accordingly.