“I’d rather fight 100 structure fires than a wildfire. With a structure fire you know where your flames are, but in the woods it can move anywhere; it can come right up behind you.” -Tom Watson
The solar eclipse we’ve all been waiting for is just two weeks away. Yet even though you’ve got your eye protection ready, your location picked out, and your plans all set, there’s a wild card you need to be aware of: wildfires. The total solar eclipse in Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming-west-of-the-rockies coincides with peak wildfire season, and with over a million people headed to a 70-mile-wide strip of land, the risk cannot be overstated.
This screenshot from August 7th shows the real-time wildfire map encompassing a large region of the pacific northwest. Lighter circles represent mostly and partially contained fires; darker circles are completely uncontained. Image credit: The Oregonian / Oregon Live, via http://projects.oregonlive.com/wildfires/map#6/45.460/-116.598.
There are a number of things you can do to stay safe and minimize your risk of adverse effects, but only if you’re prepared. Here’s a handy list of what you need to know as the solar eclipse nears, and what pitfalls you should avoid. Once you know what the ...