"The Sky Is Broken"

Sunday I woke up early, as the forecasted high temperatures were 38 degrees Celcius (100 F), and I wanted to get my long run done before it got too hot.  All the windows were open but the curtains closed, and I wandered around the house trying to figure out what smelled so weird.  It wasn't until I let the dog out and saw the orange, hazy sky that I figured it out.  We were being blanketed with smoke from forest fires all around the province.  The windowsills were covered in ash (guess I have some dusting to do) and the air was so still, it seemed weird (usually here on the island we have a nice breeze).

Satellite image of Vancouver Island, southern BC, and Washington.
I live right under that big cloud of smoke!

My throat burned through my whole run, and I stopped for water a few times along the way (it never got too hot though as the smoke was blocking the sun, later in the afternoon I think it topped out at 32 C).  Then Jason and I went to Fuller Lake for a swim; there was a layer of ash on the water, and when I took my suit off I was covered in ash where my suit was.

At work the next day, my colleague said their son woke up Sunday morning and said: "The clouds are orange and the sun is red; the sky is broken!" - cute!  But kind of sad when you think there are over 180 fires in BC right now, and some of them are huge.  We don't often get big fires here on the island as we're a rainforest, but it's been a really dry year so far, and we have a couple of big ones with some communities evacuated.  Definitely makes me grateful that all we're dealing with right here is some smoke and ash.

A picture of Vancouver (from the National Post)
showing the "broken" sky.

Today is day three of training through a smoky haze; the wind is supposed to pick up here on the coast in another day or two, so we'll be back to normal soon.  Thanks to all the hard work of forest fire fighters, not only here in BC but all over the PNW and western North America - you have your work cut out for you this year.


  1. We were in West End and Sunday morning was ok enough to run in Stanley Park (which is awesome), but by the evening oh my god, it was terrible! The worst I've ever seen blow in from a fire.

    1. Hope you enjoyed your trip up here despite the smoke! Stanley Park has to be one of the best running routes in the world, even though it's in the middle of a big city.

      The smoke is slowly getting better. And there's no more ash falling here which is nice.

  2. The air has been crazy smoky in Radium (BC) and here in Edmonton. It's actually worse in Edmonton, and I'm so sad there's a fire in Jasper.
    You're right. Huge thanks for the firefighters. They certainly have been busy.