Rain in Seattle is normal. Raining ash, however, is not. - Grist


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R(ain)ing of Fire

Rain in Seattle is normal. Raining ash, however, is not.

Fires have been raging throughout the West all summer. But this morning, Seattleites awakened to a drizzle of ashes and smoky sky — which is new.

The Seattle Times reports that there are currently five major fires in frightening progress across the state. On Monday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the increased danger of wildfires, citing drier and hotter than usual air conditions. He warned that the Washington National Guard and State Guard might be called upon for further aid in putting out the flames because of currently strained resources.

If it feels like everything has been on fire lately, that’s because it’s true. Los Angeles is just now recovering from a massive wildfire, dozens burned throughout Oregon, and Montana declared a statewide fire disaster. Even Seattleites are probably feeling some major déjà vu — only a few weeks ago, Canadian wildfires buried the city under a layer of smoke for days.

We can expect smoky skies over Grist HQ for the next few days.