Kootenay Lake: Smoke and Mirrors
A new forest fire, early in its fury, is reflected in Kootenay Lake, BC, August, 2017
This has been the summer of seeking asylum from the intense smoke and forest fires that have blanketed the province of BC.
Every day, I wake early and immediately look at the sky to find the morning sun a fuchsia globe, suffocating beneath thick smoke.
The evening sky is even more alien; as the sun sets, the smokey sky turns orange. It is as though the year is 3017 and we are living on Mars.
Each weekend morning, I check on the Internet to see if the fires near my city have grown, and then I look at the air quality index for my city and all areas across BC. I select a location with the least smoke (within a day’s driving distance) and then I wake up my family by shouting:
Wake-up! Pack your bags—we’re going on an adventure!
The truth is, we are smoke refugees—escaping to whatever area of the provence is smoke free for the day.
The irony of our escapes, is that no matter where we run, a fire breaks out at the new location, practically right before our eyes.
Our escape to the Kootenays was one of my favourite escapes this summer. Peter and I brought our youngest daughter and niece to visit my sister’s family. The weekend was full of adventure: hiking, swimming holes, boating, and a Saint Mountain garage-punk rock concert.
Unfortunately, nowhere in BC is safe from fire and smoke. A fire broke out on the mountain just as we drove down the road towards the boat launch for an evening lake tour.
To make the evening even more harrowing, the boat lost power in the middle the lake as the sun began to set. I waved down a boat (by standing on the bow of the boat and waving a yellow life jacket). The kind crew offered to tow us to shore when suddenly, Captain Paul managed to get our boat going again.
I Hope you enjoy the photographs of the beautiful Kootenay Lake, in her “smoke and mirrors”glory.
Beautiful pictures capture a deeply disturbing reality; the planet is too hot. Southern BC has not had rain in nearly three months. Forests help cool the Earth’s temperature—the very things this planet needs more of, are burning.
British Columbia is burning; every day a new fire starts. Soon, there will be no forests, in this massive province, left to burn. The smoke from the BC forest fires is visible from space. Sadly, the smoke is so great, that it is releasing more carbon into the atmosphere and increasing the temperature of Earth.
There are so little wild spaces left on this Earth; to watch the forests burn is horrifying. The homes of BC’s wild life: bears, wolves, coyotes, birds, cougars, lynx, moose, caribou (to name a very few) are being destroyed and our wild creatures have nowhere to run.
Please, pray, dance…do what ever it takes to send a whole lot of rain down on beautiful British Columbia.
Once death-defyingly cold, Kootenay Lake water is warm this year.
Here’s to a rain dance...