is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada
called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain
ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full
of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity
to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without
Wilderness Adventures - July, Week 2/2009
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of the Day.
All Day Boomers
had one heck of a series of thunderstorms here today.
They started around lunch time and I think I heard the
last boomer at around eight this evening. It's probably
one of the longest lasting storms I've ever experienced.
Thunderheads started forming early today and by noon we
started hearing the rumble of far off thunder. There was
a lot of smoke in the air and the massive, black bottoms
of huge storm cells, so making out all of the columns
of smoke surrounding us wasn't as easy as it should have
been. The exception was the Heckman Pass fire which
still had a backdrop of blue sky this morning.
Still, before the smoke and cloud got too bad this morning,
I could see what I presumed to be the Dusty Lake smoke
or one of several in that direction, the Itcha fire in
the Corkscrew Basin, the new smoke to the west of that,
(possibly around Poison Lake north of Anahim Lake) and
the Junker Lake fire was billowing up to a pretty mighty
elevation. The Charlotte smoke can't be seen from our
place now so I have no idea what it looked like this morning
but there's probably not a lot left there. Fire
crews hit that one pretty hard yesterday and I think they
may have overnighted on it as well.
New fire reports started coming in early today, rather
than around supper time when thunderstorms usually get
going, so air and ground crews were going steadily all
It was probably around one this afternoon when a big storm
cell moved in from the east and started really rumbling,
with it getting blacker and blacker as the bottom of the
thunderhead slid over us. But a south wind came up and
the storm started moving northward, grumbling the whole
time. I figured the Itcha and Ilgatchuz Ranges were
getting nailed pretty badly from the sounds of it
and I know several new smoke reports came out of it. At
the same time there was a large system sliding from north
to south to the west of us over Anahim Lake and not only
was it setting up a ruckus, but those clouds completely
obscured the Heckman Pass smoke column. Then the wind
I can just imagine what that was like for crews out on
various fires. Your wind that is normally coming out of
a dependable southwesterly direction has suddenly switched
and is coming out of the opposite direction. Not
so good if you're on the wrong side of a fire.
I figured that the huge storm that I had been watching
and listening to for at least an hour was going to be
pretty much gone for us when that wind turned and I thought,
"Oops, that sucker is going to come right back on
us!" And boy, did it ever. By this time there was
a big storm cell to the south of us over the mountains
that was booming constantly, and then the huge system
to the west of us was suddenly very, very close. By four
thirty this afternoon we were on the front deck sitting
under the overhang listening to thunder crash and bang
all around us as well as overhead. The air was so thick
that we didn't see a lot of lightning, but we saw enough
of it, especially zinging from cloud to cloud, and a few
flashes overhead lit things up a bit.
I have no idea how many fires may have been started
and I doubt if the Cariboo Fire Center knows either.
I think that most of the air crews were trying to avoid
those uncertain storm cells once they got really big and
you can't blame them for that. I know a few smokes were
reported in after those last boomers but with visibility
being what it is, I don't know that the lookout, ground
crews or air crews will see much before morning.
I know that earlier this afternoon after that one storm
moved through to the north and before it turned back on
us, I could see not just what I think is the Dusty Lake
fire but two more columns, one on either side of it, but
much farther away and much bigger from the looks of it.
All three smokes disappeared behind the low cloud shortly
after. I think that it's probably a good thing that there
has been such huge thunderheads for the past day and a
half, and smoke in the air obscuring all the smoke columns
surrounding us. If it ever cleared off and you could
see what was actually out there I expect more than one
person out here would be a bit shaky.
I think that the region east of us from Alexis Creek to
Puntzi got nailed pretty good by lightning today. There
were several smoke reports coming in for that area by
this afternoon, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised
if the Nazko Blackwater area got a lot of strikes. Although
since this storm turned back on itself, it may not have
gotten that far north and east.
We smelled smoke from the Charlotte Lake fire yesterday
for a little while but otherwise, it's been good until
tonight. We had a bit of a rain with the last thunderstorm
of the evening and we're figuring it brought some of the
smoke from the upper levels down to ground level. At least
I hope that's the case. Otherwise we have a fire out there
some where that won't be reported until tomorrow when
it lightens up. But since there's somewhere in the neighbourhood
of 15 or more fires surrounding our three communities
of Anahim, Nimpo, and Charlotte Lake, it's more likely
to just be all the smoke from those fires coming down
with the rain.
