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Wilderness Adventures - July, Week 2/2010

This 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 the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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Check out the Picture of the Day.

16/07/2010 8:24 PM

The BCFA AGM and Forest Fires

Planes have already begun to arrive today for the BC Floatplane Association's AGM tomorrow. Actually, they began arriving Thursday, which is a good sign. There have been lots of planes on floats and wheels cruising in on the lake or overhead on their way to the airport or the dirt strip where the AGM is being held, so that's kind of cool.
The pilots have certainly hit it lucky with weather this year. It looks like it will be really nice right through to Tuesday with sunshine and clear skies. Unless the forecast changes of course, but it does look like another high pressure system is building in.
We've had days and days of really nice weather, although Monday was really cold with a chilly wind. Actually, we've had quite a bit of wind for the past week and the only possible good it has done is helped to keep the mosquitoes at bay..... Somewhat.
We had guests on Monday and I saw them through the window as they walked down our driveway in the morning with him wearing a heavy lumberjack coat. I thought, "Oh, must be from the Coast. Not used to our temps." Until I went outside myself a little while later and immediately dove back inside for my winter coat. Brrr!
It has warmed back up again through the week but dropped again last night to just a couple of degrees above freezing. Andy turned on the sprinklers over at the neighbour's when he took the dogs for a walk this morning and couldn't figure out why hardly any water was coming out. He took the sprinkler off the hose and a few pieces of ice finally came plopping out onto the ground with the water. I forgot to disconnect their sprinklers tonight. I hope it doesn't freeze again, although it's not supposed to. It warmed up drastically today so it won't drop nearly as much overnight.
A forest fire started at Bull Canyon on Wednesday and closed Highway 20 for the day. I guess the fire crossed the highway and it was quite smoky even yesterday. It also burned a power pole so there was no electricity from there to this side of Tatla Lake until Thursday evening. Still, the Cariboo Fire Center threw a lot at it. I was notified of the fire shortly after it started so I checked out the information on the Forestry website. By Wednesday evening there were already a number of firefighters on it, air tankers and helicopters bucketing. I just checked it out on the forestry website a few minutes ago and it's grown from 30 hectares to 160 hectares. Unfortunately, it's human caused, which we suspected it would be since Bull Canyon is a recreational campground. People will never learn, I guess. It's not like we can't expect enough fires from lightning which we can do nothing about. But to get people causing them! If they don't know we're in extreme conditions they must be brain dead. That's why there are fire danger rating signs all along the highway in any community where there's a forestry hut. So that people will be aware of what the situation is.
The news hour flashed one of the BC forestry maps on TV the other night and it was as I had suspected just from walking around outside and knowing how little moisture we've received since the snow melted. Our region is in the red (extreme) and everything around it is in brown (high) fire danger zones. If you're interested in looking at the map for BC just copy and paste the following address in your browser.
So far, so good around here. I don't know how we've been so lucky so far as to not have a local fire, but we sure have been. I don't know if there's a lookout up in our forestry tower yet but Andy thought he might have heard something today on the radio to indicate there might be. I guess we'll see. It's crazy to not have one.
Andy just came in and told me to come out and take a look at the smoke in the west this evening. Yep, definitely smoke, but it's in the direction of that fire in North Tweedsmuir and very apparently far away so I think it's the one I saw the smoke on when it first started a week ago. We've been seeing a pretty red sky over in that direction for several evenings now, and smoke would explain it but this is the first evening we've had such clear blue in that direction so that you could see the smoke. The only other fire of note in the area is around Kluskus and that should be farther northeast to our location, so as I said, we've been awfully lucky so far! I think what has saved us is the periodic cool downs we've been getting between hot spells. That heat just doesn't build up long enough to create lightning storms, and as I mentioned before, there's no moisture around here to create a thunderstorm buildup. Cross our fingers!
We've been taking weekly trips down to Bella Coola for the past several weeks and seeing a lot of bears, but this warm weather seems finally to have driven them all into the bush. Or they're down on the rivers fishing now. We didn't see any on the trip down this past week, but we did have incredible clear blue skies all the way down the Hill. Perfect for pictures for a change! Check it out on the right!
You'll find last week's articles at July Week One. Have a good weekend.

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!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Reddish brown smoke.
Rainbow mountains.
Mountains above the Bella Coola Valley.
Highway, mountains, trees..
Atnarko River and mountain above.
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