A post that involves dogs but not what I had in mind!
Last Saturday I published a post The burning of our forests! that included a photograph of the nearby Klondike fire.
Then last Sunday I was speaking to Maija, my daughter back in England, and she was asking how the fires were and I distinctly recall saying: “Sweetheart, I think we are over the worst!“
That same Sunday evening, around 9:45pm, in other words two evenings ago, one of our neighbours, Margo, who lives on 60 acres adjacent to the west of us, called with real alarm in her voice:
Paul, have you seen the fire that is burning just to the North-East of us?
I replied that I had not but immediately went to our deck that runs the whole Eastern length of our house. Mount Sexton is just a few miles to the North-East of us.
This is what I saw!
Apparently, a short while previously the wind had blown down a tree that had fallen across some high-voltage power lines causing sparking that had, in turn, ignited the extremely dry grassland.
The fire was between Oxyoke Road and Three Pines Road and roughly 2 miles from us line of sight.
That explained why some thirty minutes before, in the last of the light of the setting sun, there had been a number of helicopter flights come across us en route to dropping fire retardant close by. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was an incident so close to us.
Many of us living nearby then called each other to spread the word.
Jeannie and I, in turn, drew up an evacuation checklist and started getting things ready. More importantly, getting ourselves psychologically prepared to have to vacate the property at very short notice: Jeannie and me: six dogs; two horses; two parakeets; three cats; two chickens!
Thankfully an order to evacuate did not come during the night.
So yesterday morning I grabbed my bike and rode to Oxyoke Road. On the way I stopped to photograph the smoke in the air.
Once at Oxyoke Road I chatted to a search and rescue volunteer on duty controlling the traffic.
His report, as of 11:30 on September 3rd, was that the fire was just 15% contained, was “pretty active”, and that they were keeping an eye on the winds that were expected to be rather gusty later on that afternoon. I am writing this at 13:40 on the 3rd and the present winds are 6 mph, gusting 12 mph, from the North-West.
I rode back home to brief Jeannie and found her working her way through an idea for evacuating the dogs!
H’mmm! I am not sure Pedy is getting the message!
But a few words from Sweeny seemed to sort things out.
So there you are my good people, a post about dogs! Sort of!
Fingers crossed we will speak again tomorrow!
Assuming we don’t have a repeat of last night’s spectacular sights!!
At least this rural living keeps one fit!