The reprieve in the fire danger is welcome, north and south, but we’re in for it nonetheless, especially those of us who live in the heavily wooded high country, between the flatlands and the timberline. The merry month of May has barely begun, but it doesn’t feel so merry up here where the smoke hung heavy in the air just a few days ago, ominous and laden with anxiety about the days to come. In a normal year, the fire anxiety doesn’t really amp up until July. That’s when those of us who live in the Sierra or in the canyons of the coastal ranges are left to white-knuckle our days, uneasy at the sounds of helicopters or planes overhead as they work the fires that always come.
The latest fires were a preview of coming attractions, summer conflagrations that have been in production through the unusually dry winter.
Meanwhile, as global warming asserts its costs, the fire season lengthens with each passing year. And so we hunker down to wait out another fire season, hoping to be here when the first rains of autumn bring relief, until the cycle starts again.