Droughts, Forest Fires, and Hot Hazy Days! Summer Stress Relief

Summer Stress Relief

Summer stress relief
romaneau / Pixabay

The good news is that summer is here! And we’ve been waiting a long time for it. Any Islander, whether born or transplanted, who has endured the rainy, cloudy, seemingly never-ending gray days of winter has longed for summer weather to get here. Okay, maybe it is just me! But I have a feeling that there may be more than a few of you out there who are glad that summer is finally here! But along with the good weather came a large amount of summer stress.

Summer Hit With A Bang!

Did it ever this year! Barely did we get a chance to get used to the nice sunny weather and head out to the beach, when along with summer weather, we also woke up to hot, hazy, smoke-filled skies! And to top things off, we also got to find out that we were in the middle of an unprecedented drought!

The combination is enough to get a lot of people feeling concerned, some edgier than usual, and others downright anxious and stressed out!

What To Do?

 The first thing, and I think that this is generally good advice in almost any situation:

STAY CALM!

And in this case, one might add, stay cool and calm. Over-reacting to anything, generally leads to a lot of nervous energy and heading off in one of several possible directions, without really taking the time to fully consider the ramifications of our actions. It is often a good idea to sit for a bit and take some time to think things through before acting. That is unless you are on fire, in which case it is generally better to drop to the ground and roll. 

Don’t Make Matters Worse!

I heard that there have been over 1000 wildfires in BC alone, so far this year! That is mind-boggling to take in. It gives an idea of how big our province truly is. But also sadly, out of those 1000+ fires, it has been estimated that over 400 were caused by humans! 

Perhaps at this time of year, we all need to be extra careful about things that we generally would never think could cause a fire. A fire south of Nanaimo was apparently started when a hay bailing machine struck a rock and a spark flew off and started a fire! Who would have imagined such a thing? The grass and forest are THAT dry! Walking on the front lawn feels like walking over a patch of porcupine quills. The grass is THAT dry!

Perhaps now is a time to be super extra careful! It can take years to regrow what a moment of inattention could cause to our forests. And somethings can never be replaced.

Be Ready!

We’ve all probably heard about “earthquake preparedness” by now. It has been suggested that we have on hand at least 72 hours worth of supplies to tide us over in the event of a major earthquake. To those of us who have those supplies tucked away, no problem. You are ready. But to the others of us who may not have those supplies on hand. This may be a time to consider what we may need to get us through a difficult spot, even such things as a lengthy power outage. Or in the event of an encroaching fire, the idea might be for each family member to have a bag packed full of essentials, and ready to go should the call come to evacuate. 

It seems a bit surreal, to be even suggesting that last part about “having a bag ready to go.” But what  lot of us do not consider I think, is the close proximity of a lot of our west-coast homes to major forested areas. Some homes are practically treed in! And the part that I think may be difficult for a lot of us reguar citizens to take into account, is how FAST a red-hot forest fire in a tinder dry zone could spread!

I’m thinking kindling on a roasting hot fire. That fast!

Better to be prepared than to be caught unaware I am thinking.

The Worst “Seems” Over

How things change from one week to another! One day we are waking up to a thick smoky haze and not able to go outside because of the smoke from the surrounding forest fires. A week later, some of those forest fires are either under control or put out, and we can go outside and breathe again. 

But are things really better? We all hope so. We hope that the firefighters are getting the upper hand on some of these fires, and that Mother Nature seems to be cooperating by providing us with a little rain over the weekend. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the worst is over. But in the meantime, remember these summer stress relief tips:

  • stay calm
  • have a preparedness plan
  • continue to conserve water, summer isn’t over yet!
  • be careful when in the wilderness

Enjoy the sunshine!

Sunshine
OpenClipartVectors / Pixabay
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