Fire in the Similkameen

Things are burning up in the high country between Keremeos and the Pasayten wilderness. Here was the view Thursday morning, looking south from Olalla towards K Mountain.

By 4 pm I left the orchard with stinging eyes. The hill behind the apricot and plum trees below is Pincussion, the little hill in the centre of the image above.

Cough cough cough. Serious stuff. Here was Vernon, 170 kilometres north, last week, as Okanagan Mountain and Aeneas Mountain went up.

200 years of abusing indigenous land use knowledge is coming back to haunt the society that attempted to claim its space. Well, one can mow the weeds in the abandoned orchards (with an old fruit-loading tractor), while the neighbour plays Old MacDonald’s Farm on his $1,000,000 plot.

One tries to do what one can, with the means at hand, but it looks a lot like poverty. The percentage of land in British Columbia and Northern Washington that must burn every 100 years is 100%. We need a better way of living with fire. We need the water keepers and the fire keepers back.

The Water Keeper of Conconully, Okanogan County

We can fix this together.


2 replies »

  1. Sadly, our society appears to be generations away still from learning what indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years. They have always been willing to share, bless them for that, if we can ever get around to be willing to listen … and to learn.


    • Incredibly, I see the call in the Morning Star to be for a total campfire ban… as if that’s the problem! As if that’s a socially acceptable move. We have a long way to go collectively, but the path is, at least, clear. Thanks for being on it.


      Liked by 1 person

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