Smoke & Fire

Dear Vi,

A few people have written to ask if Mr. C and I are in any danger from the wildfires wreaking havoc in British Columbia, so I thought perhaps a blog post on the subject was in order.

122 fires are burning, with several communities evacuated, including entire towns. Here’s a map of what’s burning as of 5am this morning:I’ve marked the area we live in with a green star. To give you an idea of distance, it takes us about an hour to drive to Kamloops.

As of this morning, 40,000 people have been evacuated in the province. Our town is one of the evacuation centers, and people are even being sent as far away as Vancouver. Because really, where do you put 40,000 people?

We had an incredibly wet spring, including flooding and mudslides. All that rain made the grasses grow. And then it got hot hot hot and all those lush grasses dried out and turned into fuel.  They say this is only the beginning of what is predicted to be a Very Bad Fire Season.

Our visibility is about one mile in smoke, which is an improvement, actually. Two days ago we couldn’t even see to the bottom of our street, let alone across the lake. And yesterday, it was snowing ash.

Here’s the view from my deck this afternoon: And here’s what it usually looks like:Cough cough hack.

As of right now, we’re not in any danger here in the Shuswap, but keep your fingers crossed nobody throws a burning cigarette out the window.

My deepest appreciation to the firefighters, some who are coming from as far away as Australia. 

And to all the emergency organizations who are managing the refugee centers.

And to all the volunteers who are lending their hands and their hearts to those fleeing their homes, including those who are taking in displaced livestock and pets.

And to small businesses like Katja’s Quilt Shoppe in Kamloops, who is organizing social activity days for evacuees and locals to get together and work on sewing projects as a way of helping the time pass. Quilters looking after quilters.  Awesome.

6 thoughts on “Smoke & Fire

  1. Nita, I don’t know why but I thought you lived on Vancouver Island…. Duh… I hope that you stayed safe through the summer of fire. I just heard on the news that there are still 3000 people who aren’t able to return home. A summer of fire and flood!

  2. Definitely very scary. Even if fire doesn’t come close to you, breathing all that smoke for an extended time can’t be good. I pray for the firefighters and their families. How good they are to come so far to help. In times of crisis, we all still can work together! Is there anything those quilters in Kamloops need?

  3. I know your fears concerning fire season. We were evacuated several years ago here in Montana. It’s a very scary thing to go through. We have smoke and a lot of fires around us also, but nothing too close yet. Pray for rain and no wind!

  4. Mother Nature can be a scary B sometimes! So glad you’re okay. I’ve got 2 cousins out there fighting the fires and my heart goes out to all the firefighters and those evacuated. Stay safe!!

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