Conditions in Jasper have been very smokey lately. At the moment, there are over 500 forest fires happening in British Columbia. Many of those were started by humans, through ways like throwing a cigarette away without stubbing it out or lighting campfires in areas with a fire ban. The fires have covered over 6000 square kilometres of land in B.C., and the biggest fires ongoing are in the interior.
Jasper lies along the B.C. border, and it only takes about 15 minutes to drive from Jasper town to the border. As the fires have been going in B.C., smoke has been blowing into Jasper and impacting conditions for the past month.
We’re lucky it’s not worse; so far, it’s mostly just taken away our views of the mountains. The air smells very smokey and there have been a few days when the smoke is bad that I can feel a difference, my eyes watering from the smoke. The horses luckily seem to be unaffected, but there have been some air quality warnings, recommending that people with asthma and breathing issues avoid the smokey park right now.
Some views of our yard on a really bad day:
That’s the sun, appearing most days now as a red dot. One of my guests commented that it looks like the end of the world:
Views from the trails. Normally there are mountains here:
Views from the top of the three-hour hill:
Our stables is down there, in among all the smoke:
My boss thinks that the smokey conditions will likely continue until the end of the season in October. Every now and then the wind shifts and we do get some nice views for a day or two. The rain also helps to dampen it down, and the weather forecast is calling for a week of rain starting today. The tourists may not be so happy about the rain, but the locals sure are!