The fire I mentioned in my last post has made the neighbourhood I live in a difficult place to be. The fire was controlled late last night but continued to burn through until the morning. I’m still not sure the last of it has been extinguished.

By the time I went to bed, the toxic smoke had joined the already thick wildfire smoke that had been blanketing the city. It took me a while to fall asleep but I eventually did. I woke to find that fire was going to and had already affected a fair number of things around the city. A public warning was issued by my municipality to stay away from my neighourhood as the toxic smoke made it dangerous for anyone to be outside. Anyone who has the current misfortune of living in this area, was warned to stay inside and close all windows and doors to the outside.

Businesses in a several block radius around the fire decided to close for the day due to the danger from the smoke. Schools in this district were closed mid-day due to the smoke as well. Some of these schools were kilometres away, yet the fire was able to affect them from afar. City services were closed and some pubic facilities did not open for the day.

I found out that many people who work at my studio, also live in my neighbourhood. Photos of the fire were shared on Slack, all taken from their respective homes. One of my co-workers on my immediate team lives very close to where the fire is and informed the team the smoke was making him and his wife ill, so they decided to pack up and leave for the day. I don’t blame him and if needs to stay away for a few more days, then he absolutely should.

I am thinking of either going to my parents’ place for at least a night or maybe taking advantage of some hotel deals downtown. By keeping my windows barely open by just a crack, I have been able to keep the air quality reasonably acceptable but it leaves the air feeling stale. While my air quality sensor measures the number of particulates in the air, it does not measure the amount of oxygen in it. This air, while relatively “clean”, feels like it’s old and suffocating. I have this odd sensation that the stale air is clinging to my skin. It’s a gross feeling.

I have a strong desire to throw open my windows as wide as they can go to bring in fresh and cool air but I know it will also invite the toxic air into my home. So, the alternative is to sit in this old, hot, gross, stale but “clean” air and try to survive.

I’ll see what if the situation improves tomorrow but it just doesn’t seem too smart to just sit in this toxic cloud for days at a time.

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