We all heard about the devastating effects forest fires can have on wildlife and humans. The destruction of homes and entire communities was horrific especially this summer. It also appears that the fires become more frequent and more destructive with each new year. However, it is easy to forget that there is a positive side to nature’s rebellion against humanity. The wildfires are also a form of cleansing creating new feeding grounds and much needed habitats for wildlife, and getting rid of pests and diseases from ailing forests. For the photographer, wildfires are also the cause of spectacular sunsets. Here are a few examples from the past few years from my archives. Enjoy.
The wildfires that have been devastating nearby forest and were threatening to destroy our small community have finally been brought under control. This week, I observed a helicopter flying over the lake to pick up water, then carrying the bucket to the few remaining hotspots left from the recent wildfire. The pilot made the 20 km round trip in 20 minutes. That is 3 trips per hour and 24 buckets in his 8-hour shift. We are so grateful to all the firefighters who saved our little community of Fauquier from disaster.
Smoke, smoke, and more smoke! About 10 km behind our small community, the wildfire is still burning out of control. Helicopters are droning overhead and dumping a mix of water and fire retardant on the inferno. In some nearby towns the smoke is so dense that people can barely see things across the street. So instead of posting more gloomy or rather fiery pictures I decided to go back in time to last year, when my wife and I went for a mountain hike on Mt. Scaia. At 7000 ft altitude, we relished the clean mountain air, the alpine flowers and the busy bumblebees visiting them. Enjoy.
First of all, a big thank you goes out to all my blogging friends for all the compassionate comments that you sent out to me while my wife and I were forced to leave our home first, then also our travel trailer on the other side of the Arrow Lake. I am sorry that during our exile I was unable to write comments even though I read most of your posts and left a like. We have been allowed to come back to our small community with the understanding that we should be vigilant and be aware that while the evacuation order has been rescinded the alert is still in effect. We are very happy that our home has not suffered any damage. Some of the flowers have wilted, but the garden has not suffered too much under the dry and hot conditions. Today, we took the ferry across the lake to visit our beloved beach and check on the trailer. Everything looked just the way as before. Here are a few photos of our little vacation spot at the lake. You can see that there is still smoke and haze in the air from the nearby forest fires. We hope that the wildfires are beginning to ease. Two days ago, we had our first substantial rain in more than six weeks. Thanks again for your patience!
Just a short message to all my fellow bloggers that due to the extreme hazard caused by the nearby wildfires we have been evacuated from our beloved community. Until the evacuation order has been lifted and until we can to return home, we will spend the time at our sons’ places in Vernon, Vancouver and Victoria. Until our return, I will not be able to publish new posts. I also ask you for your understanding that I will not have the time to write comments. Let us hope and pray that our home and our neighbours’ homes will be safe. Thank you for your patience!
The following video should be entitled: Natural Horror of the Arrow Lakes. About 20 km south of where we live a wildfire caused by lightning is raging through steep and inaccessible terrain. The residents of Fauquier have received evacuation alerts from the provincial government. The smoke is so dense that the sun is hidden for most of the day. We can barely see the other side of the lake. I let the camcorder run for half an hour and then accelerated the video so it would fit into a 40 second runtime. Let us hope that the fire does not spread into our direction.
Fauquier has been evacuated. We now live in a trailer across the lake.