It’s smoky, and has been for days. The skies look cloudy and grey, and there is grey haze over everything. The winds smell, not unpleasant, but unhealthy…as in it doesn’t feel healthy to breath only smoky air! In Tallahassee we can’t see the fires but there are something like fifteen burning around the state, the biggest—reportedly the biggest in two decades--is in Big Cypress National Preserve, apparently it is really multiple fires that have been burning for three weeks after being sparked by lighting strikes. So far they have burned 76 square miles of preserve.
One article I’ve read says the fire will be good for the ecosystem of the preserve, that it is just creeping through the understory, and that “once the fire is out and the thick, ground-hugging brush is gone, deer, turkey and rabbits likely will return to feast on the new vegetation.”
Plant life is particularly dry and susceptible to fire right now, as South Florida is in the midst of an 18-month drought. Living in town, and on the Northern border of Florida, we don’t see much evidence of it day to day, but it does feel like it hasn’t rained for a very long time. It feels like a good rain would clear the air.