It's been smurky (murky skies due to smoke) for five days. The wildfires in British Columbia that have been burning for weeks are mostly hundreds of miles north of and inland from here, and their effects didn't reach the coast until the wind changed last week and started blowing westward. The following picture was taken two nights ago, 90 minutes before sunset. Last night looked more or less the same, the sun an angry orange disk. At this time of day the sun should still be at a state where you wouldn't be able to pin down a colour, beyond "bright." It shouldn't look like a red-hot penny.
Our AQHI (Air Quality Health Index), a measure that includes fine particulate matter (particles 2.5 microns or less), ground level ozone and nitrogen dioxide, has reached as high as 7 out of 10. Seven is bad, but other places have recently endured much worse. On Thursday, Kamloops, 170 miles northeast and near several major fires, was 49 out of 10, the greatest Spinal Tapping of any measurement system ever. We, here, shouldn't really complain. We haven't been evacuated, and our communities remain unscathed.
Nevertheless, this dingy sky is becoming tiresome. To illustrate present conditions:
Planes taking off from YVR (Vancouver) a few miles from our home, look like this at mid-day:
And on it goes. Every day the weather forecast from Environment Canada promises us sunshine tomorrow, but by the following morning it has turned, literally and iconographically, to smoke.
Here is what our August sky should look like:
Yes, sweet blue, and filled with large, fluttering butterflies.