When Mrs. Blackdog and I returned to Bend Saturday from a week-long trip to Northern California, I was afraid for a moment we'd headed the wrong way on I-5 and ended up in Los Angeles.
A pall of heavy, reddish-brown, pungent smoke hung over everything, thanks to four major wildfires that had broken out on the Warm Springs Reservation to the northwest of Bend
I'm used to this phenomenon -- a predictable August occurrence here -- but I don't think I've ever seen it that bad. Not able to see the mountains? Hell, I could barely see across the street.
Incredibly, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning I observed people out exercising in this vile-smelling, nauseous gunk, running and riding their bicycles (mountain and road) and inhaling great lusty lungfuls of carcinogens and toxins.*
One delicious irony here is that most of these idiots no doubt would have a seizure if they saw somebody light up a cigarette within 30 yards of them.
But that's Bend for ya. We're gonna enjoy our healthy outdoor lifestyle even if it kills us.
*"Although wood smoke conjures up fond memories of sitting by a cozy fire, it is important to know that the components of wood smoke and cigarette smoke are quite similar, and that many components of both are carcinogenic. Wood smoke contains fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. Wood smoke also contains chemicals known or suspected to be carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxin." More: http://www.ehhi.org/woodsmoke/health_effects.shtml