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WesternGuy
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Smoke gets in your eyes...

Post by WesternGuy » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:19 pm

and your eyes, ears nose and throat, and maybe every other nook and cranny. :)

This is my city this morning, August 27, 2015, at about 10:30 am, at least what you can see of it. For the past 4 days and no foreseeable relief for the next few days, smoke from forest fires in Washington State and parts of southern British Columbia has been caught up in the typical westerly flow of air that often move across my province under "good" weather conditions - obviously, not so good here now. I am probably about 3-5 miles, more or less, from the city centre where this picture was taken. The powers that be in our government weather business - Environment Canada - have been issuing daily health warnings with regards to air quality. They have some sort of scale they use to measure air quality and anything over 5 is considered high risk. Today we are at a 10+ and have been up there for, as I said, about 4 days. In fact, two days ago, their "index" was off the scale at the high end. Yesterday, the city imposed a fire ban on its residents. It is pretty bad as this morning when I went out to run an errand, you could smell the smoke - :thumbdown: . Let's hope we get some relief soon as taking landscape pics is mission impossible. When it clears, I will take a "clear day" image for comparison.


20150827-_A4Q8413.jpg


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Post by TomCofer » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:11 pm

Sorry to hear it WG.

It seems like the fires out west get worse every year. Things usually tend to stay a bit wet in my neck of the woods. We generally only have a small period of time when forest fires are a risk.
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Post by Duck » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:36 am

That has to seriously suck having to breathe in all that smoke. As you say, hopefully you get a reprieve soon.

As for landscape photos... you can always take advantage of the conditions to see if they lend to a more unique perspective or effect. If anything, you can document the current conditions. I'd be interesting what the city looks like at night through all that smog.
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Post by WesternGuy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:52 am

TomCofer wrote:Sorry to hear it WG.

It seems like the fires out west get worse every year. Things usually tend to stay a bit wet in my neck of the woods. We generally only have a small period of time when forest fires are a risk.

Thanks Tom. A lot of the smoke is coming from one very large fire in northern Washington just south of the British Columbia border. They are forecasting rain for that part of Washington over the next few days, so hopefully the smoke will disappear.

It is very upsetting to me because conditions for Aurora have been great the last few nights and they have already issued a red alert for tonight (+85% chance of seeing them) :x . I went out last night, but couldn't see anything because of the smoke in the air - maybe tonight - we will see.

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Post by WesternGuy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:58 am

Duck wrote:That has to seriously suck having to breathe in all that smoke. As you say, hopefully you get a reprieve soon.

As for landscape photos... you can always take advantage of the conditions to see if they lend to a more unique perspective or effect. If anything, you can document the current conditions. I'd be interesting what the city looks like at night through all that smog.

Yup, you are right. today's air quality index was +10 which is really, really bad. Other than going out to take a few pics of the pollution and document the conditions, I stayed pretty much inside so as not to have to breath that stuff. Maybe a night time image would be interesting - have to see what happens. I am more "mad" about not being able to see the Northern Lights displays as the conditions have been great the last couple of nights. I know that folks in Wisconsin and South Dakota, and Vancouver BC have been seeing them as I have seen the posted images and they are great. My friends in Yellowknife that sit under the "aurora cone" have had fantastic displays the last couple of nights - maybe tonight. (?)

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You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either. - Galen Rowell

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Post by Ed Shapiro » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:04 pm

I am sorry to hear about the seriously bad conditions in Western Canada. I have a distant relative that just moved to Victoria Island to escape her her allergic issues which she blamed on the air quality here in Ottawa. To my way of thinking, the only major “pollution” we have here are dishonest senators and and dodgy politicians.

I am originally from New York City which always had and still has an ongoing and monstrous air pollution situation. Before 911, when the World Trade Center Towers were still standing in Lower Manhattan, there were the most beautiful, dramatic and impressive photographs of those structures which were captured as the sun was setting- different colors just about every day- hardly two photographs alike! People were in awe. Unbeknown to many folks, those colors were the result of the sunlight filtering through multiple layers of toxic particles in the air that become more apparent when the sun is low in the sky as it is near day's end. The Empire State Building was gray when it was built in the 1930s but by the 1950s it was BLACK until they sandblasted it- that is ongoing. The bridges have to be painted periodically and I don't even want to talk about the Statue of Liberty!

New York is an industrial city- I remember the smokestacks everywhere. Consolidated Edison (the power company) used, back in the day, coal to fire its generators and that was on 14th Street near the river, right in the heart of the city. In the creek area between Brooklyn and Queens, there were manufacturing facilities producing explosives, rendering down fats and dumping all of this stuff into the water- the stech alone was enough to kill! There was so much chlorine in the water that I never had to buy laundry bleach. It goes on and on- I can write a book. The East River- I can write another book!

Too bad about Al Gore not becoming president- well that's another story about politics- not my favorite area of discussion.

So...as an old veteran of bad air, I certainly can sympathize with the situation out in B.C. I am surprised that I am not dead yet considering the amount of photo-chemical fumes I have inhaled in addition to bad air and drinking the gray tinted tap water in “the city” back in the day. Unfortunately, fire and smoke have no borders so the forest fires in North Western U.S. have no problem spreading into Canada and visa-versa!

This message is dedicated to the memory Smokey the forest-fighting bear who probably died of black-lung rather than burns. His famous words; ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!

I hope the fires end soon and things can normalize!

Ed

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Post by Nikodian1 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:37 am

Does look smokey! Yuk!
Hope it pours with rain soon and puts them out.
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Post by WesternGuy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:02 am

Update - August 31, 2015...

Thanks guys, I appreciate your concerns.

The wind has change direction just enough to send the smoke elsewhere. As well, a lot of the fires are under control and/or extinguished, so air quality is back down around 4 on the 1 to 10 scale. Still not the best, but a lot better and it is now raining in the US NW and southern BC, so things should get better. :thumbup:

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Post by Duck » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:41 pm

Who remembers the Mt. St. Helen eruption and the ensuing mess that left behind. That mess lasted for a long time after.
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Post by Ed Shapiro » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:52 pm

Yeah Duck! I vividly remember that. A bunch of curiosity seekers and photographers rushed there to take pictures- a number of them were injured and had respiratory issues.

Volcanic ash is bad for the health. Molten lava and magma- not my cup of tea.

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