Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Sky Country!

OK, I've been mentioning smoke and heat and ash for a couple of weeks. Currently, there's no fires within 100 miles of Helena, other than the one north of town. But its smoke is heading east. The smoke we're getting is from central Idaho and southwestern Montana.

Here's the pictures. (click 'em to big 'em!) The ones on the left are from the "Come To Work With Me" pictures from last Labor/Labour Day. The ones on the right are similar shots from Monday afternoon. The air quality was rated "Unhealthy" all day, visibility was less than 1 mile, and the ash that actually fell overnight looked like a mid-October frost on the car. Not like Mt. St. Helens volcanic ash. More of a campfire nearby ash.

The next two pictures are satellite photos of the state of Idaho, and the western third of Montana. Same picture, but different coloring. The one on the right fades out the smoke so you can see what's underneath. Where's Helena, you ask? Click on the right picture, go to full resolution. Close to the right edge, there's a black circle. That's Helena. Notice that you can't see where Helena might be due to all the real smoke in the left picture! The oval found almost due north encircles the big fire from two weeks ago. If you're interested in where Leesa lives, go towards the top of the picture, about a third of the way in from the left, and look for a small red circle. That's her. Note she doesn't really have any bad smoke...

If you want to get the hi-resolution pictures, click here and here. It's pretty cool.

A couple of more shots from a hill at the base of Mount Helena. Showing the valley (if you could see it), and St. Helena Cathedral.

More pictures tomorrow from the top of the pass west of town over the Continental Divide. Smoky up there, too!

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