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#28708 - 06/11/23 02:22 PM Canadian Smoke, 2023.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
It's been a week since smoke from the massive fires in Canada was first noticed in this area. I'm sure in other areas it was much more dense than it was here. But I'll give you a rundown on our local conditions. Reading the news, I knew that smoke was on the way. It's a long way from here to Canada, honestly it's hard to imagine the size of the fires.

Last Sunday, the sky was smoky and hazy. One of my landmarks is the top of the South Branch Mountain, east of town. It's 3 air miles from here to the skyline of the mountain. I could see the mountain, but I couldn't make out the ridges and hollows. On a crisp and clear day I can point to a spot on the mountain, and tell you exactly where I'm looking.

Sunday and Monday, the conditions were about the same, the sunshine was a different color.

Tuesday morning I could smell woodsmoke, it was the same smell like you'd get burning leaves and twigs in the garden. We had a good breeze coming out of the north, as the day went on the smoke got more intense. At one point you could focus on a dark spot out 50 or 100 yards away and see little whisps of white/gray smoke. Tuesday evening, you could just make out the skyline of the mountain.

Wednesday morning, the smoke was more dense than before, the Branch Mtn was out of sight. There is a high ridge a mile from here, I could just make out the skyline. Another thing that I noticed, the smell of the smoke had changed, it was more like the smell of a pineknot fire.

I'm sure I'm not the only person that went outside and circled their house, just to make sure.

Thursday morning, things were about the same, still couldn't see the mountain, just the skyine on the ridge at a mile. We had a strong west wind that evening, it was trying to blow in a thunderstorm. We are dry as a bone here and haven't had a drop of rain for weeks.

But for 3 days, the sun didn't have enough strength to cast a shawdow. Just kind of odd.

One thing that I will say, the fires in Quebec were the #1 news headline, UNTIL the smoke got into the U.S. Once the smoke was here in the U.S., you can't even find mention of the actual fire/fires.

One of the last stories that I read, it said that as many as 20,000 residents were forced to evacuate, and some only had a 3 or 4 hour notice.

I did find a story in the BBC news last evening, it said some residents were starting to return home. It also said that 100's of homes were lost in the fires.

But it is kind of hard to get news, about the size of the fires, and what's happening on the ground. Hopefully, we'll all get a good soaking rain soon.

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#28709 - 06/11/23 02:37 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Isn't Musher from that part of the world? I'd like to hear that he's alright.
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28710 - 06/11/23 04:33 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
It was hazy here for a few days, but not too bad.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28711 - 06/11/23 07:37 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Originally Posted By: FLSH ETR
Isn't Musher from that part of the world? I'd like to hear that he's alright.


All is good here. Thanks for asking.

We had a fire 10 km. from the house. That was a little stressing. Lightening was the cause. It is now contained and probably out.

The woods are closed. You are not allowed to go into them. There are road blocks at access points and you have to show your address if you are going home. Outfitters, loggers, cottagers and the like are not happy.

It certainly messed up my bear season.

Everything was really smoky for a few days but it isn't too bad right now.

We need rain. It has dribbled a bit and there is a good dew in the morning. But things are quite dry.

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#28712 - 06/14/23 12:34 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I'm glad to hear that your section of Canada is good to go. But with a fire, that can all change in just a little bit.

Talking to different people here at work, the smoke was more intense in some areas.

I know one lady that called 911. She said that her husband had already went to work, she was getting ready to go to work and when she walked outside, the smoke was thick. She thought for sure there was a forest fire, just out of sight of her house.

I think 911 did send an officer up there to check things out, turns out that it was smoke from Canada.

We finally had a rain here, I had 0.37 inches. We are dry! I don't write down our rainfall, one man said that it was our first rain in 20 days. I know it's been a long time since the last time that I dumped my gauge.

After the rain the air was crisp and clear, it's a little bit hazy this morning, but I can pick out the ridges from 3 miles.

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#28713 - 06/14/23 10:51 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
The woods around the house re-opened Monday. A good chunk of the province was re-opened today.

There are still over 100 fires burning.

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#28716 - 06/15/23 12:54 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I'm glad to hear that things are getting back to normal.

Thinking about the men on the timber crews, can't get to work for 2 or 3 weeks and I'm sure the bills are still rolling in.

