The Cape Mudge Lighthouse foghorn sounded Monday morning but it wasn’t because of fog.
The shroud of forest fire smoke blanketing the south coast obscured Quadra Island from sight so badly that it set the foghorn off. The smoke was so thick on the water that Quadra disappeared from view from the Vancouver Island side of Discovery Passage.
The prevalence of smoke hanging over Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland has prompted health warnings from the Ministry of the Environment on Monday that said, “As of Sunday night, and until further notice, a wildfire smoke advisory is in effect for the east and south coasts of Vancouver Island from Campbell River to Victoria. Smoke concentrations, according to the advisory, will vary and possibly lessen before getting worse, because of changes in wind direction and atmospheric pressure
“The advisory recommends that people in the affected areas avoid strenuous outdoor activities, and advises those experiencing, ‘difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways,’ to contact their healthcare provider immediately.
“Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and lung or heart disease.”
So, be careful out there and be particularly careful with behaviour that creates the risk of forest fire. The Campbell River area has been lucky so far and has escaped a fire in this area.
But we are at as high a risk for wildfire as anywhere else in the province.
If you are one of the groups at risk of respiratory distress due to the smoke, we hope things are not too uncomfortable and here’s to a strong breeze to blow all this smoke away but spare a thought for our fire fighting crews who are striving to bring these fires under control.