How I spent my summer vacation: Fleeing wildfires as a climate change refugee

Our long-awaited trip to the Canadian Rockies this summer exceeded our expectations, but a lifetime in America's Midwest had not prepared us for the far-reaching effects of wildfires in the West.

Driving north from Spokane, Washington, we first noticed the low visibility and haze in the air. More than 500 wildfires were burning in British Columbia, but so far the Canadian National Parks remained open — unlike Yosemite National Park, parts of which were closed indefinitely due to fire.