When we got to church in Custer yesterday morning, the smoke was thick enough we could smell it. By the time we all headed down to the basement to have lunch together, it looked like fog had settled over the town. There had been a fire down south of Custer near Argyle, which had reached 100% containment in the space of a few days, but maybe lingering smoke from that? On the drive home, the more distant hills were obscured, and everything was subdued under a murky grey haze. We asked the clerk at Krull’s grocery in Hill City where the fire was, since rumor had it a fire had started up by Hill City, causing the smoke.
Nope, no nearby fire. All the smoke is from burning Montana.
An article on a Colorado news website lays out the situation – Montana is under a state of emergency and has been since July. Fires continue to crop up amid this “firestorm,” and there may be no relief until snow sets in.
All the national attention has been focused on the situation down south, particularly in Houston, but we need to not forget our neighbors in Montana and other states in the north and northwest. Hurricanes aren’t the only natural disasters rocking parts of our country right now. Wildfires are an ongoing threat and imminent danger up here, and Montanans in particular are suffering. We’ve been fortunate to have a low-key fire season here in the Hills, in spite of fire weather warnings. But winter is a ways away.
Pray for rain.