The sun was nearly completely blotted out over Quesnel's front street on July 12. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

COLUMN: Effects of wildfires felt in Quesnel

Cassidy Dankochik is the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

An eerie orange glow filled the streets of Quesnel as I wrote this column.

The sun has been nearly completely blotted out due to wildfire smoke.

Smoke is so thick in the air, at times I can feel my eyes watering.

It’s the signs of a province on fire. Effects of the 2021 wildfires are felt in Quesnel, even as we sit luckily avoiding any major wildfire close to us.

The smoky skies in and around Quesnel remind us to be vigilant to keep fires away as much as possible.

The government of B.C. notes over 40 per cent of all wildfires are caused by humans. The wildfire which tore through Lytton, tragically killing two people and destroying a community, is suspected to be a human-caused blaze.

The smoke even makes it harder for aerial firefighters to do their jobs, as low visibility can cause planes to become grounded.

Just looking at the foliage around Quesnel shows dry, tinder-like.

The recent heat wave did more than send citizens running to buy air conditioners. It has also played havoc with the fire conditions.

Outside of being responsible for not starting fires, residents can be responsible in other ways.

Sign up for emergency alerts. Keep stock of what needs to be done in the event of an evacuation. Check in on others who are at risk.

Let’s hope that kind of preparation isn’t needed.

Cassidy Dankochik is the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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