Smoky Skies – A World on Fire

For the second year in a row, August brings a pink Martian sky with a dull sun clawing its way through the smoke. According to the BC Wildfire Service, there have been over 1,800 forest fires this year. A snapshot of current active forest fires in BC shows a province in flames, from the northern part of Vancouver Island to the Rockies.

Smoke from those fires and fires in the Cascades in Washington turns our usual blue August skies to a dusty pink. My throat is sore from being outdoors much of yesterday.

All is not doom and gloom. A treasure of cedar chips made from the branches of a large cedar felled by a friend of a friend is a great help in maintaining forest trails. I’ve been hauling the chips one truck load at a time over the past few weeks. Seven loads of cedar chips now carpet a wide trail through the woods west of our house. Just a few more loads remain to be hauled before the branches of the giant cedar have found their final resting place.

The dogs love running on the soft, wide trail. The cedar chip trail makes for a comfortable loop through the woods on the west side of our property, a loop from which a number of trails branch off deeper into the woods. The southwest portion of the woods used to be a swamp which was wet year round when we first moved here in 2005. Hotter and dryer summers have made the swamp a memory. From the end of June until the rains start again in the fall, the area is now bone dry.

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