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Mark_4Runner 08-01-2003 11:33 AM

It doesn\'t look like my house is going to burn
Last Wednesday (July 23rd), I was called to standby for the fire dept and went out to man a roadblock to keep people away from a forest fire in our area (30 kms from my home). I thought the fire would be out by the next day.

On Saturday, after spending the day in Calgary and Lethbridge, I got the news that the fire was 11 kms from my home. I returned home Sunday (after the fire chief called me in), and lo and behold, an alert for a possible one-hour evacuation had begun. In a rush, I got as much of my valuables as possible in my truck, and headed to fire duty (basically sitting around waiting to take care of spot fires in town). Our town was invaded by firefighting and government agencies with many types of trucks, equipment, choppers, spotter planes, and water bombers everywhere.

When I leave my house for work or fire duty, I've been driving around like a Gypsy with my truck packed with as much as my stuff as I can carry. But it looks like the fire may not hit my town as was feared, and my house probably won't burn! But I can tell you, it's a strange feeling to be in your house, and doing regular everyday stuff like taking a shower, watching TV, or cooking dinner when there is a huge wildfire raging a couple kms away!

The fire is still raging in areas, but the forest fire crews have done a great job to keep it from the town sites. I'll be on fire duty tonight, but it seems redundant at this time as the town sites seem safe at this point (and we can't go to the bush to fight the fire as we are responsible for fires that start in the town sites).

Lost Creek Fire, CBC News

Google News

Rembrant 08-02-2003 07:41 AM

Re: It doesn\'t look like my house is going to burn
Sounds like you're safe my friend. I was part of a clean-up crew after a forest fire about 10 years ago now, I had been doing silvaculture work, and pulp cutting at the time, so we got called in to cut trees, and clean up the burnt ones. It was dirty miserable work, and I was black from head to toe at the end of every day. Cutting black, burnt trees with a chain saw, is just plain messy.
Anyhow, the fire did level a lot of forest around several houses, and although the fire dept were able to save the houses, the heat alone from the nearby blaze, melted the vinyl siding on the houses...pretty nasty stuff.

Cory [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Mark_4Runner 08-04-2003 06:34 PM

Re: It doesn\'t look like my house is going to burn
Overhaul after a fire can be nasty. I hope that we aren't responsible for too much of that.

I almost had to eat my words on Saturday - the fire got within 1/2 km from my house (currently there is smouldering less than a couple hundred metres from my house), and the town was evaced - I've been living at the fire hall, the fire truck, and a fellow firefighter's house when not working. Life is going to be very dull once everything goes back to normal.

We haven't lost a single house due to the hard work of the wildfire firefighters, the water bombers (we saw some pretty spectacular stuff), the cat lines, and the sprinkler systems. Us town guys didn't do a lot of heavy firefighting, but we kept the fire from spreading in a few targeted areas. Really exciting stuff. I've put in a lot of hours over the past few days. If you ever get the chance to be a volunteer or part-time firefighter, do it, because it can be an incredible experience.

Check out the "Lost Creek" fire details and the PDF file below to see how close my town got to being obliterated:

Lost Creek Fire Stats

PDF - see Hillcrest

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