Re: Fire in B.C. Canada

Hi Francoise, Thanks for thinking of me and my neighbours here in..well, hot and smoky B.C. I live in Kamloops which is in the middle of all the conflagration. Townships up the northern valley all the way from Kamloops to Barrierre(Some 60 km away) have had to evacuate to Kamloops. That's 10,000 people that had to spend the entire long weekend living in motels, evac centers or friends and families homes not knowing whether they had homes of their own to go back to. Many had to leave pets and livestock behind ( how to you evacuate two hundred head of cattle in twenty minutes? which was all the notice some people had.) One entire community was lost to the flames. Louis Creek consisted of about forty homes. All gone now. Many of the residents could see their homes burning behind them as they left. Another forty or so homes and bussinesses in Barriere are also torched. Many of the homeowners do not know yet if their house was one of them. Officials want to do a lot by lot assesment before they let them know so as to avoid mistakes and undue heartbreak, but the homeowners are getting angry and upset anyway. Knowing is better than not knowing. Those closer to Kamloops were lucky. Thier homes are still intact and they all returned home today. They are still on evacuation alert as are many other small communities in the area including Sun Peaks, a ski resort up in the mountains. They lost all their revenue this weekend since they had a major festival planned. All the tourists were evacuated, but the residents were put on alert. There's another big fire near Vernon, about 50 km south east of Kamloops. This fire is in a more heavily forested area and is spreading fast. Still is! Towns in that area are of course on alert, but little damage has been done to homes. Another fire started last night in the Wells Grey Park some 80km north west. This is in valuable park land that is famous for hiking,canoeing, white water rafting, waterfalls, you name it! In all there are 350 fires burning in B.C. and most are just burning wild because there are not enough fire fighters or air support to deal with them. The support for those who are evacuated has been both wonderful and astonishing. Kamloopsians opened their doors, wallets and cupboards for them, and so did Vancouverites. 7 truckloads of bedding, clothes, toys, food and water came to Kamloops today from a major tv station which asked for donations from the public in Vancouver. A large drug chain drug store send 5 or 6 trucks with personal supplies and water. The SPCA have been rounding up stray animals in the evacuated areas and housing them as best they can. A rodeo complex in Kamloops has taken in horses and cattle.Donations of animal food have been appearing at the SPCA and the rodeo grounds. It's just incredible how people have jumped in to help in any way they can! Sorry for the long speech. I kind of needed to unload. It was pretty scary when I woke up fron a nap on Friday afternoon to find the mountain across the river from me in flames and spending the last four days not knowing whether you would be hearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night, and someone telling you to leave your home, now! The devastation is awful and my heart goes out to those who've lost their homes and property.
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Jayel
"Françoise" < snipped-for-privacy@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
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Hi Francoise, Thanks for the e-mail. Funny that on one side of the country your all wet and flooded, and on the other side I'm all dry and burning. Life and weather are weird that way sometimes. The immediate danger of Kamloops burning is pretty much over thanks to all the fire crews who fought so hared to contain the Strawberry Hill fire (the one I could see from my front yard). But the fires are still not totally out especially the McLure fire just up the valley. Fires, it seems, are named after the origin of the fire. Yes, careless smokers caused the fires! They should be made accountable in some way, but only the person responsible for the McLure fire has come forward. He knew better too. He's a fire fighter! Yesterday was another anxious day. We were expecting lightning storms and got them. 40 new fires started last night, but are small and away from towns.The fire crews have dealt with some of them. High winds have made the large fires worse. The largest is 12,000 hectares in size, the one near Kamloops is 5,000 hectares. Yesterday evening, I saw a huge pyroclastic cloud coming from the top of Strawberry Hill. It was about 300 meters high. Today, people living in Barriere and Louis Creek found out whether or not they have lost their homes. Words cannot describe how badly I feel for them. I give over to tears often thinking about what they have had to face in the last 6 days and what they will continue to face. It doesn't look as though we'll be getting any rain in the next few days but that also means no high winds or lightning storms either which is a blessing. The situation will improve. I will keep you posted.
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Jayel
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