Like many parts of North America this summer, a lack of rain drove the fire hazard rating to “Extreme.” As we drove through eastern Washington, Idaho, and western Montana, smoke from forest and grass fires covered the skies with a smoky haze. Farmers worried about anyone parking on their grassy side roads in case a spark from a hot engine might ignite the tinder dry grasses. Some told us that their own harvesting equipment started fires, but they had to get their crops off, so it was a risk they had to take.
Luckily we had a rainfall soon after arriving in Montana. That took away some of the concern, but as we drove around we saw many burnt patches where fires had raged not long before.
Luckily, the dry spell is over. About ten days ago, the wind whipped monster raindrops around, drenching the ground and bringing the clay gumbo into play.
The snow is next. Days are getting much chillier and nights are frosty. Still, some days as recently as a week ago, felt like summer, but the nights tell the story. Winter is coming soon. No more forest or grass fires for a while.