The lights flickered while I was in the shower, and when I got out I smelled something burning. For a moment that was scary, but the smell was definitely coming from outside, and not from our recently-carved pumpkins. The sunlight was eerie, dim and orangeish, peeking through the edge of what I took to be morning fog.
Maybe I could be a bit quicker on the uptake, but remember that I was half asleep. It wasn't until I'd eaten my liverwurst sandwich (forgot we had leftover pizza), tossed my bag together and left that I figured out that the haze blotting out most of the eastern sky was smoke, not fog. The wind was hot.
I didn't know of any fire closer than Camp Pendleton, and this was coming from the wrong direction. Ash was sifting down from the sky while I waited for the bus. I wished I'd taken the time to hunt around for my good inhaler.
Finally, at work, I found out that there are fires all over the county. The strong wind is bringing the heat and smoke and ash to us, but it's not as close as it looks. It's dim and yellow outside, like the sky after a thunderstorm in Wisconsin.