That’s one evil enchantment

Oh, hey, I remember the Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon! We used to drive by it on I-5 all the time, and we’d gawk and think about taking our oldest child there sometime, back when he was a toddler. That was the early ’80s, before we left lovely Eugene.

It doesn’t look so enticing now. Now it’s the Enchanted Forest from Hell…

On second thought, that might appeal to Alaric even more today.

I’m so sorry, California, Oregon, and Washington. I hear everything is on fire nowadays. Let the rains come soon.


  1. robro says

    It’s very gloomy here in the Bay Area. The sky was dark, orange-pink until late morning, and it’s still very smokey looking. Fortunately, the AQI isn’t bad because the smoke is at high altitude. At least it’s not 110. There are big fires in other Western states. Welcome to your climate changed world. If you look at AirNow you’ll see them and that the pall of smoke is all across the country.

  2. anthrosciguy says

    For reasons that seemed better in February, we’ve ended up waiting out the pandemic in Oregon. Bit of a long story. Anyway, we were going to stay in Linn County, but turns out it’s between three massive fires, so we’re out at the coast. But even here there’s a 500 acre fire and loads of smoke, and the heat from the fire has reversed the usual breeze in from the coast, so the smoke is blowing out toward us. Nowhere near as bad as around the area east of Salem and I5 down to Eugene. Just bad, smoky, red sun, but not as bad.

    They’re using the fairgrounds in Salem and in Linn County as evacuation areas. Just what everyone needs to deal with on top of covid.

    At least, even in the place we’ve stayed the most – a place and area disturbingly festooned with Trump 2020 signs, hats, and t-shirts – people are distancing and masked almost always.

  3. bcwebb says

    Apparently in the Bay area the inversion is keeping the smoke away from the ground so air is still breathable. Like living in a dark tunnel or a NYC below ground apartment.

  4. PaulBC says

    It’s high noon (1pm PDT) and I have to keep the lights on in a corner nook with windows. I was wondering why it does not smell smoky outside.

  5. wzrd1 says

    Reports I’ve been seeing from California have been quite a bit of pyrocumulus clouds, alas, with the rain is also coming more lightning, spreading the fires even more chaotically.
    Much like everything else, since Trump took office. Wasn’t he supposed to rake out the forests or some other silly thing?

    Let’s hope for some serious rain, to cut back the fires and make everything damp enough to not be easily combusted! Looks like a slight chance the typhoon could push the jet stream a bit farther south, allowing the cold intrusion that’s offering unseasonable winter storms a tad westward and farther south, which would be enough to interact with the hot, moisture laden air for the afflicted portions of the west coast. Unlikely, but there’s always a possibility.

  6. fossboxer says

    One of my lunatic Trumpster relatives just told me over text that god is clearly mad at Oregon and that I should get out while I can.

    Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick, I feel so alone.

  7. Artor says

    There’s some rain in the forecast for next Tuesday here, but it will probably bring lightning with it, so…

  8. robro says

    PaulBC — Actually I have smelled smoke occasionally today but then we’re close to one of the fires (the Woodward fire on Point Reyes), and I can taste the ash. My wife says our cars are covered in the ash. So, we closed up and turned on the air filters even though it’s relatively cool.

  9. PaulBC says

    There’s a dusting of ash in Mountain View and I would not call the air quality good, but it’s not obviously the smell of smoke like it was a few weeks ago. At least the temperatures have come down.

  10. woozy says

    Got up in the middle of the night because the dog was squirming. The significant other says “Hey, it’s nine in the morning” and I say “The clock must be broken”…..

    At 10:45 I’m walking the dog in the dark. The streetlights are on and the streets are empty. there’s a garbage truck and I’m having the feeling you have when you are in the streets at 3 A.M. and you see a night shift worker and you feel you are existing physically next to each other but in different worlds.

    Then I realize we are in the same world and in the San Francisco Bay Area there are a million people all awake all thinking the exact same thought.

    Now at 2 in the afternoon it has gotton lighter but it is still pre-dawn in appearance. All the streetlights are on.

    It’s just weird. I’ve been smelling smoke for weeks so I can barely notice. But my section of the east bay has no ash and I guess we have it good. But I feel like we are the Dawnless Day of the Lord of the Rings.

