We have been very thankful that we have not been impacted by the wildfires raging in the interior areas of BC, and of course quite concerned about the many people impacted, but when it happens closer to home, you do get a wake up call and it becomes much more real.
On Thursday afternoon a wildfire broke out on Mt. Hayes, a mountain we have partially ridden up on our bikes, and only about 13 km from our house. It started small, at about 20 ha, but overnight it grew rapidly to 70 ha., thanks to the wind. We were ‘lucky’ enough to see the plume of smoke from our deck and it was sobering. As the night went on, and the sun started to set, the sight became quite apocalyptic-looking.
As darkness fell, I could see the red glow and this is a picture from a newspaper.
We have always loved the smell of campfire smoke, but when it persists all day, and you know that hectares of valuable forest are being consumed, it becomes quite sobering.
There are homes and farms in the immediate area, that are on evacuation alert (not yet having to evacuate) but they are preparing by moving out livestock and hay supplies. We’ve taken this experiences to think about what is most valuable in our house, and what we would take with us, should we be evacuated (very very unlikely). We also downloaded a home inventory app and are busy documenting our house contents.
So although we still feel quite safe, we have a bit better understanding of what wildfires mean, beyond the minor annoyance of smokey air. We are thankful for the many emergency response staff and firefighters that have to work so hard to keep all of us safe.