Jul 15, 2017

What a stressful & emotional day!

Despite having the A/C on, all I can smell is smoke.  A thick fog of smoke is hanging over our home.  The wisps of smoke are invading our home.

Our day started with a lovely clear sky complete with a hot air balloon.  The snow is finally gone up in the highest hill.

It was lovely so see the lady with feathers on her hat out on the lake. I think her husband must have died last year. They used to be out almost every morning.  Perhaps that is her daughter with her.  So peaceful.

This was the forecast last evening. It was too depressing to do a post. However in reality today has become even more distressing.

After a few local errands we headed into Kelowna to do some hands on research on a cell phone I might be getting.  As we rounded the corner on the highway we saw the smoke.  It appeared to be rather close to our home. In fact it is about 10 kms driving distance but closer as the crow flies.  About an hour earlier we had been in that very area purchasing cherries from an orchard.

As we neared home it appeared to get worse.

This was taken just as we entered the gates to our park. That is the bird dog aircraft in the upper left and a bomber mid photo,  just as he dove into the fire to release his retardant.

The winds were strong at this point.  I took this from inside our home.  Sadly we had a good view.

The fire kept getting stronger. All we could hear were the sirens of many many fire trucks from miles around as they made their way to come help.

This is all we know about how the fire started.  When we were in Kelowna we exclaimed how hot the wind was, like a hot blast of air from a furnace.

This website is about the only place to get updates and is soon crashed.  We were and still are very concerned as our vet lives in the area, as does the owner of this park ( perhaps within a few blocks ) and a few other local people that we know.

It was rather emotional to be a part of this, even from a good distance.  So many problems this spring.  Colin and I vowed that tomorrow we would make a list of urgent items that need to be packed.  We also have made a place to put these items so they can be carried out at a moments notice.  Thank goodness we got the RV out a few weeks ago.  Colin started a list a few hours ago and I have to tell you that I teared up when I read that one of the items was the paw prints I had done of the girls last summer 😥

Meanwhile about 6PM today they began the evacuation of 10,00 people from Williams Lake.  There was another town evacuated last night and another this afternoon.  I have lost count but likely it could be close to 20,000 evacuated but likely much more.

The wind was beginning to ease.  This is the only photo we have seen that depicts a burning structure.

Just as the sun was setting this appeared. Likely some structure or vehicle.

By now the planes have stopped and there are only the local firefighters left on site.

I believe that this will be that last report we get tonight.

The actual day that we took possession of our lot here in the park in the summer of 2003, we had to evacuate due to a massive fire that was racing through the hills  just opposite this park.  239 homes were destroyed.  Meanwhile tonight at 10:20PM it is close to dark but I can still see the smoke wafting up.  And the smell of heavy putrid smoke continues to invade our home.  My heart goes out to all those affected by the fire, not just those here in our area of Lake Country but all across this vast wonderful and beautiful  Province of B.C.  I have no more words to describe the devastation we are dealing with.

…and yet another this evening.

 

 

 

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Jul 15, 2017

Fire watch, unconfirmed reports of multiple homes lost……

…just down the road from us.  Perhaps 7 – 10km away.  The international airport just a few miles from here has been shut down since 5PM.  It is only open to the many many aircraft landing to refuel and to load up with more fire retardant.

The fire has now been burning for close to five hours.  Over 100 – 150 homes have been evacuated with a moments notice.  No time to do anything but get in your car and drive away.

I need to download my photos….new post soon.

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Jul 13, 2017

We had some wiener dogs visit us

A few evenings ago Rollo ( a chocolate doxie ) and Jayce came to visit us and the girls.  We had to explain about the girls.

We met this family several years ago. They are from Calgary, Alberta and RV here almost every year and when they do we get together a few times.  I have mentioned them in posts years past.

Like our girls they like to stay close to each other.  Rollo moved just as I snapped the shot.  It was a bittersweet visit.  We know that they are leaving tomorrow but we could not bring ourselves to visit with them another time.  It is still too difficult for us.

We found out that Jayce only loves to play with balls and so Colin brought out Carmeh’s favorite for him to play with.  It moves because of a battery in it.  Carmeh was able to turn the ball on or off just by using her toe nail.  She was so very clever.  At first Jayce was perplexed by this constantly moving ball but he eventually began to touch it.  When they left he looked longingly at the ball, he wanted to take it home.  Sorry Jayce.

The winds blew in the right direction for us today.  Colin was able to get 1.5 jobs done.  If the clouds clear in Vancouver tonight he will be off very early in the AM to do a large size helicopter aerial job.  Fingers crossed please.  This is a really important one.

I was happy to see this headline late this afternoon.  Meanwhile I read about another incident where several passerby stopped and with their feet stamped out a road side fire likely caused by a…..butt!

