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B.C.’s wildfires have long-range effects

Dog Mountain Fire, Vancouver Island, July 2015. Photo © BCFLNR2015

Dog Mountain Fire, Vancouver Island, July 2015. Photo © BCFLNR2015

For a week, Nature Boy gasped and panted under dense skies. He flopped from sweaty seat to shade-enshrouded room in search of hints of coolness. He marveled at a sun that glowed orange throughout the day and lit everything with a buttery, evening light at midday.

The hot weather over the west coast sent many Victorians rushing to stake out blanket-sized patches of beach early in the morning. Others scurried into the welcome relief of air-conditioned offices. As for Nature Boy, he took to spending his afternoons in cool, dark cinemas.

The system that brought the weather also held Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland in a form of hot smoker. It suffused the coast in the fumes of the region’s wildfires.

In Vancouver, the outlook was labelled “Martian skies.”

The recent Big Smoke gave us a taste and whiff of our own coastal rainforests going up in flames, here, in a place normally known for clean air and fresh ocean breezes. With our itchy eyes and scratchy throats, we felt the chemical and particulate ghosts of thousands of trees being partially cremated at Dog Mountain, Sechelt Inlet, Port Hardy, and in other wildfires in the region….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

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