I’ve long wanted to visit the Chilcotin Coast in British Columbia’s ‘mid-west’. However, everytime I’ve made plans to do so, the area explodes with forest fires and Highway 20 to Bella Coola gets closed around Redstone – about 145 kilometers west of Williams Lake.
This year is no different, with hundreds of wildfires burning in B.C., (and particularly in the Cariboo / Chilcotin regions) but we decided to try our luck and see if we could get through.
Fortunately, the road was open yesterday from Williams Lake through to Nimpo Lake, but the smoke from the Dog Creek fire near Alkali Lake was so intense that we saw very little of the scenery through to about Alexis Creek.
It wasn’t so thick as to be choking, but even with the recirculating fan on in the truck, my eyes were burning slightly from the smoke and effort to see through it to drive.
It was a real shame to see that the Bull Canyon Provincial Park has been closed completely due to a wildfire, the origin of which was ‘human’ in nature.
What, some idiot who didn’t know to put out their campfire? Or tossed a lit cigarette in the woods?
Who me? Attitude?
Ya, I figure burning at the stake would be an appropriate sentence for such careless, irresponsible, recklessness.
OK, perhaps I’m a little anal – extinguishing a cigarette with 3 pails of water – but better that than the alternative of having to live the rest of your life knowing that you’ve needlessly killed 1,000’s of hectares of trees and forced innocent animals to flee their homes.
Anyway, with luck, the area will get a good rain before our return from Bella Coola and the air will be clear enough to see the beautiful vistas.
In the meantime, we’re holing up at Nimpo Lake for a couple of days before heading westbound down ‘the road’ and “THE Hill”.