The McDougall Creek wildfire tore through the Central Okanagan in a matter of hours.
But, for those who lived through it, the impact and the terror it caused will take years to fade into memory.
With one photo in its Top 100 photos of 2023 list, Time Magazine is offering readers a glimpse into the moments seared into the collective consciousness of the communities it hit hardest.
Atop the list of photos is a picture of flames from the McDougall Creek wildfire encircling the mountainside above homes in West Kelowna on Aug. 18.
The caption chosen for the photo by Canadian Press photographer Darryl Dyck reads “Extreme weather conditions fuelled Canada’s worst wildfire season on record, with thousands of fires devastating millions of acres and darkening skies thousands of miles away.”
“What has become clear in 2023 — a year dominated by the rapid rise of AI imagery — is that photojournalism has become more important than ever,” the magazine wrote of its list.
“The storytellers who are dedicated to bearing witness to events across the globe in real-time are critical in providing lucidity to an otherwise muddled world. As such, the weight of responsibility on them to act ethically, and with the highest level of journalistic integrity, is greater now than perhaps ever in history.”
Other incredible images chosen from 2023 reflect the wild year that was, featuring the wars in Gaza and Ukraine to the attention surrounding the indictment of Donald Trump and the popularity of Time’s person of the year, Taylor Swift.
The McDougal Creek wildfire destroyed nearly 190 structures including Lake Okanagan Resort.