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2006-04-22 03:25:20.000 – Neil Lareau,  Observer

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A modest forest fire ignited today on the northwest flanks of Cascade Mountain near Berlin, NH. A plume of smoke has been visible since then as the fire continues burn both uphill and southward. It has been a dry spring and with extremely low humidity today this was an almost predictable event. The saving grace has been light winds.

As the sun set, a distinct line of red flames could be seen marking the leading edge of the fire. Now smoke appears to have drained into the Androscoggin Valley obscuring the view of the fire. Sunrise will yield a better vantage to assess the ongoing scenario.

Thin cirrus overhead has done little to hamper the star gazing tonight. A very faint aurora was visible for a short period. By very faint I mean a slight green and nebulous tinge along the northern horizon. Alaskans would surely scoff.

The extremely low humidity has also allowed for crystal clear visibility. Tonight the clusters of city and household lights stand out in exaggerated contrast to the darkened landscape. Every light in Littleton, NH appears to be individually discernable. To the south the light pollution of the greater Boston region is reflected off high clouds. Montreal and Sherbrook each sport their own lesser domes of light. The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the sweep of land continuing through northwestern Maine appear uninhabited. What few towns dot this northern landscape start to look more like their ancestral predecessors as outposts in a wilderness on nights like this. Yet at the same time the slow arc of satellites through the sky above, occasionally becoming brightly illuminated by the sun, defies the notion of wilderness altogether.

 

Neil Lareau,  Observer

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