We have arrived in August, what a spring/ summer this is. More people in our area evacuated last night as the fire has become a monster. I woke last night, startled, jumping up, the smell of fire so strong. Even though we had a sprinkling of rain fall, not enough to even dampen the ground under the trees, it brought the ash and smoke even lower, then the word that people on the west side road area where being evacuated, a lot of those people, friends, one of them messaged me that it was raining white ash as he drove it.
Yesterday was a strange day when around 9 am the daylight went from this smokey yellow grey we have been in too dark, needing lights on during the day. This morning will require the same it is dark. It feels like you are in this sort of mist, except the mist is not mist it is smoke and particles in the air from the fires. It has been effecting everyone, emotional, physical, mentally.
In many ways this has been harder for me than the covid, it has restricted me more, during covid ( yes I know it is still here, yes I know it’s getting worse again), but during covid although isolated, I could go for a walk alone, I could ride my bike, I could go for a drive, I could go out into the beautiful forests that are know burning, yes a lot of restrictive living, but not anything that felt so bad that I couldn’t find ways to manage it.
The heat dome that started in June, forced me indoors, my system can’t manage the heat., my house blacked out, but able to enjoy the very early morning sunlight. Then the fires started, the smoke rolled in along with heat, as of today more than half a million acres have burned in BC.
The impacts for me have been many, social isolation is becoming the norm, not sure how I will manage to reemerge into the world. And yes that is a real thing. My headaches caused from all the inflammation created from the heat and smoke are becoming unbearable, the pain pills also are not good for me, one thing compounding the other, concentration mostly gone, tired, not the fatigue I normally am challenged with but tired, its the lack of light and sun and oxygen getting into my lungs and breathing all the really bad air. I wonder what all this prolonged breathing of smoke particles are going to do and surface as going forward for people living here. They said this morning our area here in Vernon has the worst air quality in the country.
So as we move into August, and the province I love so much burns, on this BC Day a holiday here in BC, I am saddened by the what I see or more accurately don’t see, I wonder what the remainder of this year holds. I have to hold out hope that things will improve, that as 2021 heads to the ends stretch, that a new found hope and light emerges for the coming years.
I was just talking to my landlord, she is worried, so in trying to do something positive, we earlier had put out water bowls for the animals, we are now planning to find places to place seed/food for the birds as well, normally its not good to feed them, but the food sources they normally have, are all but gone, we have to try to help get them through this season. It may not be much but if feels good to try to do something. Working to stay positive and focused on the future, grateful that everyone I know who is evacuated is safe, praying they will all have homes to return too. Grateful for all the hard work of those fighting these fires in tremendously difficult terrain and conditions. Hoping people can maintain being kind and generous during these stressful days.