For those of you that want to check out some of the fires
in the area, I think I've given this link before to the
Forestry website at Fire
Stats ,unfortunately, they
never seem to list many of the fires that have been assigned
fire numbers, even if they've been fighting those fires
for several days. I'm not sure why. But some of them are
I was flabbergasted to hear about the Blackcomb fire this
morning. Forestry personnel finally admits that it turned
out the fire was only 30 hectares, not 75, it's not a
rank 4 but a 2, considered a creeping ground fire that
hasn't grown since yesterday, and is on the other side
of the mountain from any structures. But the media just
had to be up there this morning doing the news from Blackcomb
mountain and making a real story out of it. What's
really sad is that there were numerous air tankers and
helicopters on it yesterday with two heavy engine
rotary helicopters and a 72 person ground crew on it today.
I would be very surprised if we had 72 people in total
on all the fires in the Chilcotin. I'm forced to wonder
over and over what the city people on the Lower Mainland
would do if there was actually a real, natural disaster.
Forest Fires All Around Us - Nimpo & Anahim
then it gets dark.
Our Itcha fire has grown to 400 hectares or 1000
acres. We took a look at it from Two Mile yesterday
where you could see the base of it. I took some great
pictures of a tanker dropping retardant on it but unfortunately
my zoom lens focused on the treeline on the hillside below
the fire. I was really disappointed when I got home to
find that all I ended up with was a red and white blur.
That fire has definitely grown wider and looks like it's
dropped out of the alpine and down into a valley and is
slowly moving toward Anahim. But it's still probably 20
miles away. Or it was yesterday.
Today we woke up to cloud and I figured we were going
to get a little break from the sun and heat for a change.
The grey cleared out for a little while only to be replaced
by some big, hairy thunderheads by very early in the afternoon.
Even though we saw few lightning bolts, it didn't
take long to start seeing smoke and the fire reports to
start coming in.
One of the first was near Charlotte Lake and they got
copters bucketing on that right away. Almost immediately,
one was reported in Heckman Pass at the top of the Bella
Coola Hill on East Branch near the parking lot. That's
the jumping off point for snowmobilers and skiers in winter,
and hiking in summer. There's also an outfitter that takes
trailriders up into the Rainbow Range behind that area.
When reported, the fire was estimated to already be at
75 acres and between rank four and rank five. CFC threw
a lot of resources at it right off the bat, probably because
it threatened a ski hill and cabin up there. They
had four air tankers on it initially and then
I think they sent three back for another round after the
first drop and diverted one to another fire. They put
ground crew in there as well but I think it might have
gotten a little hot for them tonight. They did choose
to close Highway 20 west to Bella Coola at Anahim Lake
and presumably on the other end, so there must be some
danger of the fire crossing the highway.
When I was up at Nimpo this afternoon you could see the
Charlotte Lake smoke and a great big black pillar to the
right of it that I figured had to be the Heckman Pass
fire. But when Andy and I went back up this evening, it
was pretty much impossible to tell because there
was a new, huge smoke that you could see through the Goat
Pass notch. There's a pretty vigourous fire that
started near Junker Lake (very near the Lonesome Lake
Fire) this afternoon but there may be another on the Turner
Lake Chain as well. The forestry guys were trying to track
down campers and anyone canoeing the Turner Lake Chain
to get them out of there. I think that's the fire we were
looking at. Kappan lookout called in a smoke around Trumpeter
Mountain but couldn't give coordinates because of all
the smoke. So I don't know if that was a separate fire
or if she was seeing the smoke from the fires on the Turner
All the fires so far were south of us, west of us,
and the Itcha fire was north of us, but it got worse.
We were sitting and eating supper when I happened to glance
out the door to the east and saw a huge column of black
smoke peaking into a pretty good cloud and thinking....
I don't remember that being reported! It
may well have been though because there were three fires
off in that direction, two reported prior to my seeing
it, and one after. I just thought they would be too far
away for the smoke to look that close. I stepped outside
after supper and to the north well west of the Itcha fire,
there was a big column of black smoke barely discernable
through the smoke from the old fire. I'm thinking,
hey! I'm almost positive that one wasn't called in!
