British Columbia is Burning

A photo of a waterfront landscape that is covered in a smoky haze.
The water, this evening. You can’t even see the Island.

Everything is burning. We have nearly 200 wildfires raging in the province right now. Fire bans across the board. The hottest, driest summer on record so far. Drought.

And the smoke has spread out to areas that aren’t on fire, has descended onto towns, has filled our lungs and made us cough and choke on the ash.

It looks like the end of the world outside. 

An empty street in a small town. Trees in the distance. The sky is a yellow-orange color, covered in a thick haze of smoke.
The sky as I headed to dog park.

This morning I woke up to yellow light streaming into my mother’s bedroom, where I’m sleeping while I stay with her. This morning I woke up to our cars covered in ash; to white flecks falling like snow through the sky. Things only got worse as the day went on. What was mildly irritating smoke smell in the air in the morning became unbreathable by mid-afternoon.

We closed all the windows and doors. There’s no AC, no fans, and it got up to 26C today. But it was better to suffer in heat than to damage our lungs.

A young person with long hair wears a green bandana wrapped around their face. They resemble a stereotypical stagecoach-robbing bandit from an old Western.
Me, leaving the house, wearing my hair bandana around my face so I could breathe.

This evening, we made a grocery store run, thinking we’d at least spend some time in an air conditioned, smoke free environment. We got one of those things right. The haze had even penetrated the fortress walls of QF, hanging like some ineffable doom over the aisles of cereal and coffee and bread.

BC is burning. BC is burning and we can’t breathe.

People are losing their homes. Firefighters and tree fallers are losing their lives. The province is burning and bleeding and suffering.

When I look out onto our ghost town street, normally fairly lively on summer days, even Sundays, when I stare at a landscape that could be taken from Silent Hill, half of me feels despair.

The other half feels a deep, fathomless anger.

Fires are raging all over BC and last year the province spent NOTHING ON WILDFIRE MITIGATION. NOTHING.

A backyard filled with trees and some sheds. There is a patch of sky through the trees; it is a cloudy, yellowish hue.
More morning sky.

 

Because that is what happens when your government destroys scientific knowledge, muzzles scientists, and ignores FACTS about the world around us. This is what happens when you have an ultra conservative party in charge that won’t be content until it’s completely destroyed your country.

Harper fiddles while Canada burns. Christie plays back up on the triangle. 

Fires are raging all over BC and California and the rest of the Coast is suffering drought and still corporations steal our water; still people deny climate change.

The hottest summer on record. The HOTTEST. Is that global warming fucking hot enough for you yet?

Temperatures rise ACROSS THE GLOBE but because there’s a cold spot in Eastern and Southern US during the winter, people deny the truth that is SLAPPING THEM IN THE FACE and crawling into their lungs, choking them with the ash and soot.

We are burning our planet alive. BC is just a small part of that.

BC is burning. The West Coast is drying up. We are dying. 

Wake the fuck up.

A picture of the ocean, taken from a car. There is so much smoke and haze over the water you can barely see the dock or the wave break.
What view?

2 Comments


  1. I’m sorry to hear it’s gotten so bad. I can’t even imagine trying to breathe that air. Everything you said is SO RIGHT and extremely frustrating. What the idiots here in the US seem to forget is California, another part of the dangerously drought-stricken area, is the state that grows a large portion of our food. All their precious riches can’t buy what no longer exists.

    I’ll send my energies for some rain; for BC, for California, and for all who are hurting. What hurts one hurts all.
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    1. Thank you. I think the energies helped; we got 2 days of rain, and are apparently supposed to get some more in August (hopefully). Thank Manannan.

      The province is still on fire, but the smoke has moved off from places like Powell River and Metro Vancouver. This…is honestly not a good thing, in my view, because the smoke acted like a wake-up call to the populace. Now that it’s gone I’m afraid people will forget (and indeed, they seem to be already) who put us in this position in the first place (politicians and corporations) and instead turn their ire to their fellow proletariat (ie, cigarette smokers, people ignoring watering restrictions to water their lawns, campfire burners). Not that it’s not shitty that people are throwing their butts into the grass, or watering their lawns when we’re in a stage 4 drought, or burning campfires in violation of the ban — those are all awful things, and yes, those people should face some consequences.

      But it seems like people have focused ALL their ire on those folks, and completely forgotten that, you know, politicians and corporations are who GOT US HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. With an election coming up, it’s more important than ever to remember who the real enemy is.

      Sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the void, though. So thank you for reading my post, and commenting. I really appreciate it.
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