Smoke on the Water… and in the Air

This spring and early summer has been hotter and drier than normal over most, if not all, of British Columbia.  In fact in many areas there have been watering restrictions and burning bans for several weeks now.  Unfortunately, with such dry conditions, the fire risk is at extreme and there are a number of active wildfires.  Although it is supposed to be a clear, sunny day again today, what it actually looks like is an overcast day as seen through those blue-blocker sunglasses that turn everything orange, due to the smoke drifting in from all the fires.  They are far enough that they don’t pose a danger to me, but they do cause concern.

smoke from wildfires covers the province
An Almost Erie Orange Haze Blankets the Area

Keep in mind that I have only done minor cleanup of the images and not used any filters or special effects to get the orange colour.  That is pretty much what it looked like from the top of a nearby hill in Sooke.  In an area like this with a lot of trees and brush around, it makes you think a little more about being careful and plans to evacuate in case of an emergency.  This area is fine, but I’ve heard that certain areas in the Province are under evacuation alert, where they may have to flee on a moments notice if the winds shift and the fires get more out of control.

several trees stand on a hill on a smoky day
Hazy Skys Dominate the View

Perhaps one good thing to come out of this is that it is getting people to think about preparing for emergencies, from wildfires to the other concern in the region, earthquakes.  I know I will be examining my plans a little more closely and make sure that if I have to evacuate on short notice in the future, I have things ready to grab an go, vital documents, survival supplies (like water, etc) and my hard drive with my photo-backups.  It is such a shame that it takes a disaster or scare to get people thinking about these things and worrying about the harm we do to the environment.  While some of the wildfires have been caused by lightening strikes, others currently burning have been caused by careless human actions.  This not only effects us, it destroys the habitat of so many animals that live around us.  Just yesterday I had some deer making their way down my street, stopping to trim the lawn for me.  How many will be displaced because of the fires?

A deer with the classic "deer in the headlights" expression

They say that the smoke should dissipate overnight and tomorrow will be another beautiful, hot, sunny day.

tall grasses on the hillside
Dry Grasses

That will be good news for the air quality, which also has a harmful effect on so many people, but it would be more helpful if we had a couple days of rainfall (okay, that’s not something I would normally be thinking, but given the circumstances, I would welcome it).  The sky is so smokey and orange coloured, even the reflection off the black paint on the hood of my truck seems to have an orange colourcast.

spider on a truck hood
Along Came a Spider

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