The View from my Deck - Sep. 2017

Sitting on my deck enjoying the cool evening air the other evening put me in mind of the dry summer we all just lived through.

I always liked hot, dry summers, swimming in the river and lake and just being lazy, but this summer was a little over the top even for a lover of summer like me. In fact it is still super dry in our forests and range lands and we still need to be careful, even if the government has lifted the fire ban.

We have not really had any amount of rain since June and luckily for us we did not have the usual summer thunder storms which could have really caused havoc in our valley. Even still there were 3 fires that could have gotten out of control in our valley this past summer.

The first was near the end of July when we had a wicked wind storm which knocked down a couple of Poplar trees on Mabel Lake Road just south of Lawrence Road. The downed Poplar trees took out the power line, a pole snapped and a fire started where the power line hit the shoulder of the road. A tourist noticed the fire and told the neighbours who gathered help and tools and put the fire out. When fire chief Tony Clayton showed up the fire was out but the workers were cutting up the tree that was across the power line, well, Chief Clayton did not think that was a very safe thing to do so he stopped the work and came out to the Hall the next Saturday and gave interested residents a short course on fire safety.

Then in mid-August a fire started on Squaw Valley Road near Mabel Lake Road and again the neighbours rallied and had the fire out before the fire department arrived. Finally, there was a fire on Procter Road, a neighbour saw the smoke and again the fire was put out by community members. The quick action of the Mabel Lake residents resulted in little to no loss of property and no injuries in all three fire incidents.

On behalf of the community, I thank all the neighbours who came together to make sure the fires were put out before they could cause damage. I would also like to thank those who have organized equipment owners and operators and preparing lists of people who can be called on in the event they are needed in the future. Without volunteers acting quickly we could have been facing evacuation orders and loss of property, or worse so thank-you.

However, we are not really trained and we could cause serious problems when we go out to protect our community and we need to change this. I have written before about getting “something” together in our community to address this problem and it is moving forward. I will have more to say next month and then we will see if the community wants to come together to see if we can find a creative solution to the threat of forest fires, flood and other calamities that we may be facing in the future.