Monday, 12 July 2021

Heat wave

You've probably heard of the devastating fire that destroyed the small town of Lytton, BC, during the insane heat wave we had during the last week of June. Lytton, known as the "hot spot of Canada", recorded a record-breaking 49.6 degrees Celsius on June 29, one day before the catastrophic fire that destroyed 90% of the town.  

I was devastated by the news, because I've worked in the hospital there for 2 years and love that little town. When a newspaper in Norway contacted me to make a statement, I did, which felt very daring, but important.  
Here's the (somewhat awkward) English translation.


And here are a few pictures I took during my time there:
  

For a good week I grieved, cried, and was totally freaked out. It felt like all of us would be next. 
Have you ever experienced 48 degrees Celsius heat? I never have. I've been to Hawaii, Mexico, and Peru, and I've never experienced anything even close to that heat. It's unnatural. 
All our rabbits died, because even our basement was 36 degrees. Our four old chickens died, despite being in the shade with plenty of water. 44 degrees in the shade was more than they could handle. 
Our little losses (that still brought me to tears) were indicative of our population: over 700 people died during the heat wave, mostly elderly and compromised people.
It was a lot. 
Lytton hospital burning. 

For a few days I felt like the world ended. But that's the thing: it didn't. No matter what happens, life continues. And despite all the angst I was feeling, I was one of the lucky ones. We were in no immediate danger, our house with all its memories, belongings, animals and silly polka dots on the wall was still standing. 
So I had a choice: should I freak out, or enjoy life (that felt more precious than ever) to its fullest?
There's really only one answer.  

So I tried my best:

We had the kids come here for a visit, one after another on my weekends off, and it feels SO amazing after the year where we barely saw them. In all the uncertainty we're living in with the drought and fires, we are also living our very best lives. And maybe that's the lesson in all this craziness? To live in the now, enjoy what's happening right in front of us, and we'll deal with whatever comes after when it happens? 

At least that's my take-away from it. We are fazing another heat wave this week, and it would be easy to give in to the fear and apprehension about all the what-ifs. The risk of fire is still out of control, and with the lifted travel restrictions we have a lot of people coming here to go camping. And who can blame this? Our area is insanely beautiful.  
But every single extra person increases the risk of a wildfire, we see a steep increase in patients in our emergencies, and we're all wary about so many extra people here after a year-and-a-half of being by ourselves. 

Please be aware of how insanely dry our camp grounds and forests are. I never knew dryness like this until I moved here - it's beyond what we in "normal" climates can imagine. Even a dry fart can set off a fire - so maybe abstain from eating beans. It's too dangerous. 



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