Sure enough, a few minutes later it was reported by a
plane on its way to another fire. Finally, tonight just
before dark, either a bird dog or helicopter reported
yet another fire up on the Dusty Lake Road. It's not very
big so far but I don't know that they'll get anyone on
it tonight. Right now they have a lot of guys going in
by ground to the Charlotte Lake fire so that's the one
they seem to be concentrating on, even though Dusty Lake
Road is about the same distance from us.
There were many fires reported that we didn't hear another
thing about. There was a fire reported for Tizzy Lake.
Near the Home Ranch, that's where Pan Phillips' Fishing
Camp is located and where Pan's son and wife operate a
resort. Certainly that would have been an interface fire
and attended to immediately. Or was it that one of Robbie's
guests start a campfire without being aware that there's
a burning ban on? There seems also to be something happening
up near Eliguk Lake but haven't heard much about that
To give them full credit, Cariboo Fire Center has certainly
been throwing a lot of resources on fires in this area
but they've got to be spread pretty thin.
Fires have started elsewhere in the Chilcotin including
west of Chilko Lake and one at Henry's Crossing that involved
buildings, not to mention fires that will have started
elsewhere in their region.
According to the radar map, there was quite a bloom of
thunder cells along the Coast Range and southern interior.
It looks like we got caught in the northernmost cells.
However, Blackcombe down at Whistler got caught in it
too. A lightning strike touched off a 185 acre fire up
in the mountains. I'm not sure who hit the panic button
but it was pretty laughable. Maybe they're just bored
down there but you wouldn't believe the tankers and helicopters
they had on that fire ASAP. The news media were
dramatizing the whole thing so much it was sickening.
How everyone on the mountain had to be evacuated and they
didn't know if everyone made it out safely. Give me a
break! We're surrounded on all sides by at least seven
to ten fires ranging from an acre to a 1000 acres in size
and from 5 to 30 miles from Nimpo, Charlotte, or Anahim
Lake. And no one has bothered to put us on the media with
a 'Late, Breaking News!' tagline and a special reporter.
Oh yeah, I forgot. The Chilcotin doesn't exist. Not a
big enough voter base.
I can only assume that the premier is determined to keep
the forests green and pristine for his precious Olympics
and will throw non-stop money at resources to do just
The helicopters and tankers working locally have all been
grounded now. There's still a few ground crews out there
on some fires but most will come in for the night. I guess
we'll see in the morning what the skies look like.
By this evening, the sky was so full of smoke in
all directions that you really couldn't define any one
fire anymore. We also had a buildup of big, black
clouds on every horizon that also helped to obscure smoke
and sounded off with quite a bit of thunder. Which probably
means more fire reports tomorrow. We got a few big, fat
raindrops around nine tonight while the temperature still
stood at a balmy 80 degrees. It got to 30C or 86F in the
shade today, even with cloud cover but while it felt pretty
humid today, it wasn't as bad as yesterday morning's 57%
I think we'll see a bit of a cool down pretty soon here
and the weather forecasters seem to be backing that up.
While the sunshine is supposed to hold until the middle
of next week at least, temperatures will drop a couple
of degrees. I'm not sure the hot weather will even hold
out that long, for us anyway. I think we'll see it break
A lot of all time temperature records on the Lower Mainland
and along the coast clear to Terrace fell in the last
couple of days. Even Bella Coola was an outrageous
42C or 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Can you believe
that? It's a coastal jungle down there. I can't imagine
those kind of temperatures in that valley. In any case,
I just don't think these temperatures can be sustained
for much longer without those high pressure systems breaking
down. Already today our wind kept switching and was trying
to come out of the south rather than out of the east and
north as it has been.
Just a quick note. Charlotte Lake Days are being
put on by the Charlotte Lake residents this weekend.
Fishing derby on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday is trap
shooting at the range, potluck and a pig roast at 6 p.m.
on the beach. $5 per person for the meal. Bring your dish,
refreshments and chair--utensils and coffee will be provided.
Since it's a potluck, bring a little something to contribute
ladies. Monday is the horse shoe tournament. Be there
or be square! The only phone number I have off hand if
you need more information is 250-742-3742 or you can call
me at 250-742-3724 and I can email interested parties
a copy of the poster.
Heat and Fires
little heat wave has once again resulted in fires.
