However, as I watched the storm the slow-to-acclimatize brain cells in my head said: "That doesn't look like a dust storm." So I continued to look, and the brain continued to churn. I came to the painfully slow realization that I was staring at not a dust storm, but a forest fire. Or "mountain fire", to be technically accurate. Deb agreed with me, so I marked the day on the calendar for future reference, then we leapt into action!
I got on the phone. Yes, you read that correctly. I actually picked up the phone and initiated a call to a non-family member. That's two marks on the ol' calendar.
The number we found for the first fire department offered a busy signal. I don't know about you, but there's no fire department anywhere that should ever, ever, ever have a busy signal. Ever. Glad that I was not currently on fire, I called another fire department. I was transferred once, and it seems that I was the first to report the fire. So I've earned my Smokey the Bear badge or whatever. The fire which now looked something like this:
I was told they'd send someone right out. In my mind, that meant helicopters and all sorts of sirens and stuff. As of now, two hours later, we've neither seen nor heard a thing in the form of fire-prevention-type stuff. Yes, wildfires are natural, and even necessary at times. But when it hasn't rained since August, "wildfire" is a pretty scary concept to me and shouldn't be left unattended.
Now, I'm off to watch the news. If anything changes, I'll update the post.
-Update- Well, we're still here. Never saw a single helicopter or fire-related vehicle or person, but it's out. If I were to guess, I'd say that the strong winds actually blew the fire back on itself until it had nothing left to consume. Either that, or there were firefighters up there that I just couldn't see. In any event, no more smoke, no more fire.