Up in Smoke

We are miles and miles from the wildfires in the US but today we were impacted. There is no real threat to our home like others but the effects of smoke has been an educational experience.

It actually started yesterday morning when a fire somehow started in a scrapyard about 10km from our house. We saw the plume of dark smoke, caused by the dangerous things that you can find in a scrapyard, when we went for a bike ride in the afternoon but did not think much more about it.

It took 70 firefighters to bring the blaze under control by evening. By then the smoke was reaching our house. The most dangerous thing was the smell. I am not sure we have ever smelled anything so foul and noxious. Needless to say we did not spend the evening outside on the deck and took a picture of the encroaching smoke through the window.

This morning we had to decide if it was safe to do a planned paddle. We were to do a circumnavigation of Thetis Island, with the paddling club. Based on information of smoke coming in from the US and potential residual effects of the scrapyard fire we decided against it. We could see smoke getting thicker early in the morning.

So we went north to Nanaimo and were surprised to see and smell smoke there. We did a short walk in Neck Point park that we found in our first weeks here on the island. It was windy, wavy, and the air was hazy with smoke. Albeit a nice walk we did miss the paddle.

Coming home back to Ladysmith the smoke was thicker and continued to thicken throughout the afternoon and evening. The islands that we see from our deck disappeared and it became kinda spooky. And this is a long long way from any fire. I can only imagine the concern and stress the people living near the devastated areas must have.

It did, however, make for a pretty sunset, through the smoke.

We had planned a long bike ride tomorrow for the World Bicycle Relief virtual ride. But we will decide in the morning if we will ride in the smoke!

We really cannot complain. @Matt and @Bryan please stay safe where you are.

2 thoughts on “Up in Smoke

  1. Hi Anita, We both enjoy your comments and especially your photos. I do have to comment about this blog on the smoke. We have a friend in California. We keep in touch by Facebook. My friend has 2 adult children and yesterday she posted a video of what was left of her daughter’s house which had been completely destroyed by fire. Literally there was nothing but ashes left and the charred remains of trees. It was haunting. The good news is the daughter is safe and holed up in a hotel. However she has nothing left. The second sad part is my friend’s son also lost his house and business in the Paradise fire in California, 2 years ago. He and his family are just starting to get back on their feet again. These fires in the Pacific coast area are just devastating and I don’t think we in the east realize how bad they are. Even those who haven’t lost their homes are still breathing in this toxic air. Keep safe and keep taking those photos!


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