There’s a reason for the hazy days of summer: Smoke.
There are other reasons, but in recent days it’s smoke and it wasn’t even caused by the guy on Murphy Street.
By the time I had arrived Monday morning, the fire was out and the smoke had cleared, but the deputy fire chief wasn’t impressed as walked away from the scene shaking his head and rolling his eyes.
And there was the home owner, sheepishly dousing the remainder of his half-burned bush, apparently set ablaze while he was using a propane tiger torch to burn off unwanted grass and weeds!
That’s right up there with power washing the driveway when there are serious water shortages.
The smoky/hazy atmospheric conditions also cannot be blamed on the oafs who refuse to properly put out their beach fires.
This is an all-too-common occurrence in Campbell River and one day it’s going to lead to draconian restrictions that will affect everyone who enjoys a nice beach fire.
I have a hard time trying to understand why a group of people take the time and energy to haul chairs, blankets, towels, food, drink and whatever else they need to the beach, collect driftwood, start a fire, enjoy the evening with family and friends, and then – THEN – not take a measly 10 minutes to properly extinguish the coals at the end of the night.
Too lazy? Too drunk? Too stupid? All the above? Take your pick.
However, it’s this type of behaviour that can have significant consequences depending on where you leave the smouldering fire.
So now, as an example, we return to the smoky/hazy atmospheric conditions we’ve been seeing on the coast this week.
While these conditions have certainly provided for some picturesque sunsets, I can’t think of any other positives provided by massive forest fire smoke blowing clear across the Pacific Ocean.
I’m not sure what caused the current forest fires in Siberia and other parts of Asia, but they are the reason we’re seeing the smoky/hazy skies here in coastal British Columbia.
That’s both amazing and disturbing.
If anything, I hope it makes people realize that lit cigarette butt they flick out the window, or those few smouldering beach fire coals, could cause a fire that has global impacts.
As well, as the summer heats up, camp fire bans are inevitable. But here’s something I learned years ago while camping during the dry season: You can still have that “camp fire” by setting up a few rounds in the pit, place a few lit tea candles on the logs and, voila, instant mini-fire!
And, if you’re very patient, you can even roast a marshmallow over the candle light...which, I hope and expect, you put out at night’s end.