We had thunderheads forming in the heat pretty early today,
especially over the Itcha Illgatchuz Ranges. A fire
was reported this afternoon about 30 miles to the north
of us this side of Itcha Lake. You could see the
smoke plume from our place very easily and from several
other different directions. A camper told Logan down at
Nimpo Lake Resort about the smoke so he took a quick boo
up in his plane, took some pictures and note of landmarks,
and has given me kind permission to reprint the photos
here. I think Floyd may also have gone up in his plane
because we called over to their place up on Morrison Meadow
Road just to let them know there was a fire up behind
Several other fires have started in the Chilcotin
including a couple down Tatla way. There must
be a big fire somewhere around here because a tanker was
set to do a drop on the Itcha fire (listed as the Corkscrew
Basin Fire on the Forestry website) but it was diverted
to what was listed as a 'higher priority fire'. However,
I have no idea where that was.
I did get a phone call this afternoon from
a neighbour that told me there was a fire in the Park,
(presumably Tweedsmuir) but no one was allowed to fight
it, as is the Park's rule. That rule is what burned out
John Edwards and caused the Lonesome Lake Fire to blow
up from a little lightning strike into a massive 15 million
dollar fire. However, I don't have verification on a fire
in the park yet so until I do.... It also depends on where
it is. If it's up in the isolated part of North
Tweedsmuir, or west of the Lonesome Lake burn, it isn't
going to hurt much. A large fire is probably the
best thing that could happen to Tweedsmuir Park because
it's so full of beetle kill now, and when it does go up,
it's gonna go up fast.
We got a phone call from the store owners this evening
who were visiting across the lake, and Leah was a little
concerned at the smoke she was seeing in the Itchas to
the north. Andy told her that it was probably okay for
now since they had been bucketing with helicopters all
afternoon, it was near alpine at 5600 feet, and Logan
said there was a lot of wet meadows and creeks between
us and the fire. Besides, 30 miles is a long way for a
fire to travel. But we decided to go out in the boat and
see what she was seeing. It's definitely more impressive
looking from the middle of the lake.
A little wind has sprung up from the east and it has moved
the fire, or at least the line of smoke, quite a bit farther
west from where we were viewing it this afternoon. There's
also quite a thunderhead billowing up at the top of the
column of smoke and I expect even if the fire is still
at only 100 acres as reported this afternoon, it's creating
its own weather now.
I sure hope it doesn't decide to go anywhere overnight
because the helicopters have quit and gone home for the
night. I don't think there are any ground crews in there
right now. I know when first reported they said it was
too hot to put a ground crew in before bucketing commenced.
Since it's pretty isolated country, and there is
no access except by helicopter, I don't imagine
the Cariboo Fire Center would leave a crew in without
a helicopter there and available to pull them out if the
fire turned, but I could be wrong.
There are several large fire crews posted to this area
right now because I know some of the resorts are full
to overflowing with them. I don't know if that's because
there are so many little fires to be mopped up in the
area, or if CFC is expecting this to be a hot spot. It
doesn't matter which. Everyone in our two communities
just appreciates having these guys here in case we get
some more boomers.
We hit over 30 C or 86F in the shade today.
We actually got quite a dose of shade because of the thunderheads
that moved in and that helped to cool things slightly.
However, it was over 90F in the shade up on Morrison Meadow
Road and over at the neighbours' early in the afternoon.
Who knows how hot it got in the sun today. I try not to
look at that thermometer.
The weather forecasters are predicting that the heat will
continue through next Monday now, with a slight cooling
trend. Slight meaning between one and four degrees, but
as one forecaster said, when it's that hot, that isn't
a lot of difference. I guess the humidity has been atrocious
down on the Lower Mainland so they're really suffering
in the heat, especially with the really poor air quality.
We've been really fortunate. Up until this morning
our air has been just about as clear as I've ever seen
it in summer. It's been wonderful, but the smoke
from fires elsewhere in BC, (or our own fires) has definitely
changed our air quality. While you could see the mountains
to the south, they were pretty hazy and by tomorrow, we
may not be able to see them at all. That Itcha fire has
already put a lot of smoke on our horizon from east to
Floyd Vaughan took some great pictures for me when he
flew up to Pan Phillips fishing camp yesterday. He knew
I was looking for pictures of the Home Ranch because I
had none, but I'll wait for a day or two to post them.
