Not romantic like the show tune, “Smoke gets in your eyes,” smoke is also getting in your nose and your trachea and your lungs.
The smoke currently blanketing the Shuswap is coming from Pemberton, north of Whistler.
The extreme forest fire hazard rating requires specific, urgent action from all citizens, but also a more global awareness. The urgent action required is to be acutely aware of what can start a fire and to use extreme caution outdoors.
Discarded cigarette butts are a no-brainer, but unfortunately people still throw them out of vehicle windows or leave them burning on the ground. Mirrors, glass and plastic all have the ability to start fires when left where they can magnify the sun’s rays. A spark from a machine is also enough to ignite a flame.
The more widespread awareness needed is one to which people with asthma and other breathing difficulties are acutely attuned.
We humans are entirely dependent on the earth – for the air we breathe and, of course, the water we drink, the food we eat. It’s easy to forget this when we can spend our days in air-conditioned buildings and buy our water in plastic bottles.
Every decision we as individuals and our political leaders make should focus first and foremost on this fact. Is what we’re doing sustaining or preserving the planet and us?
The smoke-filled skies are an ‘in-your-face’ reminder of how imperative it is to cherish and nurture this incredible planet.