  11. anxionnat says

    I’m in the East Bay also. Street lights still on here, at 2:15 p.m. A friend just sent me a picture of her newly washed car, which has ash all over it. This looks so weird–like something out of an apocalyptic movie. Guys doing some construction across the street are not wearing any sort of protective equipment, and when I opened the door to get the mail, I could hear them coughing loudly. We may get some bits of rain soon, but our actual rainy season here doesn’t begin until mid-November at the earliest.

  12. Ridana says

    I’m just sick of the whole bloody world being orange. Isn’t Cheatolini enough? At least it’s not 110 today. The heat + the orange glo made it seem that much more like literally being in a broiler.

    Unlike the Bay area, most of the smoke in Sacramento seems to be blowing up from the south Sierra from the Creek Fire. But winds aside, it all seems to eventually settle on us here in the bowl from all sides. I had hoped the winds yesterday would clear it out a bit, but it just seems to have made it worse by whipping up the surrounding fires.

  13. robro says

    A colleague who is a graphic designer posted a picture of the Bay Area skies with a Pantone color box that says “Color of the Year 2020: End of Days Orange (09-2020)”. Then I realized that this color is frighteningly similar to Humpy Dumpy’s fake skin tone.

    robertbaden @ #10 — I was on call-in meetings with colleagues in Austin this morning. We were talking about the weird sky, they were talking about the stormy weather. Small world.

    By the way, probably many of you have seen reports and excerpts of Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage. The only surprise is that Trump is arrogant enough and dumb enough to spill the beans into a microphone. Difficult to deny a recording, although of course he is. What in the world could he have been thinking to grant Woodward that access? It’s like more evidence that he’s cognitively impaired.

  14. PaulBC says


    But I feel like we are the Dawnless Day of the Lord of the Rings.

    Yeah. I have seen many kinds of weather conditions but nothing that feels like doom the way this does.

  15. PaulBC says

    @11 Yup. Well, not the ground trembling… yet.

    `Haven’t you had no sleep, Mr. Frodo?’ he said. ‘What’s the time? Seems to be getting late!’
    ‘No it isn’t,’ said Frodo. `But the day is getting darker instead of lighter: darker and darker. As far as I can tell, it isn’t midday yet, and you’ve only slept for about three hours.’
    ‘I wonder what’s up,’ said Sam. ‘Is there a storm coming? If so it’s going to be the worst there ever was. We shall wish we were down a deep hole, not just stuck under a hedge.’ He listened. `What’s that? Thunder, or drums, or what is it? ‘
    ‘I don’t know,’ said Frodo. `It’s been going on for a good while now. Sometimes the ground seems to tremble, sometimes it seems to be the heavy air throbbing in your ears.’

  16. hemidactylus says

    I don’t want rain. The west coast can have ours as it comes with cyclonic winds and surge this time of year. I recall the irony several years ago having my neighborhood flooded while cars were melting in their driveways in Cali for want of moisture. But we do have dry fire years (1998).

    Given the tropical season could see greek letters again (2005 deja vu) and these bastards have been playing target practice with my neck of woods (eg Matthew, Irma, and Dorian) I’m all for better balance in rainfall. If only we had a deity with foresight and concern for people. Why destroy Bahamas with excess of the very thing the western US needs?

  17. gijoel says

    @ 20 It’s the new normal.

    From September last year till about December the Australian sky would vary between ash white and satanic orange. Hopefully you don’t have to live with this for as long as we did.

  18. magistramarla says

    I’m in Monterey, Ca. and this is the second day of orange sky for us. Yesterday, a NW wind brought the smoke down from the fires north of us. Today, a wind from the south is bringing smoke from the fires south of us.
    The Dolan Fire in Big Sur has gotten huge and that one was started by an arsonist, who was arrested. He started the fire very close to a sanctuary for California Condors, which was being watched over by conservationists. They knew that there was a chick in a nesting box there. I wish that there was a hell for that arsonist to rot in for what he did.
    Displaced wild animals are now roaming the streets of our little oceanside towns. A big mountain lion was caught on a video camera crossing the patio of someone just a block over from us. A mother bobcat and her two young ones were seen strolling down the street in a nearby small town. A very weak cormorant was found on the trail in Ft. Ord by a hiker and was rescued by a wildlife rescue group.
    There is one poor lady who was evacuated from north of Santa Cruz and was staying in a motel near my home. On the day that she was being allowed to return home, her cat got out of the motel room and is missing. People all over our neighborhood are looking for Coco. She was spotted near the motel today, so there is still hope that she will be reunited with her human.
    There are two local chiropractors who lost their recently built home in the River Fire. They have three little boys and three dogs. They thought that they had a rental home lined up, but it recently fell through. People in our neighborhood are also trying to help find this young family a home to rent
    I feel lucky that we and our cats are safe and healthy, but it has been very discouraging to look out our windows today.

