Monday, July 20, 2009

North and South

There are three new fires nearby. Three are burning to the north of us and now there is one burning to the south of us. All three fires are within forty minutes of where I live. We are surrounded by thick smoke now, the air quality is so bad it looks like a blanket of fog has settled in over the valley. Lorelei arrived home safely today thank God, her grandparents took the route to the south to get her back home. Within two hours of her being dropped off, the highway to the south was closed because of a new forest fire. Sometimes I wonder what would happen, where we would go if we couldn't get out of town because the highways were closed. We'd probably have to either fly out or hitch a ride on someone's boat. It's a frightening thought. We came close to evacuation the year of the Okanagan Mountain Park fire, as the fire crept down the hillside towards town, the hospital was the first to be put on evacuation alert. It's scary. I remember the entire town being without power for two days during the fire that year. We sat up at Shane's parents house and watched across the lake as the fire burned down the mountainside. There, in the dark, we felt safe together. I feel an eerie sense of deja vu with this series of forest fires. I'm hoping that they're nowhere near as bad as in 2003, but as of today, there was still 0% containment on the Westbank fire. One of our friends has been evacuated twice now, the everchanging winds pushing the fire in all different directions. The wind has been a nightmare for the firefighters. Last night there were gusts up to 50km/hr and it is so dry here right now that the tiniest ember can spark a whole new fire. I'm worried. I'm worried for our friends and their homes but I'm also worried for us. Shane just put a bid in on a huge project in Westbank last week and we're hoping that the job doesn't burn down. If it does, then the project will have to rebuild and it will be months more before it reaches the finishing stage again. I worry too about what would happen to Calvin's grave if the fire ever came down this way. The thought of the ground where he's buried burning up is terrifying. I guess now, all we can do is pray for rain and hope that the wind dies down for the rest of the week. I'm hoping this isn't an indication of how my summer will be spent. Worrying and inside because of the bad air.


  1. I have never seen a forest fire (other than in the news) so I can't even imagine what it must be like to be so close to one. I hope they can contain it soon and you and your family stay safe. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

  2. Oh Margaret! Please stay safe. Sounds like you at least can get out if you need to. I know it must be scary. Hang in there!
    I'm so glad that Lorelei is home safe. I'll be praying (for rain and peace).
    LOve Lindsay

  3. So glad that Lorelei is home with you. I hope that the rain starts and the wind stops. Take care of yourself.
    Keep checking in with us all here, I was so pleased to see a post on your blog this morning. I've been worrying. xx

  4. Keep us posted, Margaret. I was watching the news and thinking of you last night. xoxo