I went outside this morning to find a strong unpleasant smell in the air, which I immediately blamed on Jim, who is re-roofing my neighbor's house. What's he doing over there? I thought. Later, when I could see haze and smell the smell driving to get some dinner, I realized it must be a distant fire. By "distant," I was thinking that maybe it might be in the next county.
Turns out it's way up in Minnesota, in the Boundary Waters area around the Gunflint Trail, inland from Grand Marais, on the north shore of Lake Superior. That's more than 350 miles from here. They've named it the Pagami Creek Fire. It's been burning since August 18th—it was ignited by lightning—but a couple of days ago it increased in size from 10,000 acres to 60,000 acres because of high winds.
The smoke reached Chicago today.
Strangely, sometimes it smells good, like burning leaves, and sometimes it smells bad, like a chemical plant is what's on fire. Strange.
I'll have to apologize to Jim. Bad ack. Wasn't his fault after all.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.