Monday, August 3, 2009

Hot Dry Summer

Sunshine every day, we button down the house in the morning, closing the blinds and cranking the windows shut. Temperatures approach 30'C almost every day. Trying to work upstairs in the afternoons is like being in a sauna. Still, the sun shines every day, we haven't had a summer like this in years. At the other end of the country Ottawa claims only 3 weekends without rain since early May (fortunately that included one when I was there). Yukoners are pretty happy about camping this summer.

It is cool in the mornings, today it was only 4'C at 8 am so I enjoy my morning coffee out on the front porch looking out to the sun as it slants its way upwards. For weeks the skies have been clear and blue. However, the lack of rain means an extreme fire hazard rating - all open fires are banned. In the late afternoon the heat of the sun reaches its peak, the air is still and the forest fires, slowed by the cool night air find their pace and roar in the afternoon. On Thursday afternoon last week fire 29 2009 XY011, straddling the Teslin River near O'Brien's Bar just 60 km NE of Whitehorse, explodes. A mushroom cloud erupts above the mountains in front of our house - 5,000 hectares of forest spews forth smoke and flame. I watch as it rises before me.

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