I hear you talk about cottagers off and on, do these folks own their camp or house? Or are they rentals? Probably both.

I would assume that tourism is big business in Quebec.

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#28717 - 06/15/23 07:17 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
The cottagers own the buildings but they lease the land from the government. In some areas they own the land.

Tourism is a huge business in the province.

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#28721 - 06/25/23 10:28 AM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Yesterday afternoon all was normal here except for the 30 degree temps. However, by supper, we were in lots of smoke. Fires further north were cutting visibility to a 1000 feet or so. It was smoky enough to make you go and stay indoors.

It is still smoky this morning but not quite as bad.

We need rain.

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#28722 - 06/25/23 12:52 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I haven't read anything about the fires for over a week.

We've had some much needed rain here, kind of hit and miss as a rule. The mailman told me yesterday, he's had 4.5 plus inches for the month. He lives on top of the mountain and it seems like he always gets more than here in the valley.

I heard yesterday that the river was muddy as could be, I guess someplace up south of here must have got hammered. Don't think the creek is up much, just muddy.

Talking about tourism, I was sure it would be big. Just like the river beside your house, it would be a fun ride in a kayak. There's probably and outfitter or 2, along the stream

One thing that I want to say, I watched one of your videos the other day. It was "Canoe camping with friends", I think? I'll tell you the scenery shots across the lake, and across the ridge tops and all. That's just beautiful country.

I'm not sure how that deal worked, but it looked like you and the crew paddled a mile to get to your campsite. And then you've got a picnic table, fire ring and an outhouse without a roof.

I got the feeling that there's a forest road, 50 yards above the campsite, and it's closed to the public. Anyway, looked like you had fun, that's the main thing.

Hopefully, Quebec will get a good soaking rain and snuff out the fires.

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#28723 - 06/26/23 10:45 AM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
There is no outfitter along our river. Some have tried to rent canoes/kayaks along larger rivers but they go belly up. The demand is not there.

We have the same canoe camping trip lined up this year. It is a 4 km. paddle after a 30 km. dirt road drive. We are looking forward to it.

It's still super smoky today. Yesterday was pretty bad. Hopefully, the announced rain will finally arrive.

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#28724 - 06/26/23 05:12 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
My daughter and I were out yesterday, she was exploring, I was just the tour guide. I had her up on top of the world, forget, about 3,300 feet? Visibility was better than 30 miles.

Beautiful day to be out.

We could see it raining here and there, we got a sprinkle on us, for like 5 minutes. Almost like a bunch of thunder storms here and there. Some areas got pounded.

I guess about the outfitters, it's just like all of us, we've got our own kayaks and canoes and boats. I think we have 3 outfitters on the big river here.

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#28725 - 06/27/23 01:11 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Yeah, we've got an unhealthy warning with the smoke pouring down the west side of lake Michigan. Yesterday was gray and hazy, with today forecasted to be worst, and really no end in sight. Bad news is that I got back from a trapper's convention and the grass really needs cutting. So I'll be out in the bad air taking care of business. Might try a mask.

Frank.
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28726 - 06/27/23 09:50 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Originally Posted By: FLSH ETR
Might try a mask.

Frank.


I wore one last Sunday. It made a difference. My sore throat stopped.

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#28727 - 06/27/23 09:51 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: FLSH ETR]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Well they've up graded the unhealthy to very unhealthy. I finished my lawn chores in about an hour and a half. I did wear a mask, but not the kind we had to wear during the covid crap, which a lot of folks didn't wear them correctly anyway. I used the kind I use when I'm making wood dust. Don't know if that will catch the smoke particles, but I feel good in the lungs. Eyes burn a little though. Looks like a London fog right now. Ain't gonna be much better tomorrow!

Frank.
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28728 - 06/28/23 09:28 AM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
We had a decent rain fall most of the night. The air seems clearer and so does the truck. The amount of soot on vehicles is quite noticeable.

This too shall pass.

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#28729 - 06/28/23 12:01 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Talking about our rainfall, I'll tell you this real quick. Last fall I had my buddy Moe order me a rain gauge. I had one, forgot about it and it was full water and froze hard as a bull turd, for about a week. It didn't survive the thaw.

The one I have now, it's a Stratus brand. The top of the funnel is about 4" across, and you can read it right down to the hundredth of an inch. It was $30 and should last for years.