However the fires aren’t anywhere near close to becoming under control.  Strong winds are in the forecast for the weekend.  No rain in the forecast.  I can’t imagine a career as a wildfire  firefighter, it must be brutal.  My nephew from Alberta is one of them.  For all I know he might be here helping fight these fires.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in and check the Que Pasa of it all.

 

UPDATE…less than 2 hours after posting, these dogs and their parents came by.  I had forgotten that we had lent them fencing material to keep their dogs on their site and they were returning it.  Apparently Mom ordered a dog thrower on Amazon yesterday ($130.00 ) for Jayce.  Lucky dog 😀    It was a very difficult visit for me and I am still weeping.  They are not from Calgary but from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.  Safe travels……

 

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Jul 12, 2017

The calm before the fires

Last week, the night before the full moon, we sat outside and watched the moon rise.  It was a clear night and the air was pure and sweet.

A peek inside our home from the patio.

The geese were out enjoying the evening with a late night swim.

A few days earlier Colin had rearranged our rocks displaced by the flood and set up our outdoor rope lights.

The next night was the full moon. Little did we know that that was the end of sitting outside and just enjoying our yard.

As of this morning there are 14,365 evacuees.  The City of Williams Lake alone, has 10,000 people on evacuation alert.  As of this morning there are 163 wildfires burning.  78,000 hectares of land has burned in the province of BC since April 1st.  Finally, just this afternoon the fire closest to us in Princeton is 10% under control.  The forecast is for heavy wind and thunderstorms.

Today we had a bit of a break and saw some blue sky, but as per above that won’t last long.

Meanwhile today a barge has started the clean up of Lake Okanagan.  Much debris is floating about in the form of broken docks, unregistered and unclaimed boats, barrels and trees.  Our province is in a mess.

First the City of Kelowna was under a state of emergency because of the flooding and now the entire Province of BC is under a state of emergency due to the fires.  Meanwhile closer to home, ground water is rising in yet another area of our park.  Trucks continue to pump out our sewage treatment plant.  If that is compromised we will all be evicted from our homes.  It appears that the solution is simply one of rerouting a large creek 😯  Not an easy feat.   Oh, the RV remains at Freightliner and it appears that the steering issue may have been located.  The final figures are not in but they will be high 🙁

Will it ever end?

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Jul 10, 2017

We only see smoke and smell smoke

Normally the wildfire season does not begin until the end of July and continues through most of August.  It is early this year.  Our province/state is burning.  Personally that means that our business is totally affected.  Everyone wants perfect blue sky in their commercial photos.  Not going to happen.  Each year it gets worse.  I came across this very long article but most interesting about the causes of climate change.  In fact it outlines the future of the world as we know it and it portrays a frightening future.  Click here to read it.  It was published in the New York Magazine yesterday on July 9th.

I took this photo 48 hours ago. My purpose was to show you the interesting contours in the landscape and the variations of colour.  Usually at this time of year there is no green, just drab dried out grass.

I took the almost exact photo just two hours ago.  All one sees is smoke.  Of course the smell is thick and heavy.  Your eyes begin to sting and water the moment you step outside.

Our province has at least 225 fires burning.  Very few of them are under control.  This particular fire grew by 33% overnight.

Province wide over 8,500 people have been evacuated.  That could actually be 8,500 homes, I am not sure which it is.  Air tankers are on the way from Saskatchewan.  As are over 300 firefighters from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick to come help us.

I am not sure what this is but it circled a while before being cleared to land at the airport.  It is a huge beast.  Three Canadian Forces Griffon helicopters have already been sent here but they are somewhat smaller.  Other aircraft are on their way to carry emergency personal & equipment.  Locals airlines are decreasing their fares so that evacuees can head to other locations to be with friends or family.

The wonderful people who live in Fort McMurray are sending supplies to help those who have been evacuated.  We all helped them last summer when their town burned due to a wildfire.  I have no idea how the BC emergency personal are handling all of this.  They are still not quite done with the flooding and now this.

This was taken yesterday.  Just two days ago we awoke to a light dusting on ash on our vehicles.

Today, it is worse.  We can no longer even see the mountains.

There is no rain in the forecast.  I am willing to bet anything that those forecasted sunny days will be smoke filled.

Our province is a magnet for tourists in the summer.  Everyone wants to come and visit Beautiful B.C.  They come to camp and enjoy campfires.  They come to ATV.  They are smokers who mostly throw their butts out the window.  Gee we just had a fire down the road last night caused by a tossed butt. Fortunately a province wide campfire ban has been issued.  Now we need to issue an ATV ban ( their sparks are the causes of many fires. ) and to issue a no smoking ban.  Granted some of the fires north of us have been caused by lightening strikes but the majority are human caused.  Perhaps  B.C. should issue a non resident ban for the months of July and August.

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