Caren Hahn

Where there's fire there's smoke

Summer is fire season in much of the western United States, especially in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, my newest small town mystery features a rural logging town trapped under the threat of surrounding wildfires (we call them "forest fires" in the PNW).

I had an opportunity to visit my hometown in early August 2021 as the whole state of Oregon was blanketed by smoke. We even escaped to the coast for a day but the smoke followed us. (Where were the blustering breezes?)

A huge fire camp had been set up outside town, and we made sure to stop at the little vendor selling t-shirts. If you didn't grow up in fire country you might be surprised to hear that the big ones get branded and put on a t-shirt. Proceeds go to support the fire fighters, and you get a colorful memento of the most recent episode of Man vs. Mother Nature.

As I'm writing this, I'm hearing reports of massive flooding on the east coast from Hurricane Ida. This seems to happen every year. While we're counting the days until we get rain again (I know, I can't believe I'm saying that either), and wishing for an end to the tinder-dry conditions, other parts of the country are overwhelmed by too much water.

If only we could figure out a way to send storms to the areas that need them and divert them from the areas that don't. Now THAT would be Man vs. Mother Nature match-up worth watching.

Here are a few pictures from our trip to prime you for when you read Smoke Over Owl Creek.

Ahh....the many colors of smoke...

Even the beautiful coast couldn't escape.

Smoke notwithstanding, some places were as beautiful as ever. Not a location in the novel, but it might make an appearance in future work...

Fortunately, unlike this pandemic, the smoke doesn't last forever. This is the show nature put on for us the evening we came home. Can't you almost smell that fresh air?

You're welcome.

Cover reveal for Hunt at Owl Creek
Cover reveal for Smoke Over Owl Creek
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