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Wildfires Engulf Thousands Of Acres As The Solar Eclipse Nears (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

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“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

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 right thing to do is, you can educate others and help make the eclipse a wonderful and safe experience for all!

The air quality in Portland was excessively bad during the latter half of last week due to wildfires in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Dependent on the winds, many parts of the path of totality may experience poor viewing on August 21st. Image credit: Katie Weinberg / Twitter.

There’s no mostly mute Monday today, because this information cannot be condensed into 200 words. Learn what everyone needs to know today!


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