Our sky is hazy this morning. I looked at the river yesterday, the water is up 2 feet or better now, compared to the first time that Kimberly and I kayaked. I've been hearing rumors of folks getting 4, up to 5 inches of rain quick! Looking at the river, someone got hammered.

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#28730 - 06/28/23 08:25 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Pretty bad smoke here today.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28731 - 06/28/23 09:24 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: Hal]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Yesterday, 20 miles west of here, was recorded the highest, worst ever, in the history of the Country, terrible air quality. The news even mentioned, at that time, it was the worst in the world. Some folks mentioned ash falling like snowflakes. Funny how the smoke of several fires can gather in that one spot, hundreds of miles away from the flames itself. Ventured out today for groceries. Hazy, like a foggy day. Then did inside stuff. Got the whole fandamly here on the fourth for a cookout. Hope the wind changes direction by then. I'll be making enough smoke trying to grill food!

Frank.
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28733 - 06/30/23 10:29 AM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
We had a few days of rain and the smoke is pretty well gone. I wonder if the ash particles in the smoke are beneficial to plant growth?

We never hear of acid rain anymore. It seems to have gone the way of the ozone layer.

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#28734 - 07/01/23 01:47 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I'm glad to hear that you got some rain.

Today is Saturday, think it was Thursday, our air was smoky. At one time visibility would have been less than a mile, 3/4's or so? But it does change by the hour.

The sky was fairly clear yesterday and last evening. We're a little bit smoky today.

Search: Wood ashes for the garden. Lots of good reading.

Years ago my brother had the soil tested in our garden. I think he had it tested at the ASCS office? I don't remember the exact details, but I remember that the report said, Don't add more wood ashes. That was Granddad's garden, and I guess he'd dumped his ashes in the garden for 75 years.

Just thinking about wood ashes, like around in a fire pit. You can look at the ashes when the fire is out, they might be 8 or 10 inches deep. Check it again a week later, they might be half that deep. Give it a good rain or 2, and they are almost gone.

I know that Canada has a short growing season, but it will be interesting to know when you'll start to see new growth in the areas that have burnt. Give it 4, 6 or 8 weeks, I'd bet the ground will be green. The ferns, grass, birch and all.

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#28735 - 07/01/23 02:29 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Wood ashes in the garden: It's a good source for potassium and calcium, but boy oh boy is it basic in nature. You can make lye by leaching wood ashes with water. Too many wood ashes on your garden and you will alter the ph way too far on the basic side. When that happens it is hell to bring the soil back up to normal. It is not hard to reduce the acidity of of the soil, lime or wood ashes will do the trick, but it is hard to go the other direction. There is no quick fix to make soil more acidic.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28736 - 07/02/23 01:07 PM Re: Canadian Smoke, 2023. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Well, we got 0.10 inches of rain last evening, the sky is a little bit hazy but I can pick out the ridges on the mountain.

If a person would want to have a really nice garden, you should have the soil tested. Think about it, farming a garden is expensive. And that's not including your time.

Most folks usually just dig up the spot they have and hope for the best.

Talking about lye, years and years ago I watched my Mom's family make lye soap. Mom was the youngest of 11 kids. I don't remember who butchered the beef? But as well as I remember, they rendered the tallow in an iron kettle. I guess you'd just cook it slow and easy, pick out the chunks for the chickens and the dog.

And they had a trough, just 2, inch boards nailed together to make a V shaped trough. Thinking about it now, they probably soaked the trough in the cow's water trough overnight, to let the joint seal up good.

I was just a kid, but as well as I remember, they had the trough set up over the kettle, with just a slight slope. Thinking about it now, they probably used hot water from a kettle and just let it seep through the ashes. Ashes will soak up a lot of water, and just let it dribble into the kettle of tallow.

Not sure?, but they may have had a rag or something at the end of the trough? Just to keep the ashes out of the tallow? Not sure.

They didn't measure anything, it was just the years and years of combined experience of Mom's family. I'm sure at one point, Grammy and the girls said something like: That should be enough.

Just an old time way of life.

Do a search: Lye soap.

Next time I go up Mom's homeplace, I'll snoop around in the buildings, the old trough might still be there? Most folks would think that it's just 2 boards nailed together.

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