My First Wild Fire

Here in Vancouver, on the West Coast of Canada we are having wild fires. There are several raging fires you can see on this map.

Yesterday the smoke filled the sky and turned it bright orange. The smell of fire was inescapable and the sun is now totally blocked by the smoke.

We’ve had no rain and a heat wave that’s lasted for 2 weeks.

This is my first wild fire experience. I’ve watched videos and read articles about wild fires but I figured I lived in a rainy temperate climate that would never entertain them.

I can’t tell you how scared I was yesterday. In the afternoon the smoke just descended on my city. I thought there was a fire in the kitchen and went to check. Turns out the fire smell was everywhere. We shut our windows. Even with them shut, you couldn’t escape the fire smell or the smoke particulate that makes the whole city look like it’s in a fog.

At 5pm yesterday, the sun was gone and a deep orange glow was the only light. Today is much the same.

Here’s a video of what it looks like right now in Vancouver.

It’s like being invaded by something you cannot stop and you smell it with every breath. I can’t wait for this to end.


13 thoughts on “My First Wild Fire

  1. Longtime lurker here, out of southern California. Oh how I know that unsettled feeling of being under siege from nature itself. I imagine it’s something primal in us to witness all of the smoke and – never! – escape that horrible burnt smell, it just gets your nerves bad no matter how you try. There’s no fooling yourself, something is terribly wrong in your world.

    I have all the sympathy. It will change and get better – it has to – but the way you feel right now, I just get it. Nothing seems right.

    • It’s supposed to start blowing out tonight. Who knows though? I never truly trust weather forecasts because they’re so often wrong. Thank you for delurking and letting me know I’m not alone in this feeling of siege.

      • Oh brave woman, what I’ve seen in this strange California wonderland. I was a bayou born girl brought here, my only fear was too much wind and water. Well I learned a lot about what fire can do. In 2003 in October there were ashes falling everywhere from a largely spread wildfire. Just as you said the sky was an apocalyptic deep orange for days and all of those poor ashes added to a very frightening smell.
        The worst had to be when a friend and I were flying back from San Francisco into Long Beach in October 2007 (what the hell is wrong with October round here??) and the view of the ash clouds from our plane. It was a terrible fire season. People were crowding the plane windows to take photos of the banks of ashes that looked like dense orange clouds. All I could do was cry to think of what those ashes were made of. Lost homes, lives, beautiful landscapes, and animals.
        I truly believe the increasing droughts and climate change are man’s

        • oops got myself cut off. All of the climate upheaval is what the old competitive white men of the industrial age, has set us up for now. They had no respect or regard for what they were using, just wanted to be the best at any catastrophic cost. And now all of their descendents and many more than that, pay the price of trying to balance a poor sick planet. It’s going to take the women and the old wisdom to bring it back.

        • When the sun is gone it makes me nervous. The fire smell is overwhelming and it still hasn’t blown out. Our sky is still orange and the sun is blocked again today. It’s not supposed to rain until July 15th.

  2. Yeh, last year I was trying to drive through the mountains with my (disabled) aunt toward Reno. The fire made us cough and wheeze. My eyes stung so bad I wanted to stop but it wouldn’t get us to safety. We drove through.

    BTW may I introduce my new blog, dedicated to women radicals everywhere.

  3. Sometimes farmers around here burn their yard scraps and it stinks for literally hours on end. It’s probably nothing compared to what ya’ll have been going through, but I feel your pain nonetheless. ❤

    Hope everyone is staying safe, animals included!

  4. These fires must have been going on for a few days now somewhere up your direction because it has turned the early morning sun here the most bizarre shade of bright reddish-pink. I saw it the other morning as I was driving and I said to myself, “The Christians were right – it’s the Apocalypse!” It looked so weird that my first thought was that the world was coming to an end. But, no, just particles in the atmosphere.

    I hope that sea wind breaks it up.

    I checked out the comment section and I see just how far I am from there – not just geographically, but in other ways. Commenters are blaming cars for the fires. Maybe I’m missing something. I don’t know how the fires started, but the last time we had big fires down here, they were started by firefighters – at least, one was started by a firefighter who wanted to be a “hero.” They’re usually started by careless campers or cigarette smokers. I’ve heard of “Herbie the Love Bug,” but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Herbie the Fire Bug!

  5. I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Over the weekend, I read Systemic Disorder’s blog on G7 fiddling while the Earth burns, and here is a piece about the Arctic:

    Despite a horrendous winter (no lifelong Mainer I spoke to had ever seen such a winter, storm after storm until the ocean temperature cooled to 35 degrees F), we are fortunate in not having floods, tornadoes, fires, etc. But I ask myself, what will it be like when the Arctic ice is all gone?

    I’m not scared of much of anything, never saw the point, but climate change is scary. I thank the gods that I am aging, I thank them that I have no children, and I feel tremendous pain for all the animals and plants (our beautiful beech trees are dying, our ash trees are going, and the sugar maples are at risk) who are suffering and will suffer from human greed and stupidity.

  6. Hi, House Mouse Queen.

    Late to the thread here, but I checked the weather in your neck of the woods, and it looks like the smoke is still there! 😦 It’s lifted for a few days here in Saskatchewan, but it’s supposed to come back to us.

    I hope it lifts for you soon, and you stay safe!

    • Yep, we still have a bit of it left. The sun did manage to pop out today but the haze is still there.

      It’s supposed to rain and cool off this weekend but who the hell knows eh?

      Stay safe in Sask. Good to know other Canadian women are here!

      • Thanks! We’ve had two clear days in a row! There’s still evacuees in town, but people have really been pitching in to help, so that’s a bit of a bright spot.

        Here’s hoping you get some clearing, too.


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