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March 18, 2013

OK, remember this?

That, at least, was an accident– an accident based on negligence, with a lot of complex and evil undertones, but still, officially, an accident.

This, however, was on purpose.

burning tules on Kimball Island 3-17-13 from Third Street, Antioch Lumber Company
photo by Naomi Griffin

It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m watering the plants, because yes, it’s March, and they already need a little water. Small white specks suddenly start raining down on us; at first I think they’re bugs. A few minutes later they’re joined by long black curls, clearly ash. Then we start to smell smoke. We look to the north, and see a black plume rising.

No sirens. They can’t be burning tules already? The smoke and ash increase, and the cloud grows.

My sister and her husband drive up. They’ve been watching on Second Street; she says half the town is there. The flames are clearly visible, and huge. By this time there’s ash everywhere, and the cloud is three times as large.

Our neighbor comes home. She says you can see the flames from the freeway. She’s disgusted; so are we. She wonders why we can’t burn wood in our fireplaces, but they can cover the entire region with something which is now approaching the dimensions of a pyroclastic flow. And she wonders how they can do this without any warning whatsoever– what about people who have kids with asthma? she asks. I’m thinking, “What about me?” Because I’m totally selfish that way.

Forty-five minutes later, this is what it looks like at our house, four miles away.

guess it wasn't a spare the air day

Yes, I’m still coughing. And I’m fed up with BOYS– boys blowing things up, and burning things, and killing stuff. Because I don’t care what the official reason for this is, that’s what this is about.

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