Smoke gets in your eyes, nose, throat, etc.
The fire in Los Alamos (officially called the Las Conchas fire) has grown to approximately 50,000 acres. They can't get an official count because high winds are keeping the aircraft grounded (which also means they can't fight the fire from the air). The entire town of Los Alamos has been evacuated; that's 18,000 people. The fire is very near the Los Alamos National Laboratory and there was a small (1 acre) fire on the property of the lab itself earlier in the day, but that was put out.
The fire is a little more than 50 miles away from us (as the magpie flies), so we're in no danger from the fire, but the smoke is finding its way here. Yesterday evening and even this morning, it was just a stream of smoke southwest of here, but as the fire grew and the wind blew, the smoke just inundated Taos. At 2:30 this afternoon I was out in it, driving to work and I could feel the smoke in my nose and throat. Many of the cars had their headlights on, although the smoke wasn't that thick. In good weather, we can see mountains on three sides of our house, but the smoke completely obscured the view of the mountains.
I keep staring out the window at the thick smoke and saying, "This is so unreal."
And it is.