BC Wildfire Season (again) has it affected your trip planning. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-13-2018, 09:55 PM   #1
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BC Wildfire Season (again) has it affected your trip planning.

Let me say before I begin complaining about camping trips and wildfires that I mean no disrespect or lack of empathy for any forum members who may be dealing with very real trauma due to wildfires. I’m remembering last year’s season when an entire BC town(Williams Lake) was evacuated. That is real trauma and my complaining in this post doesn’t compare at all. With that said.....

Last year’s wild fires caused us to shorten several trips. For example we were pushed out of Monck Provincial Park last year due to smoke. It just wasn’t worth it to stay in a smoky environment. Our trip last year to Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park was never smoke free. We couldn’t see the Rockies as we drove east and wildfire smoke followed us into Ab and Sk.

Now in early August it seems like the entire province is in flames 🔥. We are happy to have gotten in some good trips earlier in the season. We hope for another several week trip eastward in September during the shoulder season. But right now in the Lower Mainland we can’t see the sun due to the smoke. I wonder what the next few weeks will be like.

So this is a bit of a rambling venting post. We are sitting tight the next few weeks and will change direction of our travel in September when we see what is left standing in our beautiful province.

How are other forum Members coping?
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
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Just another reason for us to forego Summer camping. Last year we went to Lander, WY for the soltice in late August. Wanted to visit friends in Idaho, however the smoke made us go south to Santa Fe to escape.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:05 PM   #3
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We were also impacted by the fires. I had campgrounds booked in okanagon north provincial park for nearly two weeks but a couple days before we were scheduled to be there, a forest fire started nearby and the campground was evacuated. We ended up going to Sandpoint Idaho instead.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:08 PM   #4
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We deal with forest fire smoke at times also especially last year in Montana and Wyoming. Having worked for the forest service and having studied forestry extensively our criticism usually gravitates to current management practices or lack of them. It amazes me that
trillions are spent on whatever but the natural resource budgets continue to shrink and the management seems to focus on paperwork as opposed to “boots on the ground”. This is not to discredit the hard working firefighters but budget priorities do not seem to consider fire as the primary consideration or responsibility. Ahhh, I feel better.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:10 PM   #5
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I found this link useful last year when on my late summer road trip (which was foreshortened due to the fires):

https://tools.airfire.org/airtools/v...=-118.2&zoom=6
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:22 PM   #6
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I found this link useful last year when on my late summer road trip (which was foreshortened due to the fires):

https://tools.airfire.org/airtools/v...=-118.2&zoom=6
Thanks for posting this Karen, very handy resource. Wow, Washington State is badly affected, as well as the Idaho panhandle, one of our favorite areas.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:35 AM   #7
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Just another reason for us to forego Summer camping. Last year we went to Lander, WY for the soltice in late August. Wanted to visit friends in Idaho, however the smoke made us go south to Santa Fe to escape.
With you on that Ross . Been thinking to not go camping in the summer . We were suppose to go to Idwlwild , fire. Went to Canyon Lake only place could get in at last minute , this last week fire and smoke , closed roads Lake Elsinore . Last year put up with fires all around in August up North, fires , Redding , Shasta , whiskey town this year . 2 years ago trying to get to Washington fires Calif, Oregon , Washington . Even if your not in it , smoke is horrible , had a helicopter dump water 25 ft from us going home was so scared we weren't getting through like what happened on the 405 and everyone had to abandon their vehicles and they all burned up .Our favorite beach spot down below from the Thomas, Santa Barbra fires
.Rethinking the summer camping now . Pat
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:01 AM   #8
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We've not camped in the summer for two years now. Fires and smoke and heat don't make camping a pleasurable experience. We've got an air quality warning right here in my back yard.
"Metro Vancouver has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter due to wildfire smoke from fires burning throughout the Pacific Northwest." - Environment Canada


Apparently, this is the "new normal".
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:06 AM   #9
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Apparently, this is the "new normal".
Apparently so, since it's hard to fix stupid. Read recently that about 85% of the fires are caused by man, and up to 90% in California. Of course, some of those are accidental, but it seems lots of people simply don't care, or worse yet, start them intentionally.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:13 AM   #10
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Last year in BC, it was explained that we had a wet early spring that promoted rapid growth of grasses and small plants, which was followed by no rain and long, hot, summer days. Whether caused by a thrown cigarette or lightening, there was plenty of fuel for the fire.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:08 AM   #11
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We were planning a trip down thru the Crowsnest into Montana and Idaho, leaving in a few days. Today, I will be loading the trailer up and heading out to supervise heavy equipment working on fires instead.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:43 AM   #12
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thanks to everyone who has responded. I've appreciated seeing how we have adapted to what seems to be the "new normal." Karen's link is helpful in that it is international. Drive BC and BC Wildfire has more info based of course on BC.

at least I've been out 26 nights so far this year. I hope for some more camping after the September long weekend.

