Wednesday, July 28, 2004

We're into another year of big forest fires here in BC again. A fire in the Chilcotin is causing smoky skies over Vancouver and Bowen Island. This has made astronomy kind of hard as the sky becomes very bright from the light pollution reflecting on the smoke. The moon however, which is waxing gibbous at the moment, appears red on the horizon as it sets.

This is turning out to be another drought year, the second and half in a row. If we get another relatively dry winter after this summer, I worry about fires in the lower mainland and on this island. Just around our house after two years of drought the salal is dry and brittle behind our house and the wood on the ground isn't retaining as much moisture. When the salal dies, it basically creates tinder in the understory and even though the big firs, hemlocks and cedars are still living, the whole forest is getting crispier and crispier. It's only really the winter rains that keep it all together at this point; I wouldn't say that the forest behind us is thriving at the moment.

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