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