Right now I want to post fire pictures, particularly those
that Logan took today. The picture on the top right was
taken from the middle of the lake four hours after Logan
took his pics from the plane. The smoke plume rises above
Tweedsmuir Air Charter Service across the bay from us.
Don't forget, rolling over an image with your mouse gives
a photo credit, and short explanation for each photo.
The Redneck Fix
it continues to heat up, we were forced to come up with
a fix for our front windows. We have friends at
Charlotte Lake that were kind enough to get us contact
information for a business that builds specialty vertical
blinds for odd window sizes. Our friends have angle cut
windows above regular windows on their front wall just
as we do, and solved the light and sun problem with very
unique custom blinds. However, Mr. and Mrs. Organization
here (yep, that would be us) never got around to measuring
the windows in our house and ordering the
window coverings, even though we've been half blinded
by sun throughout the winter ever since knocking down
our beetle killed trees. We're paying for it now.
Yesterday Andy decided we were going to cover them
up, even if it meant hanging off a ladder 20 feet in the
air. It was getting so hot and we were in such
a hurry to get those windows covered up that we didn't
worry too much about style. We just grabbed whatever oversized
sheets we had and Andy draped them over the windows and
tacked them in place. Since three of the sheets have different
floral patterns and are different colors, and one is a
study in abstract smears, it looks like a regular hillbilly
mansion when you first enter our home now. Heaven knows
what it looks like from the lake. But it's reduced the
heat in here by several degrees so I don't actually care
what it looks like. However, I'm thinking we easily qualify
as a home improvement project on Home and Garden television.
Debbie Travis does Nimpo mabye.
It's been ranging around 29C or 84F in the shade for the
last two afternoons at its warmest which seems kind of
strange, because everyone else, especially up in Nimpo,
is reporting higher temperatures. I took a thermometer
over to the neighbours' place that sits above the lake
and placed it in the shade today to see what it said,
but kept forgetting to check it after that. We sit right
down on the lake with water on three sides, with a lot
of trees, bushes and lawn on the property, all of which
is kept well watered. I've mentioned before that we are
at least five degrees colder in spring and a couple of
degrees cooler in summer than anyone up away from the
water because of the lake effect, just as we're warmer
in late fall. I can only assume that's the reason that
our thermometers aren't reading as high as everyone else's.
We had thunderstorms start up yesterday afternoon
with lightning that started a lot of fires locally as
well as farther east toward Chilko. The CIFAC
crews must have done a good job on them because I didn't
see anything for smoke today. To give them credit, Cariboo
Fire Center is not wasting any time getting on top of
any smoke spotted, with fast response by IA crews, helicopters
bucketing, and even bombers. I hope they continue in that
vein because while we had no storm activity today, tomorrow
is supposed to be a different matter, but I figure as
long as we have our lookout and they continue to send
out air patrols, we should be all right.
The Lower Mainland, Okanagan and the Kootenays,
essentially the entire lower half of the province, experienced
some real boomers yesterday evening. While we
had some thunder cells that bloomed in the east and north
yesterday evening, they were moving fast. The resulting
lightning created a lot of fires but it moved out pretty
quickly. That is definitely not what happened
to southern BC.
The lightning storm lasted for hours in Vancouver while
the Okanagan experienced heavy rain and hail, and the
Kootenays got nailed with golf ball sized hail. There
were power outages in several regions and footage by amateur
photographers showed power transformers being knocked
out. All in all, more reminiscent of vicious storms experienced
in Tornado Alley down in the States, than what you would
expect to see in mild mannered Vancouver.
Weather forecasters are now saying that this heat
will last through Sunday a week from now. If it
does, it will be the longest sustained heat wave in BC
since record keeping started in the 1880's. The first
such occurrence was in 1928. The second was in 1981 and
I remember that one well. The hot weather started in May
and by July there was no one on the streets. I would walk
to a home several blocks away from a job downtown every
afternoon, barely able to breathe in the stifling heat
radiated off of cement sidewalks and paved streets. I
would go to a house owned by friends with a heavily shaded
backyard and a huge three foot deep kiddy's pool. Every
day there would be between 25 and 30 people sitting in
lawn chairs around the pool with their feet in the water
and drink in hand. Fortunately, space was always made
for me because I provided most of the meals prepared and
frozen in the middle of winter because it was too hot
to cook in a trailer in the summer. With temperatures
ranging around 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade at
supper time, you stayed there until it was bearable enough
to drive home. In my case, that was a hot, stuffy
trailer in a trailer court up on the hill so I usually
delayed going home until after dark.
