Wildfire Weekend

wildfire, forest fire

A wildfire broke out west of town Friday afternoon.

Last Friday I posted Storm Clouds Brewing and talked about lightning and wildfire. Then Friday afternoon an aggressive wildfire broke out west of town. However, this fire wasn’t caused by lightning, it was caused because of an illegal marijuana grow.

wildfire, forest fire, lighting

It formed a huge column and began building it’s own thunder cloud.

air tanker, fire fighting, wildfire, forest fire

The fire crews were scrambled and the air-tankers took to the air.

The thing is, Mary and I were planning a weekend away camping in our trailer at our favorite spot. The problem was, the fire was less then five miles from our camp where we had already staged our trailer. We made the decision to retrieve our trail while the fire was relatively small, only 300 acres.

wildfire, forest fire

As we approached camp the sky became angrier.

wildfire, forest fire

After reaching camp, we packed everything, hooked up the trailer and pulled out. The smoke made it very dark.

wildfire, forest fire

Looking to the sky from camp.

wildfire, forest fire

The fire was two ridges away when we hauled out.

We got the trailer safely home and by the time we went to bed the fire had grown to 2,800 acres.

Saturday was a new day and the fire had not advance too much over night. It was reported at 2,930 acres. We decided to head back up to camp to pick the last of our equipment. Sailor and Kinta came with us this time.

golden retrievers

Sailor and Kinta are ready for an adventure.

 

It was still very smoky up near camp.

It was still very smoky up near camp. An inversion had settled the smoke into the canyons.

By the time we finished the truck was covered in ash.

By the time we finished the truck was covered in ash. Clearly the fire was still actively burning.

Sailor and Kinta find this whole adventure thing quite exhausting.

Sailor and Kinta found this whole adventure thing quite exhausting.

By the time we returned home the fire was still at 2,930 acres. Unfortunately, high winds hit Saturday night/Sunday morning and by Sunday morning it was up to 3,700 acres. The terrain is very steep and it is extremely brushy. Spot fires have been tormenting the firefighters. Just when they seem to getting a handle on it, another slop over occurs. It is now Tuesday night and the fire is reported at 8,100 acres. Today was overcast and calm. Hopefully, they made good progress containing it. The fire is now 1 3/4 miles from camp. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

 

52 thoughts on “Wildfire Weekend

    • Thank you for the cool damp thoughts Paula, we sure could use them right now. A hundred years ago most of the big trees would have survived the fires, because the underbrush was so light. Today most big trees don’t survive the fires, since our forests have become so dense with brush and small trees. Ours is a fire ecology and species here are adapted to it. Nonetheless, it is still tramatic when the forest habitats burn.

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    • We are too Poppy. Yesterday some thin clouds came in and our humidity went up. It seems the firefighters made progress. The humidity is still pretty high this morning so that is a good sign.

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  1. Tim,
    Your report showed me how quickly a forest fire spreads. You and Mary made a wise decision to move your trailer when you did. Did you choose a new spot to camp or postpone the outing for now? I imagine there’s too much smoke in the air to camp anywhere close by. I hope the fire doesn’t come any closer to you!

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    • Hi Linda. We postponed for now. We’re just hoping they can keep it from getting larger. Nothing to do but wait and see. It has burned some of our company land, so our company is providing assistance. Every little bit helps.

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    • Isn’t that the truth. I’m afraid Miss Wildfire has been schooling the firefighters. We debated whether we should get it or not, but decided not to wait. Our big concern was if the fire got big, like it has, they would close the road into camp and we wouldn’t be able to get to it later.

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  2. Very scary situation, it seems that once these fires start it doesn’t take much for them to explode. Glad you guys decided to pack backup and head home.

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    • It’s been a tough fire for the fire crews. The terrain is very steep with poor access and heavy brush. Just when they think they have it, the winds pop up and it spots over the containment lines. I think yesterday they made good progress so we’re crossing our fingers.

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    • Some rain would be good right about now. Unfortunately, we won’t see any significant rain here until September or October. I think the firefighters are going to get it done on their own this time.

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  3. We are in extremely dry conditions in the NWT. In fact we have over 135 fires burning around the territory. There is only one way out of Yellowknife which keeps being closed because of the fires. The thick smoke keeps coming and going. Sure makes the light a weird orangey colour that makes it hard to paint by. I hope the fire is contained. There is a fire near our community that started 36 hours ago…now we wait.

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    • We have the same “orangey” conditions here right now. It is very surreal at times. Is it common for you to have fires like that in the NWT? Unfortunately, this is very normal for us. I guess we are all waiting together. I hope they get your fires contained quickly.

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      • We have fires but we don’t tend to have heaps of them. We are now up to 186. It is the worst fire year since they have been recording such things. Our little government is paying more than 1 million dollars a day to just to fight at the most important areas. We are a territory of 50,000 people so that is a lot of money. The only thing that works in our favour is that our weather cools off after the August long weekend…heres hoping we will get some rain.

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    • I was looking at the Hotspot Detection map of the Western US to see how bad the fires were in general. There were a lot of fires from Northern California and Nevada extending all the way into BC. It looked like there must have been quite a bit of lightning last week. Most appeared to be settled down, but there were a few still going.

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  4. Such a dramatic situation Tim and it is a good thing Mary and you be safe. Sometimes fires spread so rapidly! You took the right decision anyway!
    It’s appalling to see that so many trees burn….Firefighters are so brave.
    I love Sailor and Kinta..
    Hope everything is going to settle down soon.

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  5. Scary camping! The trouble with trailers and all that equipment is it takes time to move. Quicker by far with just a tent and a small spirit stove, sleeping bags and a rubber mat. You can tote that lot.
    Glad you’re safe and hope it burns out soon..

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  6. So glad you and your family are safe and you had time to get your possessions out. I can hardly imagine what that is like. I don’t think we would ever get a fire like that here, although we have had a few very dry years lately.

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    • It all went well and we did retrieve what we needed to. We were back up last weekend and checked things out. The fire was stopped about a mile away. The fire fighters had a tough job. I hope you never have to deal with the kind of fires we get out here.

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    • The fire is now out being mopped up and is well in hand. They haven’t called it contained yet, but they’re close. Unfortunately, there was a fatality. It was a resident who was caught without an escape route. Very tragic. There were also numerous firefighter injuries due to the extremely rugged terrain. Those folks really earned their money on this one.

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