Happy BC Day from the New “Big Smoke”

We have a day off here in British Columbia. It’s one of those holidays that exists in some of our provinces and territories but not in others, making it hard to sync up the banking and business systems across the country. In any case, I’m glad to have the day off!

On Saturday, we went to Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver to bask in the sun for the day and watch the annual fireworks display in the evening. For once, parking was easy to come by, probably because of all the smoke in the air. Forest fires are still raging across the Western part of Canada, in one of the worst years on record for fires. It is so hot and dry that, in addition to the usual summer campfire ban, there is now an off-road vehicle ban for fear of sparks. Statistics in BC as of yesterday are:

Wildfires

Air quality in Vancouver is a 7, with 7-10 classified as “High Health Risk” along with instructions to consider reduction of strenuous outdoor activities and caution for the very young or elderly. This is nothing, though, compared to the areas severely impacted by the fires, where ratings have far exceeded 10. Many families have been impacted, with evacuations and loss of property, amongst other effects. (Canadian Red Cross runs the British Columbia Fires Appeal for anyone wishing to donate.)

Here is a picture I took on July 1, as compared to one from yesterday morning from pretty much the same spot. Can’t even see the ever-present mountains!

Somehow at the beach on Saturday, I deleted the post I was writing (arggh… so annoying to start again… maybe later), cut my leg on a bathroom stall (thank you nice lifeguards for the first aid), and lost 5 dollars in a candy machine (didn’t need the chocolate I guess). Nevertheless, we enjoyed our beach day, even though it kind of looked like the end of the world, especially when the military planes did a fly-over.

The smoke did make for some surreal sunset pictures, though (no it’s not Mars)…

Around 400,000 people went down to the water to see the final night of the annual Celebration of Light, with the finale by Team Canada. My younger son and his friend and I were in agreement that this was the best fireworks display we’ve seen, with new configurations thrown in. My pictures don’t do the nearly half-hour display justice but…

Fighting the traffic on the way home, my teenage passengers amused themselves by head-banging to music and trying to get the people in the cars next to us to react! Made it home by midnight and a good time was had by all.

11 thoughts on “Happy BC Day from the New “Big Smoke”

  1. Happy BC Day to you too! Sorry this is so late! 😦 Great pictures!! My son (whom you met) has experienced how bad the smoke is when up in the Okanagan recently – even worse than where they live. I feel so bad for the people who are have to live with it all around them. I hope there will be a weather change so that they can finally breathe freely! I’m thankful it seems to have lifted a bit here these last couple of days.

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    • Hi Teuchter! Good to hear from you! The smoke has been so bad… it’s so strange not to be able to see the mountains. But you’re right. We have it easy compared to Kamloops, Williams Lake, etc. Hopefully some rain will come.

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    • Thanks. Well, normally we can see some of the fireworks from where we live because we’re at a higher elevation. But we tried with the Wednesday fireworks and couldn’t see them at all. This year they were only visible from near the water. (They’re sent up from a barge.)

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