Beginning on August 1, 2003, dozens of large fires were burning across western North America in Canada (top half of images) and the United States (bottom half). Huge plumes of smoke were streaming northeastward from massive fires in Canada’s British Columbia (left) and Alberta (right) provinces. Also while across the international border, fires were burning in (left to right) Washington, Idaho, and Montana. This series of images was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite and Terra satellites.
The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, which gave rise to the City of Victoria, at first the capital of the separate Colony of Vancouver Island. Subsequently, on the mainland, the Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866) was founded by Richard Clement Moody. Therefore the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Moody was Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colony. Also the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Therefore he was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire’s “bulwark in the farthest west”and “to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific”. Moody selected the site for and founded the original capital of British Columbia, New Westminster established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park, and designed the first version of the Coat of arms of British Columbia. Port Moody is named after him.