Northern Conflagration

This dry, hot summer has been a forest fire nightmare. There are currently major fires burning outside every major community in the Yukon, with fires near Watson Lake being critical, and many more throughout Alaska and British Columbia where several communities are on evacuation alert. The last few days, the weather forecast in Dawson has been represented by a fire, indicating smokey conditions. I don’t have a very good olfactory sense, but I’ve been able to smell the smoke for two days now. Today, it was particularly cloying as it’s also damp out.

This is what things have looked like for several days now. Don’t mistake it for fog, this smoke is thick, grey, and tastes like ash.

smoke

We had a good dose of rain overnight, taking us from hot and dry to cold and damp in just twelve hours, but it will take a lot more to end the wildfires.

European tourists I spoke to yesterday were flabbergasted that we don’t put the fires out. I replied that forest fires are a natural phenomenon often sparked by lighting more than by human hand. It’s cost prohibitive to put out fires in the wilderness and not ecologically sound to do so. Some plants need the high heat of wildfires for germination. Wildfire suppression causes more damage in the long run than letting nature run its course.

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4 Comments

  • *grin* Please Mabel, for the whole West coast’s sake, please don’t light anymore fires. Pyromania is treatable. Quote: “sparked by lighting more than my human hand” (I’m totally teasing, woke up in a great mood today and that part made me laugh).

    Seriously, I hope things get better. I’ve asked the Universe to send some of the rain we have been getting here by your way. It’s a change from last year. My parents barely saw the sun during their trip around Yukon and Alaska.

    Keep us posted and better start practicing your rain dance.
    J

  • It’s a good thing I have a sharp-eyed auditor reading TWM! 😀

    I saw plenty of sun this year, until a few days after I got back from the Chilkoot. This is a land of extremes.

    You don’t want to see my rain dance, :LOL: !!!

  • TWM???

  • TWM=Travels With Miranda!!!

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