Ahhhhhhhhh……after a LOONGGGG and cold winter summer feels lovely…..and HOT! We have had a string of very hot weather here out west. When we arrived at our new homestead last spring the summer was the wettest that had been seen in ages. Now we are back in the heat again.
In this part of the country, heat means..forest fire season!!!! We currently have over 200 forest fires burning around the province. As we are outside of the fire control area (which means if we have a house fire…we are on our own), it is imperative to be vigilant in everything we do. This means of course no campfires, but it also means no cooking fires, using a chainsaw and even using the atv in the bush has to be done carefully.
Remote ranches are bringing in fire equipment (bulldozers, water containers, gas water pumps and hoses). We have been going over fire strategies. Making sure all vehicles (including ATVS etc) are full of gas. Chainsaws and any equipment is fully functional and full of fuel…including the tractor, water pumps etc.
In case of a fire the tractor can be used to make a fire break along with the chainsaw. Cell phones need to remain charged and ready. Water containers to be filled for easy pumping. Even if you have electricity PLEASE don’t depend on it! Most power will go out in a forest fire. Gas water pumps will be necessary. Note the trees around your home…how close are they. Trees should not be close to the house (recommendation is at least 10 meters away). A tin roof is good but embers will fall from roof and fall in gutters and can be trapped..thus igniting debris in the gutters. Be aware of all fire hazards.
A means of communication is so important! We have both a radio powered by rechargeable batteries (can be charged on the generator) and also crank radios. We also have personal radios in which to communicate over short distances with each other.
In 2003 my hubby and I met during a forest fire evacuation. Yup it was the start of a fiery romance (kidding) …… a “hot affair”??? (also kidding). Lets just say we started off on an adventurous beginning and have kept the theme going for 14 yrs. Some of the important things we learned from narrowly escaping a forest fire before are the things I mentioned above……a few more important things we learned are these:
-have a plan before a problem arises
-know more than one escape route
-communicate this plan to others (including relatives whom you would be contacting in emergency and also your children)
-plan ahead for animal care and housing. In the previous fire we experienced not all animals could be evacuated in time. Without power many could not leave water for animals as their wells had electric power pumps. Plan in advance. If you have to leave can you get your animals out and if not can your open gates etc so they have a chance to leave if the fire approaches. Plan emergency water sources.
-prepare paperwork/emergency numbers/photos etc in one area so that they are easy to grab. During an evacuation you may only have a short period of time to accomplish everything…preparing is key.
-honestly the having your vehicles gassed up just can’t be stress enough. We saw many many people stranded on remote roads with cars/trucks with no gas. Many had no way out. Don’t be one of them!
As you can tell the wildfires are formost on our minds. But these past few weeks have brought lots of fun times as we have enjoyed the hot sunny days.
Catching frogs with friends and playing in our pond:
Hiking for Fathers Day…..
And attending a family wedding…..check out Cowboy!!!
Stay cool, stay safe, and have a wonderful summer!!! We will keep you posted on our adventures….and our fire rating!!!
The Prayerful Pioneer xo