It’s an odd thing but I’ve come to hate August. it’s not just the heat – although I do not love that. Nope, it’s the helicopters. At this time of year people in my neck of the woods drop whatever they’re doing to see what’s happening when you hear that familiar sound. It’s forest fire season. There’s a couple around here, none close enough to be a real danger but the helicopters remind you that the risk is there – for this whole month and into September. And they remind you how quickly it happens. A friend of mine was camping a couple of weekends ago and only knew that there was a fire in their area because someone with a cabin that was threatened came running to ask for help defending his place. He lost the cabin and they were evacuated to their boat to sit in the lake for 6 hours while they watched and waited, wondering if their fifth wheel would be next. The last line of fire retardant covers the fifth wheel next to theirs – only the wind saved their stuff from the flames. Not a big deal right – it’s just stuff? Try sitting for six hours with your pets and two children in a boat watching the forest burn around you and feeling the heat so badly you want to jump in the lake but the fire crews have warned you to just sit tight because they may have to move you again. I did see the pictures and none of the story has been over dramatized.
So, we wait with baited breath for the fire season (because that’s what it is now) to be over. Both J and I grew up in this area and we can tell you (as can the statistics) that it’s getting worse. It’s hard to imagine that climate change has nothing to do with this. The whole ecosystem is changing here. When we first looked at moving this place was lush – lots of green undergrowth, cedars and ferns. Now it’s dry and the undergrowth is shriveling up. And we have fire season. They’ve been going all day and just now again; hopefully we’ll be helicopter free for the rest of tonight.