A fire ban means NO FIRES
Sorry, this is a bit of a rant.
With almost half of the fires in BC so far this year started by people, I’m at a loss to understand why. Why do people not think before they throw a still-burning cigarette butt out of the car window? And why do people feel compelled to have a campfire when there is a fire ban?
The risk is too high.
The Okanagan Centre wildfire was shocking in how quickly it spread. I called it in as soon as the smoke started by the lake, and in about ten minutes, the flames were almost reaching the homes. Thankfully, no one was hurt, although eight homes were completely destroyed.
Thankfully, there was enough daylight left for the water bombers and planes dropping fire retardant to get in about four hours of serious work before being forced to land by the dwindling light. It was interesting to watch the firefighting efforts, but sickening to see each burst of black smoke knowing another home was lost.
The flying was pretty amazing though. The helicopters were first to arrive.
There was a very nimble lead plane which flew through the smoke, assessing the fire. Its job was to help to guide the water bombers and the planes dropping retardant. Six water bombers picked up water in a smaller lake on the other side of the hill. They then flew in a line, dropping their load.
Three large planes dropped plumes of red fire retardant. One of the flights was amazing to watch as the plane flew over the hill toward the water, dropping the retardant in a line to stop the fire from spreading north. The retardant did a fantastic job of containing the flames.
The wind came up again after dark, and the ground crews were kept very busy all night.
A huge thank you to all who risk their health and lives to fight wildfires. This job is sadly becoming more important in many parts of the world. Thank you for saving lives, homes, pets, and communities.
And to those who feel that camping isn’t complete without a fire, please, think. Mother nature provides enough lightning storms in the summer, we don’t need your help as well.
Thank you for visiting!