Okanagan Fires

I got a taste of true Okanagan summer last week.

Until last week, it hadn’t really felt like summer — the weather seemed more like fall. It was still pretty cool outside and rained off and on a lot. Normally, Okanagan summers are extraordinarily dry. One of the reasons I wanted to come here for the summer was to get away from Ontario’s rainy weather (although I have come to the conclusion that it’s quite possible that the rain follows me, considering that Ontario has been dry and it’s been raining here).

Anyways, last week was sunny and really hot – we had an awesome day at the beach and everyday at work it felt like a heatwave under the layers of our uniforms.

Two days ago there was a fire really close to Armstrong. A wood plant  caught fire and on my way home from work I saw everything through a thin filter of smoke, which got more and more thick the closer I got to Armstrong. There were planes flying all around the area, trying to control the fire (you can watch a video of the fire here). It was pretty scary, because I had no idea if it was a wild forest fire or what. There was no local news on TV and the radio was playing the UK Top 40 (seriously?! I found out more about the UK than my own city that night. FYI, American artists are tearing up the charts over there, too.)

Anyways, it was a brand new experience for me because fires are not common in Ontario. I was sitting watching TV and out the front window you could see all this smoke floating around, and this is a pretty regular thing in the Okanagan.

The fire was controlled and I don’t think anyone was seriously injured. The next day the temperature cooled outside and it rained off and on all day. My drive home from work last night was a totally opposite experience from the day before — there was some sun peeking through the clouds while drops of rain splattered my windshield. To the left of me there was a beautiful, large rainbow shining.

At home, instead of seeing smoke outside the window, as I stepped outside the front door I was greeted by two beautiful rainbows. I guess everything works out in the end.