Welcome to the New World of Wildfires

by Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report –

When one envisions the US Pacific Northwest, one thinks of green ferns, moss-covered trees in Olympic National Park, or the Hoh Rainforest, where annual rainfall is measured in the hundreds of inches. Moisture, greenery, evergreens, abundant rivers. It’s a large part of the reason why I live here.

But thanks to abrupt anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), this region is shifting at a rapid pace. On the Olympic Peninsula where I live, this has been the summer of wildfire smoke.

As I write this, Puget Sound, Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, are all engulfed by thick wildfire smoke and ash from fires burning in Eastern Washington and Montana. A local Seattle weatherman remarked that he had “never seen a situation like this.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for his entire state on Saturday September 2.

Smoke from various wildfires has been a near-constant in this part of the country for the past month. Roughly a week ago, we were enshrouded by smoke from multiple wildfires across Oregon, and before that, we spent nearly two weeks breathing in thick smoke from the over 1,000 wildfires that scorched British Columbia up the coast from us.

Stepping outside, the world appears a surreal yellow. The sun varies from not being visible, to emerging as a yellowish orange bulb even during the middle of the day. When it sets, it has often appeared blood red through the thick smoke.

NASA satellite photos show the smoke plume even reaching the East Coast.

Given past and recent scientific reports, this is apparently the world we, and much of the rest of the United States, had better prepare to live in from now on.

Extreme Heat, Extreme Drought

The smoke plume from all of these fires, at the time of this writing, extends from up into British Columbia all the way down into central Oregon.

wildfire outside Portland has forced hundreds of residents to evacuate while it burned out of control in the Columbia River Gorge. That is just one of 81 wildfires burning across the US at the time of this writing, with 20 of those fires in Oregon alone.

Climate researchers have been warning us for a long time that increasing temperatures and more intense droughts will logically cause dramatic escalations in the number, heat and ferocity of wildfires.

read more…..   http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41887-welcome-to-the-new-world-of-wildfires

 

Reprinted with permission from Truthout