Larry
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
I found this link useful last year when on my late summer road trip (which was foreshortened due to the fires):

https://tools.airfire.org/airtools/v...=-118.2&zoom=6
Thank-You very much, Karen! We have reservations for Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton for early-mid September, and will keep a watchful eye on this site
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:37 AM   #14
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The Carr Fire in Shasta/Trinity Counties in Northern California was started by a flat tire on a trailer; sparks from the steel wheel as it dragged along the asphalt. 200,000 acres burned and over 1,000 homes destroyed. I surmise it was a boat trailer, since it started close to Whiskeytown Lake, but don't know that for a fact. Boy, would I hate to have to live with that knowledge if it was my trailer, accident or not.

Brings to my mind what, if anything, I could possibly do to put out a fire that might have originated with my trailer. Of the two fire extinguishers I carry, one is in the truck and buried under the back seat storage. It's puny. The other one is in the trailer, also puny, AND it's behind a locked door. Time to rethink things, I believe.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:50 AM   #15
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The Carr Fire in Shasta/Trinity Counties in Northern California was started by a flat tire on a trailer; sparks from the steel wheel as it dragged along the asphalt. 200,000 acres burned and over 1,000 homes destroyed. I surmise it was a boat trailer, since it started close to Whiskeytown Lake, but don't know that for a fact. Boy, would I hate to have to live with that knowledge if it was my trailer, accident or not.

