KAMLOOPS - In the Thompson-Okanagan, most of the impacts due to wildfire smoke like trouble breathing or impaired vision while driving are to be expected. But it's also impacting people in rather unexpected ways as well.
After finally getting back on track in 2016 after four years of dealing with mechanical issues the Kamloops Heritage Railway 2141 steam train, also known as the Spirit of Kamloops, has been derailed once again as the tourist attraction has been cancelled until further notice due to the smoke.
KHR Manager of Rail Tour Operations Rosanne Nelson says it's all about health and breathing, adding the safety of their passengers is far more important than the money they will lose by cancelling the tours.
"By the time we get everybody set up and on the train you are outside for about two hours," she says. "I just can't justify volunteers, my staff, or our passengers being out there."
Nelson says they hope to make up for the lost business by adding some attractions when the smoke clears, but admits it was a tough decision to make.
"We have had to cancel on people who have come from Hong Kong and England and Germany and it's hard to do that, but we don't really feel there is a choice," she says.
From trains to planes, air travel has become an unwelcome adventure for some people. WestJet and Air Canada began cancelling flights out of the Kamloops airport last week and some planes continue to be grounded today, Aug. 9.
Earlier this week we learned that Westjet and Air Canada have been shuttling passengers from Kamloops to Kelowna in order to catch flights.
Despite all the cancellations several flights in and out of Kamloops have not been impacted, and you are urged to check with your carrier regarding any inbound or outbound flights as long as the smoke continues to linger over the city.
For those who do manage to get airborne and make their way through the Thompson-Okanagan sky, they are not being treated to much of a view. Skydiver Bre Desnoyer photographed what the descent looks like 3,000 feet above the Kamloops airport. She says her eyes were burning as the plane made its way up and breathing was a challenge but nothing like not being able to see the ground.
If that's the view from the sky, it might explain the video below and perhaps the challenges of flying a helicopter when you can't see the ground below you or mountains and trees in front of you.
This helicopter, caught on camera flying along the Rogers Pass appears to be using the road as a visual guide, which lead to a pretty interesting trip for this B.C. driver:
For more on how the Kamloops airport has been impacted by wildfire smoke, go here.
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