SLAVE LAKE FIRE

[It can never happen here.  Right.  That’s what we’re hoping.  Sure, in Greenstone we live in a region where a natural disaster is two weeks without sunshine, or snow on Canada Day weekend.  No earthquakes . . . no tsunamis . . . no active volcanoes or tornados. 

We’re lucky.  I’m a person who likes to be reminded, regularly, how lucky I am.  That’s one reason I watch the news . . . regularly. 

A few years ago Olga and I paid a visit to Slave Lake, Alberta, a day’s drive from Edmonton.  Olga was looking for one of her long-lost relatives.  We got lucky, and found her.  She was glad to see HER  long-lost relative.

So when the news was filled recently with images and stories of the great fire that engulfed great portions of that community, we had an emotional connection.  Also, a couple of my former students (our offspring’s friends) have a home there.

The thing about a forest fire is, it can happen here.  In Greenstone.  It happened once before, in 1936, when a fire surrounded the fledgling community of Geraldton and wiped out some homes and the superstructures of an active gold mine.

In 1999 a fire threatened  Beardmore – burned over 50,000 hectares all around it*.

We’re heading into a dry season.  The ditches are dry, the frogs have re-buried themselves till next spring, the stream levels are falling quickly, and we have yet to get a healthy rain.  All signs point to an active forest fire season this year. 

Here is a PowerPoint show embedded in an e-mail.  Click on either “View online” or “Download”, and then click on each slide.  Tremble for yourself and your fellow man.  And if you live in a flood zone, consider yourself lucky.]

SLAVE LAKE FIRE

[*For the metrically illiterate, 50,000 hectares is 123,500 acres.]

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About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website www.WhiskyJackPublishing.ca
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