Traveling home from our vacation last Saturday, I had no idea that this week would become a fire and storm watch. Passing the burned out area in the Maclure/Barrier communities of B.C. I was reminded of the words I penned several years ago while on our way to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
"Advancing up the hillside
like battle worn, sooty soldiers,
destined to stand on guard,
protecting the viable green force beyond.
Tufts of Purple Fireweed adorning charred tree trunks."
Trudy - 2003
On arriving home and throwing open the windows to air the house, I notice a growing plume of smoke to the southwest of our city which very quickly, fanned by strong winds became an out-of-control wild fire endangering several thousand homes. Another fire to the north started soon after, followed by a third fire in the northwest region of our valley. It all became a flashback of the horrendous fire of 2003 which ravaged the hills to the south of us destroying over 200 homes and many of the historic Kettle Valley trestles.
The first 3 photos are downloaded from news sites.
It became a week of ongoing news alerts, evacuation orders and a coming together of a community that has not forgotten the fears and dangers of summer, 2003.
Air quality was less than desirable and at times visibility was only several kilometers.
On Thursday thunder storms rumbled and crashed around the valley bringing a short heavy rainfall, and then this afternoon we sat on our deck and experienced a severe thunder and lightning storm which whipped up gale force winds turning our backyard into a swirl of leaves and debris.
The Silver Queen Maple tree was not swaying in it's graceful ballet of a few weeks ago but rather like a violent break dance. I wondered how much force those long limbs could endure.
And then the torrential rains came, flowing over roof gutters and bouncing off the pavement.
The scream of fire sirens has us scouring the hillsides for any curls of smoke but time will tell what damage the lightning has caused.
Yes, I am on fire watch!
I've made a brief list of important articles in our home that could be packed up quickly should the need ever arise. I hope not!
I believe in a sovereign God who is in control.
" It is God whose power made the earth,
whose wisdom gave shape to the world, who crafted the cosmos.
He thunders, and rain pours down.
He sends the clouds soaring.
He embelishes the storm with lightning,
launches wind from his warehouse."
"God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray"
I will keep praying and thanking God for the safety over all the weary fire fighters and comfort to those who have lost their homes.