  19. Larry says

    Its a real end-of-the-world, apocalyptic atmosphere here in the bay area. While most of the fires that were burning around here last week are either out or mostly contained, its the Creek fire in the foothills east of Fresno that is putting huge plumes of smoke and ash that is blanketing northern California. Apparently, the plume is reaching altitudes of 45000 so that the winds are also blowing it eastward across Nevada and into Utah. I’ve lived in California my whole life and, while wildfires are a common occurrence, I’ve never seen anything like this.

  20. magistramarla says

    My daughter who lives near Denver sent me a picture from there. They are also dealing with smoke and orange skies. She has severe asthma and is suffering. She’s currently having to take prednisone and antibiotics.

  21. microraptor says

    I’m in Southern Oregon. There’s a stage 1 evacuation notice (be ready) for my entire county that’s been in effect since yesterday morning. A fire started about 15 miles east of town on Monday. By 12:30 am Tuesday, it was so smoky outside that I had to shut my apartment up tight because my cat was panicking. By 12:30 pm Tuesday, a huge plume of smoke drifted overhead to the point that I had to turn on the lights to see. Streetlights came on outside. The town closest to the fire has been under a Stage 3 Evactuation (Run for your life!) since this morning.

    I-5 is closed to the south and to the north. If there’s an evacuation, going west to the coast is basically the only option. And that’s going to be something like 30,000 people trying to go down a couple of two-lane rural highways.

  22. lochaber says

    In the SF Bay Area (East Bay), and today was weird. Got up and left for work shortly after dawn, thought it was a bit darker than usual, but not worth digging the bike lights out. Got on public transit, and half way through I’m checking my watch to see if a DST happened. put the bike lights on to go to work, got some ash in my eyes, but no smell of smoke. And it was red skies and night-time dark until sometime in the afternoon. Wildlife seemed confused.

    I was in the SoCal desert back in 2002 or 2003 or so, and in the smoke plume from one of the LA fires back then. It was pretty similar, orange skies, raining ash, dim, but not quite this bad. Unfortunately, I’m suspecting this is going to be the new normal…

  23. says

    @#28, nomdeplume:

    Well, he could send in black kids who are in prison to fight fires at risk of their lives without being paid. I seem to recall there was somebody who did that within living memory, now who was it? Good thing it totally ended their career, we certainly wouldn’t want somebody like that to gain more power, right?

  24. JustaTech says

    Up in Washington we had more acres burn in a 24 hour period 2 days ago than all of last year (last year was a very mild fire season, but still). And at least some of the fires seem to be a consequence of COVID (inexperienced hikers/campers out in the back country not taking care with fires/sparks) as well as the super dry weather. Weirdly, there have been very few lightening-sparked fires compared to other years.

    My folks down in Portland asked if they could evacuate up to my house (of course!) but I never thought that people who live on a major river in the Pacific North Wet would need to evacuate for wildfires.

  25. robro says

    I just found a site that recorded wildfires in California. They list 186 fires since July. 56 of them are 100% contained but of course that doesn’t mean they aren’t still burning just that crews have defined a permitter. 50 of them are list as 0% contained.

    Yesterday was eerie with the orange-pink pawl over the Bay Area. Today it’s just ashy gray. Yesterday the air wasn’t bad, today it is.

    A side effect of COVID is the impact it has had on available fire crews. They use a lot of prisoners who get paid better than in-prison work, get to be out of the prison, and get time off their sentences. However, many prisoners have been released as a consequence of COVID.

  26. tomocar says

    It’s really bad here in Eugene/Springfield. I have 4 box fans with furnace filters taped on them running, plus the furnace/ac fan with filter running, and we still have to wear N95 masks inside our house. The winds died down late yesterday, so the fast-spreading fire approaching from the East stalled out. That’s good – our house won’t burn down! But now the air is stagnant and the smoke is so thick we can hardly breath. Damn!