“The climate system is an angry beast,” the late Columbia climate scientist Wally Broecker was fond of saying, “and we are poking it with sticks.” Peter Brennan
The world is waking up to yet another wildfire calamity. An alarming situation in south-central British Columbia unfolds as wildfires break out in Kelowna, a rather large city in British Columbia’s wine country. The metropolitan area had a population of 223,000 in 2020, the city roughly 178,000, and people have either been ordered to evacuate or put on notice to evacuate at a moment's notice due to the now out-of-control McDougall Creek wildfire.
The region has been windy, and embers have ignited a second forest fire near the city. Some residents had to flee into Okanagan Lake as flames blocked any possible exit by car. Alerts have been sent to boaters to rescue those people. A state of Emergency was issued last night for West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation. Strong winds are only intensifying the firestorm.
Pray for Kelowna. They are surrounded.
KelownaNow has received reports of people having to flee into Okanagan Lake, as the only exits were closed off to them by fire.
Chris Neumann, a coordinator for BC emergency livestock management, told KelownaNow that he fielded a request for help after the fire closed the road leading into Trader’s Cover and Bear Creek.
“At that point, the people that were left there were only left with the water as an exit route,” he said.
Boats were being sought to get people out of the water and to safety
News is sparse as the harrowing situation rapidly unfolds, but this could not be good. We were warned of disasters such as these decades ago. They have arrived; no place is safe, not anymore.
WEST KELOWNA, B.C. — A fast-burning wildfire threatening West Kelowna, B.C., is challenging fire crews as they brace for what the operations director with BC Wildfire Service has predicted will be the most challenging days of the provincial wildfire season.
Thousands of people have been placed on evacuation alert in the Okanagan city, while close to a thousand properties have been placed on evacuation order because of the McDougall Creek wildfire.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre issued a local state of emergency because of the fire, which is threatening suburbs, schools and businesses in the city.
The fire threat forced the closure of Highway 97 in both directions for 14 kilometres between West Kelowna and Kelowna.
In the far north of Canada, 10's of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate as wildfires impact native communities and the city of Yellow Knife. The road in and out is blocked. People are being flown to Calgary.
In the Canary Islands, wildfire is scorching the island with apocalyptic scenes of red skies and endless flames, an all too familiar sight in the Mediterranean during this hot and dry summer of extremes.
In Maui, cremains fall apart if touched. I would imagine the 1200 missing are likely never to be found. Lahaina is a graveyard, and its land and water are poisoned. See TexMex diary on how to help.
To be clear, there is no do-over with what we see with the climate; technology will not save us, and we can’t reverse any of it. It’s not that we have no tools to hold off the worst impacts; we just refuse to do it.
Voting is all I got because I have no idea how to make people care that people are dying horrible deaths in these fires and demand action be taken now. All anybody wants to do is talk about Trump for seven fucking years. It is just stunning to me. Perhaps we are already desensitized to calamity.
The planet today is not yet in equilibrium with the warped atmosphere that industrial civilization has so recently created. If CO2 stays at its current levels, much less steadily increases, it will take centuries—even millennia—for the planet to fully find its new footing. The transition will be punishing in the near term and the long term, and when it’s over, Earth will look far different from the one that nursed humanity. This is the grim lesson of paleoclimatology: The planet seems to respond far more aggressively to small provocations than it’s been projected to by many of our models.