Some of you may have heard about the devastating wild fire that started Thursday near Rock Creek. It is with a heavy heart that I show some pictures we captured. No amount of words can portray the sadness that is felt for our fellow ranchers and neighbours who lost so much. I just wanted to give you some insight into the situation.
Thursday afternoon, around 2, we started getting calls that a fire had broke out. We were working 4 km from our home. Our good friend and neighbour left to check out the situation. Minutes later he called my husband Doug and strongly suggested he get his water tank ready. I quickly finished what I was doing, and headed for home. This is what I saw when I came around the corner.
Obviously this was very alarming. We headed into Hulme Creek Road to check on our cows. When we got into the area, we were put to work helping evacuate the acreages.
The fire was very close to the houses and us at this time. We were doubtful of how many of the homes were going to be left standing.
Gates were opened and animals let free.
The fire bombers and fire fighters did an amazing job of saving houses. This house (you can just see the roof in the middle of the photo) was saved!
At the time we were helping evacuate the area, I looked to the west and saw this. Another forest fire had started in Washington State. It crossed the border into Canada and was thankfully put out that night/next day.
There were 3 large Electra’s fire bombing the area. At this point we retreated back to our neighbours house. Electricity was out. My husband and our neighbour took the tractors over to make a break around this house in danger. They continued to fight the fire until midnight.
These folks and my husbands 2nd cousins all stayed at our house for the weekend. This was the house the guys made a fire break around Thursday night.
As the guys fought and made the break, my friend and I and our children watched the fire. This was about 1 mile and a 1/2 from our ranch.
Since the snow melted in February, we have only had 3/4 inch of rain. It was very dry and that Thursday the temperature was +39 degrees celsius with only 8% humidity, with a strong hot wind blowing. The fire moved a kilometre a minute burning north up a valley. Thankfully nobody was killed in the fire. It was very traumatic for us and we were just on the edge. Many peoples homes and buildings and belongings were burnt.
The next morning we got a call that there was a lightning strike on our private land, so we raced up there to put 2 small fires out.
See the tree split by lightning.
The next day the sky was eerie. All the highways around us were closed. It was strangely quiet. Phone lines, power and cellular service were all down. That being said, the professionals restoring everything worked night and day to bring back power etc.
Sunday, highway 3 opened. This is heading down to Rock Creek. This first picture is where the fire started.
There are miles of destroyed fence, lost timber, lost pasture land. Our prayers continue to be with all those still fighting the fire and to those who have lost so much.
I just took these 2 pictures to show how smokey the area still is. The fire is reportably 25% contained, with areas of the forest still burning and smouldering.