You've probably heard about all the wildfires burning in Montana. It is extremely dry due to the unusually hot weather we've had for the last month. We are use to having some smoky, hazy days now and then. When we came home from Bozeman on Sunday, we noticed a large fire over the ridge to the west of the Flathead Valley. The smoke was blowing northward and we drove through it on our way to Eureka. This morning on the way to the hospital in Kalispell (see post below), I noticed how clear the air was and was surprised to see that it had cleared out so much. I was inside till about 8:30 PM. When I turned west to take the back road around Whitefish I noticed a large plume of smoke to the southwest and realized that it was the Brush Creek fire near Marion. Wow, it had really grown and the smoke had spread to completely cover the area to the south and out over Flathead Lake. Then I looked a little north and saw that the one we'd seen on Sunday was not only a lot bigger, but a lot blacker. It was blowing north of town and then circling around to the east side of the valley. It was so thick that the Swan Range was completely obscured. Such is life in the west. This is a reminder to me of why we are spending extra $$$ to use fire-proof siding (cement fiber Hardiplank) and fire resistant roofing and why we have a couple of small hydrants from our well. Before we move in, I am making an evacuation list of what to pack in the vehicles if they ever tell us it's time to leave!