"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle
If only I could make you smell my pictures you’d experience the effects of these major wildfires still burning in British Columbia. Turning south from Highway 16 on Highway 5 (The South Yellowhead Highway), the air was choking with particulates in the smoke. I can only imagine what it must be like for those nearby and those many brave souls fighting them.
What is really amazing, is that, according to the Williams Lake Tribune, people – sentient human beings – are still carelessly starting them!
I’ll bet my last dollar that it’s not someone like this, whose horse is wandering listlessly through a pasture that looks like someone might be setting up practice jumping bars if the air was breathable.
There was so little movement – no breeze, no people out on their land, or walking anywhere, the few visible cattle and horses were quiet: lying down or listlessly grazing. There was a melancholy mood under the acrid air. In the fire zones wildlife, livestock and people are displaced and in danger.
We passed a young deer standing on the shoulder of the highway on a bend where it could not be seen in time to slow down. Traffic was fairly heavy there and all we could do was hope that it would change its mind and turn back into the bush. Living in bush country as I do, I know the damage vehicles take on the wildlife and it’s heartbreaking.
In July of 2003, a carelessly tossed cigarette butt started a fire that escalated out of control around Barriere, B.C., an unprecedented series of fires burned over 265,000 hectares, killing 72 people and destroying livelihoods and businesses.
You can read about it here. We drove through there the following summer and the devastation was painful to see. Since then, social and natural rejuvenation has taken place, but this year the regrowth was almost impossible to see as the skeletal remains of trees stood out against the backdrop of thick smoke as if in solidarity.
These images were processed from the RAW with little or no other post processing. As in my last post I ended up being very subjective with white balance on these pictures, aiming to convey the feeling of the atmosphere and less concerned with the colour in reality. I still can’t tell you what colour it really was.
South of Barriere at a rest area called the ‘Fish Trap’ we stopped for a break and took a little walk above the North Thompson River that we’d been following alongside throughout this southward leg of the trip.
I actually got to take some pictures from the ground, rather than a moving vehicle. I’ll post more of these and tell about frank Frank next post.