Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Giving Thanks

Yesterday people across Canada celebrated Thanksgiving. Not a year has gone by that I haven’t had plenty to be grateful for: loving family and friends, a roof over my head, plenty to eat. This year we had Thanksgiving dinner with Jessica’s boyfriend’s family. We’ve come to love Neil and his daughter, Morgan, over the past nine months and we enjoyed becoming better acquainted with his parents and siblings.

Having an extra day off this weekend also gave us the opportunity to drive up to the cabin and check out the wildfire damage for ourselves. It’s one thing to see photos but quite another to see it in person. We were reassured to find the area surrounding the lake and our property relatively unchanged, aside from some burnt patches and retardant-stained trees.

But it was sobering to climb the hill behind our place and quickly come upon this scene:

Fire protection crews turned this old logging road into a fire guard and thankfully it did its job.

Even though this spot is less than 300 paces from the nearest cabin (I counted) it is hidden from view by dense forest growth. It was not until we actually emerged from the trees that the clearing came into sight, driving home the realization of just how close we came to losing our beloved vacation spot.

It could have been much worse. Under different circumstances our hillside could have looked like this.

As we drove further north we saw even greater devastation.

In some areas both sides of the road were completely burnt out.

We could only imagine the inferno that must have raged there.

Driving through the fire zone also gave us a greater appreciation for just how far the fire had spread. Our route took us a distance of about 30 km/20 miles but that doesn’t take into consideration the areas we could not reach; the entire zone covers an area of almost 21,000 hectares. While it is still active, the fire is now considered 100% contained and will continue to be monitored until it burns itself out. This shouldn’t be long now, considering that overnight temperatures in the region have recently dipped to about -15° C (5° F) and snow is expected over the next few days. Brr…

Our own weather has taken a turn for the worse; after a stretch of warm, sunny days it is blustery and cool this morning, with rain expected all week. No complaints here--sounds like perfect conditions for knitting.

1 comment:

ChristyH said...

Despite the fire damage, you live a in very beautiful spot or at least get to vacation there. How wonderful.