Smoky days in Nanaimo

Huge forest fires on the mainland have created such massive clouds of smoke recently, that much of Vancouver Island was covered under a blanket of suffocating yellow fumes.

Sunday July 5th was the worst day. The day before that was a regular clear day, then Sunday we woke up to find the entire sky replaced by dirty yellow smoke.

At first it was just a visual thing, yellow smoke with a red sun, it was cool to look at. Then the smoke started coming down, and the air became unbreathable; as if our own neighbourhood was on fire somehow. Little to no news was available online, so we did the only thing we could do, we sealed the house and waited it out.

Monday came, and thankfully the wind had blown most of the smoke away from ground levels. Air quality monitors were still reporting near-hazardous levels of smoke, but it was 10 times better then Sunday.

Today is Tuesday, and smoke has dissipated further still. You can still smell the fires of course, and my asthma is preventing me from going outside, but over all it’s a big improvement.

From space, the last few days looked like this:

Saturday July 4th, 2015
Sunday July 5th, 2015
Monday July 6th, 2015
Tuesday July 7th, 2015

These images come from NASA’s Worldview, they include the coastal outline layer and the fire layer; fires are represented on the map as red dots.

Back in Newfoundland I always used this system to monitor the advancing sea ice, and right now as you can imagine I’m fondly remembering those cool and refreshing days.


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