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The Radium King 07-30-2014 07:10 PM

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 ...

CraigM 08-04-2014 07:09 PM

How's it going up there?

JayG 08-04-2014 08:24 PM

I can relate.

Living in So Cal, we experience wildfires far too often

Back in 2007, we were evacuated along with about 1/3 of San Diego County for almost a week. When the smoke cleared over 2500 homes were destroyed, almost 350 in my neighborhood alone.

I remember going back to the neighborhood and it reminded me of one of the old WWII movies showing Berlin or London with smoldering piles of rubble.

Fortunately our home was spared and in the big scheme of things we got off easy, just inconvenienced for a few days. Many of my friends were not so lucky, literally left with just the shirt on their back, they lost almost everything else they owned

Until you have experienced firsthand the devastation of a wildfire you really can't understand. I suppose the same is true for tornadoes and hurricanes, Mother Nature can be a real bytch

Be safe and my prayers are with you

The Radium King 08-04-2014 09:07 PM

thanks folks. things are quite a bit better up here now, funny how a situation can change in just a few days. wind blew hard in one direction then turned and blew the fire back on itself, shutting it down almost completely. the only road into town is still closed due to an out of control fire further from town, but we are not threatened by it. flights are having difficulty getting in due to the heavy smoke, but it all should clear up in a few days. now that august is upon us it is starting to get cool at night and the fires are calming down. stopped the mail however, so i still don't have my new brake pads.

Nine8Six 08-04-2014 09:54 PM

I've seen or heard of easier jobs ;) Hats up, keep safe always mate

jb92563 08-07-2014 12:05 PM

Just as life is born from the ground, so it is returned back to it now and then.

We just have to make wise use of our borrowed paradises and take care so that it remains so for generations that follow.

Nature however trumps all that as it runs on its own schedule.

We just have to get out of the way when nature dominates.


Life should have theme music: Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning - YouTube

Such is life in a small northern town: [HD] Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town - YouTube


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