Hi, folks, I am on location in British Columbia reporting from our blog’s “West Coast bureau”, where I have been attempting to be on vacation for the past number of days. As you may have heard, this whole province is on fire! We have been getting no end of smoke here in the Okanagan region, including just this morning when you walked out the front door and couldn’t see the mountains again because of the haze, and couldn’t breathe because of the smoke in the air. This whole place is stinking hot and smells like firewood.
The blazes are mainly happening elsewhere in the province, but even this region hasn’t escaped it; a fire broke out on Knox Mountain in Kelowna a few days ago that was quickly doused, which is believed to be arson.
The reports are that this is the worst wildfire situation in BC in almost 60 years. I believe it. And the bad news is the state of emergency here has been extended. I hope things improve soon in the province, because it is hard to breathe here in this situation.
The big story on the west coast, and frankly throughout much of Canada, is the rapidly escalating forest fire situation across British Columbia. The number of fires has escalated and more places are seeing evacuation orders, including 100 Mile House. Williams Lake is particularly a hard-hit area. In total, 14,000 residents have been forced to flee, with reports of 220 fires. I understand the western U.S. States are also getting hit hard by fires at the moment.
Of course, my family is in Kelowna, BC, and while they aren’t living in the impacted areas of these particular blazes, nevertheless there was a big fire that levelled a condo build there on the weekend. Yikes!
Here are some of the Tweets that I re-Tweeted about the situation over the last few days:
All in all, this is not a good situation. What is worse is that I’m meant to be in BC next month for what is supposed to be a vacation.
Hopefully, that is still what it will be: a vacation, and not yet another news story that I will be in the middle of.
Those of you anxious for more election night fun after the Ontario municipal vote will be able to check out the results tonight in BC! Cities across the province are voting for mayors and councils today and the results are due in soon. Results from Vancouver and environs can be found at CTV BC, CBC, News 1130, CKNW and, of course, Global.
What I find most fascinating is that in Vancouver in particular, you have party politics and actual political parties fighting it out for seats. You have the left-leaning Vision Vancouver party led by Mayor Gregor Robertson, and then there is the centre-right Non-Partisan Alliance with their nominee Kirk LaPointe, and then there are other parties, too. It’s a lot different scene there than most other cities elsewhere in Canada, where everyone basically runs as independents (even though they may be members of provincial or federal parties). So I find Vancouver elections fascinating and weird for that reason, too.