We returned last night from another camping trip to our favorite, secret place. We came home one night earlier than planned. Our clothes reeked of smoke even though we had no campfire. All campfires are banned, probably for the duration of the rest of the camping season. Why? Well, quite literally, Montana is on fire. There really isn’t anyplace you can go to get away from the smoke. Not that I’m aware of at any rate.
I have to admit that I was hesitant to go camping when the surrounding countryside is on fire. We went to our favorite spot two weeks ago. It was smokey then, but the smoke blew away soon after that and the air was clean and clear. But that was two weeks ago.
Since then there are more fires and when we arrived at our favorite spot I was alarmed at the change that two weeks can bring. The lack of rain has taken its toll on much of the vegetation. Everything was crispy. The sign as you are entering the area says “fire danger is extreme”, and by merely glancing around the area you could see that they were not overstating that fact.
I didn’t sleep well that night. The smoke burned my throat and gave me a raging headache. By morning the smoke had cleared out a little. I was hopeful it would stay that way.
But by that afternoon it started settling in again, and around six o’clock that evening I saw a huge plume of smoke headed in our direction. The wind was blowing ash all over the place. I was already getting another headache, so I talked my husband into leaving. I’d checked the day before to see if there were any fires in the immediate area where we would be camping. There hadn’t been, but we were well out of cell phone range the next day, and who’s to say a fire hadn’t started in the immediate area since we got there. So, we left.
It’s sad to see so many places burning. We’re hoping our favorite spot doesn’t catch fire next.