They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but I’m learning that even where there’s no fire, there’s smoke.
The rising sun glowed red through the smoke haze that drifted in and settled over the lower mainland of British Columbia. Wildfires continue to burn hundreds of miles away, in the BC interior, but the smoke has arrived in Vancouver and also across the water on Vancouver Island. I’ve heard reports of it spreading south past Seattle.
My usual view of the bay and the hills on the farther side is now screened with a smoky veil. I took some pictures of the Comox Glacier today and could barely see it.
First I’d like to show you photos of the glacier taken quite a long time ago on a normal day, even with a few clouds. Now, below, are today’s photos, taken on a cloudless day, but with smoke drifting through the region from the wildfires.
“Where is the glacier?” you may well ask. If you look hard, you will see it there behind the smokescreen.
The air smells like a campfire minus the hot dogs and marshmallows. It’s hard to find a refreshing lungful of clean air. Eyes, nose, mouth, and throat are dry, dry, dry. Add to this the extreme heat and drought, and it is a miserable state of affairs.
Here is the view of the estuary. If it were winter, you might think it’s a normal misty winter day on the coast, but it’s the beginning of August. That sky should be blue, and so should the water. That haze is not mist, but smoke.
Summer is supposed to be a time for camping, tenting, swimming, fishing, barbecuing, and sitting around a campfire at night. The extreme fire hazard puts the idea of summer camping fun in a different light. The simple act of striking a match has the potential to destroy whole communities. Hundreds of little animals (and this year, even many large animals) have died trying in vain to escape the fires.
Please be careful when you are camping or even just out walking. If you are a smoker, please be mindful of what you do with your cigarette butts, or even the ashes that fall from the cigarette. The vegetation is tinder dry.
This past spring when it continued to be wet and cold, I wished for warm, dry weather and I remember saying that when it finally happens we’ll wish for rain. And here we are!
I am now wishing for rain.