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Old 07-30-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
The Radium King
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,987
never a dull day ...

a quick view into to a day in the life of a director of public works for a small northern canadian town ...

first thing I am in a helicopter flying over an out of control 10 000 Ha forest fire 35 kms out of town. all of northern Canada is burning right now, and the few crews they have left to try and fight this guy are going to backburn to create a barrier to protect the one highway out of town. wind swings and now highway is closed. no more option for land evac, we are now sheltering in place if it comes to that. fire is far enough away that it shouldn't come to that, but that doesn't stop the local newspaper owner from losing his proverbial mind and telling everyone to, for all intents and purposes, RUN FOR THEIR LIVES. thanks for helping to keep things calm.

itís hot. itís dry. so hot and dry that fire is actually advancing against the wind. our ability to predict any fire behavior at this point is out the window. heck, we have fire advancing across lakes by burning the floating grass on the lake. by afternoon a big convective cell rolls overhead. thunder, lightening, hail, gale-force winds. trees down across main street. power out across most of town. pumps at the pool go down and pool starts draining into the basement. wind so strong itís pushing the torrential rain under the roof flashing and flooding the rec centre. of course the rain wonít help the fire situation because storm cells like this are typically quite localised and the lightening that accompanies them happens at the edge of the cell and starts more fires than the rain ever extinguishes. often the fires get so big they create their own storm cells that go off and create more fires. circle of life in the boreal forest.

sirens. one of my ambulances is rolling out there in the storm. i dunno what for, but honestly iím glad itís not the fire department. weíre just about out of volunteers at this point; tomorrow i have to drive ambulance too (my emt is expired but i can still drive the car; so much for retirement behind a desk ...). and run the town, as the mayor is going on vacation and the deputy mayor just got medivaced with a gallstone or something. and somewhere in all of this i gotta find time to put in some new brake pads before a time trial event next weekend ...
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