Can’t remember smoke being so thick

The National Post headline reads: “Pikangikum First Nation faces second evacuation in just over one month.”
I can’t imagine what it is like to live in that community where two fires have combined into one giant fire shooting a plume of smoke high into the air.
I can’t imagine fleeing from my community even once threatened by fire yet a second time in such a short period. I can’t imagine wondering if I will have a home to return to.
The air quality in that community would make it difficult for any normal person to breath, let alone for someone with respiratory issues. All of those Red Lake area fires are having impacts hundreds of kilometres away.
One fire, Red Lake fire #23, had reached over 72,000 hectares by Friday afternoon and Red Lake fire #29 had passed 20,000 hectares as it approached Pikangikum First Nation.
Those plumes of smoke rising high into the atmosphere are having far-reaching effects. From Red Lake south and from the Manitoba border east to Thunder Bay, smoke was settling into those communities. I could smell smoke in the air Friday afternoon when we headed to the cabin.
I wondered where the fire was on Rainy or Lake of the Woods. A haze appeared over the water and we suspected that a beautiful sunset might erupt from the smoke in the air.
Early in the evening, the smoke haze lifted, and the remaining smoke particulate did produce a spectacular sunset.
But overnight the smoke haze turned almost to fog, and we lost sight of the island immediately to the north of us. Cherie Serrano posted on Facebook wondering where the fire was.
I checked the MNR fire map and discovered a huge number of fires in the Red Lake District.
The smoke cleared some but by Saturday night the haze grew so thick that the glowing orange sun was obliterated through the smoky fog as it lowered itself to the tree lines.
Lake travelers found that there trusted land marks had disappeared as the haze swallowed up islands
On Sunday, the smoky haze lasted all day. Visibility was reduced on the lake.
I can’t ever remember the smoke being so thick over the region.
On Friday, the “Weather Network” posted a special air quality statement for the Rainy River District advising people noting high levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires.
For some it has caused sore throats and coughing. The special air quality alert remained in place through Monday.
The district remains on a high fire alert. Around us the danger is extreme.
The combination of no rain and high temperatures with low humidity has dried the forest floors and made the forests more susceptible to fires from lightning strikes.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail