As I write this post, fourteen thousand people in my area have been evacuated from their homes due to out of control wildfires. My family is on evacuation alert. The main highway south to the rest of the province is closed, and heavy smoke fills the air and ash falls from the sky. A steady stream of water bombers and helicopters with water bags attached roar overhead. Everyone is nervous and worried about neighbours and livestock.
My heart bleeds for the people who have been evacuated. Some have had to travel six hours through fires to reach evacuation centers in the north. My husband and I have packed our photographs and valuables, and friends who live in a safer area have them in safekeeping. Our suitcases and important documents are packed and sitting by the door. We’re ready to leave at a moment’s notice should the need arise.
My son is a wildfire fighter. He’s been working nonstop with little time to eat or rest since this disaster started. He and his fellow fire fighters are giving everything they have to save our area from total destruction. They and the heavy equipment operators and emergency personnel are true heroes.
These past few days have been stressful, but there are golden moments…the countless people who’ve stepped up and helped those in need. The evacuation centres are inundated with volunteers and donations of food and supplies. Once this is over, and we get a chance to assess the damage, the Cariboo spirit will prevail, and together we’ll get back on our feet.