The last incidence of a heat wave lasting more than three
days was in August of 2004, and that was the year of the
Lonesome Lake Fire. So it looks like this could be a record
breaker of a year. Lets just hope it's not a record breaker
with forest fires. Still, we're a lot better off than
those poor folks down in Texas that are in the middle
of a bad, bad drought. At least here we can wade into
the lake to cool off between chores and we've lots of
water. Sometimes a person just has to sit down and count
temperatures continue to rise and the news isn't good.
For a change, the idiot that normally does the weather
on the one news station appears to be gone for the week,
and the one forecaster that I really like has taken his
place. He's an actual meteorologist and is more
concerned with giving accurate weather than with trying
to be a 'TV personality'. He also gives a full
four day forecast for each region instead of only a one
day forecast as the other moron does. Apparently the latter
thinks that by doing only one day at a time, everyone
will be forced to come back and watch him every day, so
I prefer to wait until the weekend. But this week, we're
actually getting a forecast for weather up to and including
next Tuesday and my favorite dude says the weather we
have now will continue right through.
From the looks of it, all of BC will be baking under
sun and high temperatures that continue to rise for the
next week at least and and Environment Canada
is advising that this is a heat wave. This does not bode
well for the Forestry Protection Branch in BC. A ban went
on open burning, including campfires, today. While that
may help somewhat, I suspect lightning is going to be
a factor over this next week in some parts of the province.
And when the Fire Centers are putting out advisories about
volatile conditions in the forest and escape routes for
firefighters being the number one priority, you know things
Our fire hoses came out tonight and we'll start
up the pump tomorrow to start wetting down the underbrush
and trees on our property. We figure we're also
going to have to use it to wet down the tin roof on our
house because this place is really heating up. Often when
it's hot during the day we can count on it cooling down
at night enough to cool down the interior of the house
and that's what has happened for the last couple of nights.
But I don't think that's going to be the case from here
on in. It's nearly midnight and the temperature
is still over 20C or nearly 70F so it won't cool
down that much more. That jump starts the heating up in
the morning when the sun comes up, especially since our
daily temperatures are rising. We were up to 27C or 80F
in the shade today and it was not pleasant. None of us
are used to these kind of temperatures, especially if
they're going to be prolonged.
After watching the weather forecast tonight, I started
taking steps to close up the house in a manner I never
expected in this country. I taped aluminum foil on a bunch
of west facing windows because they really heat up in
the evening, the one time you don't want
heat coming in the house. I can remember when I was on
the farm in Saskatchewan, once the hottest part of summer
came along, you closed everything up. Heat reflecting,
close fitting, metal blinds on all the windows were closed
from dawn until dark. Then all the windows were
opened up through the night to let in as much cool air
as possible until morning. When I lived in the city a
couple of years later, I was stuck in an airless, south
facing apartment with no air conditioning. That was pretty
miserable in the summer, even with foil on the bedroom
windows. Eventually it would get so hot I could only sleep
under a wet bath towel with a fan blowing across the towel,
forming my own personal swamp cooler. Of course part way
through the night you would either wake up with a deadly
chill, or a dry towel. I half expected to come down with
pneumonia, but never did. I don't know about anyone else,
but I can live with the heat if I can sleep
in a cool bedroom at night. When I can't, I get grouchy.
Which is why I'm trying to convince Andy that we need
to cover up four large angle cut windows high up on the
prow front that are letting in a lot of sun. However,
so far, I suspect the hassle of doing so still outweighs
the consequences of not doing it.
I know there's a lot of people out there who read
this blog, including my brother down in hot, humid, Florida,
that are laughing into their open toed sandals right now,
but we're not used to this kind of weather. First of all,
the mode of dress may have a huge influence on just how
hot one feels. You folks in hot country have sandals and
shorts, and short sleeved shirts and blouses, or maybe
even sun dresses I expose that much skin here and
the mosquitoes are going to pick me up and pack me away.
My nod to the heat ends at wearing a T-shirt. I still
have to wear jeans and boots, although I'm really seriously
considering converting an old pair of jeans into a pair
of cutoffs. It's just that with my face in the dirt and
constantly watering, I'm in the mosquito's favorite environment,
and they were certainly out in force today. So I'm still
kind of chicken about exposing that much skin, especially
since all that fish belly white might blind the neighbours.
