To torch or not to torch, that is the question.

Triple digits, hazardous air, red flag days and more.  I’ve stopped reading the papers and listening to the news.  This layer cake could topple any day now.  Maybe you’re on a tilt too.

I’ve set only one fire in the studio but that was enough to understand fire.  I can’t imagine what our Napa and Sonoma County neighbors are feeling right now.  With my torch I can turn a solid into a liquid, burn skin and melt paint off cars.  I’ve been working late at night when the temperature dips and the grogginess from the afternoon heat has passed.

So how hot are these flames the fire fighters are battling?

The National Museum of Utah tells me:

An average surface fire on the forest floor might have flames reaching 1 meter in height and can reach temperatures of 800°C (1,472° F) or more. Under extreme conditions a fire can give off 10,000 kilowatts or more per meter of fire front. This would mean flame heights of 50 meters or more and flame temperatures exceeding 1200°C (2,192° F).

I’m grateful when the wind dies down and the morning shadows have returned.  Sleeping outside the night air tells me what’s coming in or out for the morning.  This morning I knew I could use my torch and return to those big boards.  Today I worked on the deep greens and yellows.  Layer after layer.  Adding heat in between each one.

A little frightening to know I’m playing with fire.