Brings to my mind what, if anything, I could possibly do to put out a fire that might have originated with my trailer. Of the two fire extinguishers I carry, one is in the truck and buried under the back seat storage. It's puny. The other one is in the trailer, also puny, AND it's behind a locked door. Time to rethink things, I believe.
So sad and don't forget those starting the fires . Not cleaning up the brush and dead trees doesn't help in our forests . Lack of mental health . Lack of responsibility all around . Besides all the homes lost , the lost of life is horrible . I guess like you say do our part the best we can . I also am going to take a look at what we can do . Pat
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:43 PM   #16
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I have lived in north central Idaho for over 30 years, in a very rural area. In 2007, a lightning-caused fire over a mile away from our place was subjected to an extreme wind event and blew up, consuming thousands of acres in just a few short hours, including our property. We nearly lost our home, and it would have burned to the ground if we hadn't been there. My husband is a retired smokejumper, and I served on a fire crew myself in my younger days. Our property had been logged twice in the 15 years preceding the fire, we had cattle that grazed it moderately every year, and we had cleared brush and small trees around the house. None of these things made didly squat of a difference in preventing what would have been a catastrophe for us. With these types of extreme conditions, wildfires are going to burn this way. We're seeing it every single year now, all across western North America. The good news is these fires actually result in a long-term renewal. Watching our property recover has been simply amazing. In just a few months following our fire, the grass that grew was a brilliant green, and it burst into a lushness we had never seen the following spring. The flush of wildflowers was incredible. We have new trees that are nearly 20 feet tall now, and the trees that survived the fire are healthy and thriving. Wildlife, including deer, elk, and a myriad of bird species, are at numbers we never saw prior to the fire. I could go on and on here, but I'm sharing to point out that what we call a "disaster" or "destruction" from these fires really isn't, at least from an ecological point of view. They become disasters only where human values and interests are involved. I say that as a person who nearly lost my home just 11 short years ago. So for every place that is blackened this fire season, please everyone take heart... it will be beautiful again one day soon!
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:07 PM   #17
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I have lived in north central Idaho for over 30 years, in a very rural area. In 2007, a lightning-caused fire over a mile away from our place was subjected to an extreme wind event and blew up, consuming thousands of acres in just a few short hours, including our property. We nearly lost our home, and it would have burned to the ground if we hadn't been there. My husband is a retired smokejumper, and I served on a fire crew myself in my younger days. Our property had been logged twice in the 15 years preceding the fire, we had cattle that grazed it moderately every year, and we had cleared brush and small trees around the house. None of these things made didly squat of a difference in preventing what would have been a catastrophe for us. With these types of extreme conditions, wildfires are going to burn this way. We're seeing it every single year now, all across western North America. The good news is these fires actually result in a long-term renewal. Watching our property recover has been simply amazing. In just a few months following our fire, the grass that grew was a brilliant green, and it burst into a lushness we had never seen the following spring. The flush of wildflowers was incredible. We have new trees that are nearly 20 feet tall now, and the trees that survived the fire are healthy and thriving. Wildlife, including deer, elk, and a myriad of bird species, are at numbers we never saw prior to the fire. I could go on and on here, but I'm sharing to point out that what we call a "disaster" or "destruction" from these fires really isn't, at least from an ecological point of view. They become disasters only where human values and interests are involved. I say that as a person who nearly lost my home just 11 short years ago. So for every place that is blackened this fire season, please everyone take heart... it will be beautiful again one day soon!
Where we live in California is mostly man made fires . It will never be beautiful again for the families who lost their love ones . In California last year where we had fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara , after fires took their homes flooding from rains came next . Many neighborhoods are gone and not coming back soon . They are having to fight insurance companies who don't want to pay , so many decided to move somewhere else . Glad you outcome was good but not everyone's is . Besides beautiful homes lost many other building including a hospital that will never be built back . Besides peoples loved ones , pets , not replaceable pictures , etc. pure devastation. Pat
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:11 PM   #18
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I have lived in north central Idaho for over 30 years, in a very rural area. In 2007, a lightning-caused fire over a mile away from our place was subjected to an extreme wind event and blew up, consuming thousands of acres in just a few short hours, including our property. We nearly lost our home, and it would have burned to the ground if we hadn't been there. My husband is a retired smokejumper, and I served on a fire crew myself in my younger days. Our property had been logged twice in the 15 years preceding the fire, we had cattle that grazed it moderately every year, and we had cleared brush and small trees around the house. None of these things made didly squat of a difference in preventing what would have been a catastrophe for us. With these types of extreme conditions, wildfires are going to burn this way. We're seeing it every single year now, all across western North America. The good news is these fires actually result in a long-term renewal. Watching our property recover has been simply amazing. In just a few months following our fire, the grass that grew was a brilliant green, and it burst into a lushness we had never seen the following spring. The flush of wildflowers was incredible. We have new trees that are nearly 20 feet tall now, and the trees that survived the fire are healthy and thriving. Wildlife, including deer, elk, and a myriad of bird species, are at numbers we never saw prior to the fire. I could go on and on here, but I'm sharing to point out that what we call a "disaster" or "destruction" from these fires really isn't, at least from an ecological point of view. They become disasters only where human values and interests are involved. I say that as a person who nearly lost my home just 11 short years ago. So for every place that is blackened this fire season, please everyone take heart... it will be beautiful again one day soon!
While the heartbreak of losing one's home to fire really have no adequate words, your experience and observance are uplifting.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:17 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Patandlinda;258880]Where we live in California is mostly man made fires . It will never be beautiful again for the families who lost their love ones . In California last year where we had fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara , after fires took their homes flooding from rains came next . Many neighborhoods are gone and not coming back soon . They are having to fight insurance companies who don't want to pay , so many decided to move somewhere else . Glad you outcome was good but not everyone's is . Besides beautiful homes lost many other building including a hospital that will never be built back . Besides peoples loved ones , pets , not replaceable pictures , etc. pure devastation. Pat[/QUOTE


That is, of course, an altogether different tragedy than a forest fire with rejuvenation to look forward to. One can not but have the deepest sympathy.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:38 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=gabeck;258882]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Where we live in California is mostly man made fires . It will never be beautiful again for the families who lost their love ones . In California last year where we had fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara , after fires took their homes flooding from rains came next . Many neighborhoods are gone and not coming back soon . They are having to fight insurance companies who don't want to pay , so many decided to move somewhere else . Glad you outcome was good but not everyone's is . Besides beautiful homes lost many other building including a hospital that will never be built back . Besides peoples loved ones , pets , not replaceable pictures , etc. pure devastation. Pat[/QUOTE


That is, of course, an altogether different tragedy than a forest fire with rejuvenation to look forward to. One can not but have the deepest sympathy.
Agree and know Canada has suffered the same . Pat
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