In any case, I guess we'll just see what happens over
the next few days weather wise. Amazingly enough, our
air quality is still excellent with no smoke haze leaking
in from any of the fires throughout BC. The mountains
have almost no snow left on them, but at least you can
I was struck by how beautiful the view was at one point
today standing there hot, grubby, bug bitten and tired.
I mentioned to Andy that when the weather gets this hot
people usually say, "Lets go to the lake!" Well
we are at the lake, and all we do is work
our butts off on yard work. There's just something wrong
with this picture.
The Heat Wave
Everyone. We're back. We decided to take a short little
holiday with a drive into Williams Lake Saturday, and
then on to Ashcroft to visit Nimpo neighbours with a residence
down there as well. We were having a great time enjoying
the unique desert-like area, checking out the town and
a great little museum. We had intended to stay a
couple of days but by Tuesday it had gotten so hot, we
were getting concerned for the dogs. We knew that
it was supposed to continue to heat up through the week
and figured the longer we left it, the more miserable
a ride home it would be for them under the canopy in the
back of the truck. As it was, we stopped several times
on the way home to wet them down and made sure they had
lots of water. Still, once we got back to Nimpo I took
them straight down to the lake and all three spent a fair
amount of time deep in the water to get cooled off.
It was baking hot in Williams Lake Wednesday and we looked
forward to getting home because we knew it would be a
lot cooler. It's been right around 25C or higher or about
79 to 80 degrees down here on lake level with it a lot
warmer up off the water. But that's a lot cooler
than the 90 and 100 degree weather places like Ashcroft
and the Okanagan have been getting. Central BC
around Williams Lake, Prince George and Quesnel are expected
to get smoking hot for the next six to ten days, as is
the rest of British Columbia. That is definitely going
to bring on the forest fires.
Forest fires followed us all the way up from Ashcroft
and then we had at least one out here today up on the
Dusty Lake road. Andy watched a bomber circle the fire
after dropping retardant and a helicopter hanging around.
He may just have to take a run up to Kappan to see if
our lookout is manned.
Kelowna area in the Okanagan is getting nailed pretty
badly with forest fires. They've had three major
ones, one of which is way out of control. Evacuees from
one fire have been allowed to return home but the Terrace
Mountain fire rages on, forcing the evacuation of 2000
people on the west side of Okanagan Lake and another 2000
people on evacuation alert.
I can't quite figure out what these Fire Centers are playing
at. It would seem the truth is a hard thing for them to
come by. One of our part time neighbours was up hiking
on Terrace Mountain last Thursday with a friend. They
noticed a pretty good smoke and called it into their regional
Fire Center. They said they got a very weird response
to their call, (which may be because that fire, if the
right one, actually started a few weeks before and had
been called 'out' by firefighters.). The media and the
listing under Terrace Mountain on the Fire Protection
site have been reporting that the fire started on Saturday.
BC Forestry Information Officer, Tim Neal, finally admitted
today that the fire started Wednesday or Thursday. But
as Andy says, he just didn't specify which month. The
Terrace Mountain Fire has been nearly doubling in size
every day and is at 4000 hectares or nearly 10,000 acres
and is expected to continue to grow.
The Kelowna area is definitely getting the short end of
the stick with weather. In addition to being very dry
and already having several large interface fires, they're
expected to get lightning tonight and tomorrow night,
so they're bound to have more fire starts.
We're in the center of a high pressure system and
as unlikely as it seems in this build up of heat,
they're not calling for thunderstorms with lightning for
our area so far or any time in the near future. It's true
that our skies are pretty clear. We had a bit of a build
up of thunderheads this afternoon but they dissipated
fairly quickly and it's clear out now. We were both surprised
to see how clear our air was on the drive all the way
out here yesterday afternoon, and I was even more surprised
that it was still clear all day today. After experiencing
so much smoke haze from forest fires all over BC off and
on this summer, I would have expected us to see some now
with so many fires burning throughout the region. Although
I don't expect them to remain like this for long, I'll
take the clear skies any day..
And finally, the start of a new week. You'll find most
of July past at July
Week One .
The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a
remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a
beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search
engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim
Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities
in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large
as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough
room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible
country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip
of the iceberg, so join me!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!