For the past four days, Albuquerque has been smothered in a thick blanket of smoke, coming from the massive Arizona fires near the AZ/NM border. Around noon today I was hopeful, as it began to clear, and we saw blue sky. But this evening, when the wind picked up again, it became worse than ever.
Dan and I are fortunate to have air conditioning, which filters most of the smoke from the air we are breathing indoors. The majority of houses in Albuquerque are cooled with evaporative coolers (known colloquially as "swamp coolers). There have been continuous radio announcements telling folks NOT to use swamp coolers, as they will just fill their homes with the smoky air. The high temperatures have been in the nineties lately, so that's a major concern for those people. I really don't know how people with chronic respiratory problems are making it, since even those of us with healthy lungs are coughing.
Here's a picture of the sun, filtered by the smoke this evening, taken from our back yard. It looks like a red rubber ball.
That red sunlight causes everything to have an orange cast. This is what it looked like looking north from our back door (no Photoshop color enhancement on any of these photos).
And here is a photo of Sandia Peak, from our deck. Believe me, there is a big mountain behind that smoke!
Here's a picture sans-smoke, taken on an earlier date from about the same perspective as the one above.