Our Town’s Worst Nightmare
So this time last week, I had plenty on my mind. 16 hour days, and getting my SOR team ore focused on taking care of growing the business side of things. Life is always moving around SORville, to the point that sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going? It really is stressful at times, when I’m trying to breathe and yet my day continues to be full of movement, that keeps me going until usually around 1am every morning. That was until this past Thursday. Wednesday, July 5th was the two year anniversary of me moving up to the Cariboo region of British Columbia. It’s like a slice of natural heaven up here with all the lakes and trees. As well as being a place where people still wave and say hello to each other, and treat each other with respect and help. Neighbours still lend things to other neighbours. People still help others across the street. Small town living is an amazing life. Although we don’t have a McDonald’s or even a town swimming pool, the life here is great. However, this past Thursday, this town’s worst nightmare happened.
Rumours are running rampant, but about 8 miles from town, a forest fire was reported. When reported it was a small, two hectares. However, the increasing winds, and the heat in the area, combined with the dry tinder of the forest surrounding town, well, it was like throwing a match on gasoline. Within two hours, there were water bombers everywhere flying in the sky, dropping fire retardant and water on the effected areas. It was pretty impressive to watch. Within five hours of the blaze being reported, it has spread to 120 hectares. A couple hours later, it was over 500. By the night fall, over 1,000 hectares. The next day, at my daytime office, the forest fire was all the talk, even though we had work to do. Many of my co workers lived in my area, and around noon Friday, we had heard that there was going to be a full on evacuation of the area, called 108 Mile Ranch. My home is located there. So I picked up my Sasquatch researching buddy, Mike Schmith, and we raced over to my house. We grabbed my truck and SUV and started filling up with valuables. About 15 minutes after arriving home, I had the most ominous text that I have ever received and I hope I never get again. You see, I’m a city boy living in the boonies. I’ve never lived out or near the wilderness like I do now. I am ashamed to say that I was NOT prepared. The text, came from my neighbour Tony, who is also a fire fighter. Three ominous words……
Get Out Now
If you have never been in an evacuation situation due to a natural disaster, then you have no idea what it feels like. As much as my heart was sinking down into my chest, there was no time to cry, and there was no time to reflect. For the next 95 minutes Mike and I went through every room in my house, grabbing everything of importance. Photos, jewelry, blankets, special teddy bears, even my Bible that my Grandmother gave me as the final gift from my Grandpa after his passing. The one thing I did forget was my clothes. So now, I’m out of my house. Can’t get back in, and I have one pair of jeans, three pairs of socks, five pairs of underwear, six shirts, and my toiletries to keep me fresh. I should have grabbed more. I have no work clothes, and well, that’s going to have to do for now. Right now, I feel like I have this emotional lump in my throat, ready to crack at any time, but right now is not the time to do so. My family is safe on the Coast with family. My two dogs and one cat are safe. And so far, we still have a home that hasn’t fallen victim to the fires.
Forest fires are ugly. The smoke makes breathing hard. Turns everything grey. Streets are clear. Businesses are closed. Gas stations running out of gas. Highways are closed. Bottled water is hard to find. There’s nothing to do, except sit and wait. And wait. And wait.
Early speculation is the fire started accidentally by a welder. I’m sure that person feels horrible about the situation. So far, there’s been no deaths or major injuries, which is fantastic. The community and the Province of British Columbia have been great in dealing with this scenario. Some houses have been lost, and certainly we aren’t out of the woods, (no pun intended), just yet. I have no idea when I’m going to be allowed back home, or when it will be safe. Could be days. Could be weeks? Depends on the weather, now, and there’s no rain in sight. The sad part was, where this fire started, was right where my buddy Mike found a sasquatch print last October. Five days after he found that one, we found another in the area, within 150 feet, which was a few inches smaller. And now, that territory is gone. Selfish, I know, but we were really looking forward to getting back in there. But it’s all gone now. A prime sasquatch ground, up in smoke.
But the main thing is, we’re safe. Safe is good. And that’s how I like it. So right now, it’s living day by day, and seeing where this latest scary adventure takes us. I have no idea. But in reality, I just want to go home and sleep in my own bed.
Dave Scott can be heard on Spaced Out Radio every Monday through Friday, at 9pm PT, 12am ET. Follow Dave on Twitter @spacedoutradio and on Instagram, @davescottsor