Where is the Fire? Nope, Just Smudge Pots!
As I stepped out of my house this morning at 5:00 a.m. for work, I thought I smelled smoke from a burning fire, and after experiencing a fire just little over a year ago I felt instantly panicked. I froze, circled the house, listened and took a few deep breaths... and yep I smelled FIRE! I ran back in the house to double check that I hadn't just locked up a burning building (I am not a morning person but I think I would catch a burning house if I was in it, but who knows). The house was not on fire, thankfully!
There was a definite haze in the air and looking closely at the street lamps I could see the smoke lingering in the atmosphere. But where was the fire? I scanned the horizon, still dark that early in the day and I saw no red blaze coming from my surrounding area.
I then turned to my local news apps to pinpoint the fire but there were no reports of any fires in the area. I assumed maybe a neighbor had left a fire pit smoldering overnight, causing the smoke and the smell, so I shrugged it off and I went about my day.
When I got to work, got out of my car and that freezing air hit my face it suddenly dawned on me! Trees are blooming and it's freezing outside! Smudge Pots are burning! I had never even heard of smudge pots before moving to the Tri-Cities. If you just moved to town and have never heard of a smudge pot and you think your house is on fire or your neighbors are jerks for leaving a fire pit burning I am doing you solid by inserting a video schooling you on smudge pots! We are thinking about all the farmers in our area and hoping for the very best!
A smudge pot (also known as a choofa or orchard heater) is an oil-burning device used to prevent frost on fruit trees. Usually a smudge pot has a large round base with a chimney coming out of the middle of the base. The smudge pot is placed between trees in an orchard. The burning oil creates heat, smoke, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. It was believed that this oil burning heater would help keep the orchard from cooling too much during the cold snaps.
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