Our Most Precious Belongings
My daughter and her husband were on evacuation stand-by, in West Kelowna, last week. Every night, they watched the 260 hectares fire burn across the road.
The shift of the wind, the temperature, the rain forecast, the number of fire fighters, the sound of aircrafts with retardants and water bombers, these became their life’s focus. Ours too.
I had fire updates on www.castanet.net on speed dial. So did she. While she was at work, I texted her immediately if I saw the posts first.
Some of the people in her neighbourhood acted like the fire was a sideshow. My daughter said, at night, families sat on their roofs to get a better view. Forest fires were a fact of life, in the Okanagan, they said. Everything would be fine.
Not everyone was so unperturbed. When she came home from work early to pack, the first day of the fire, an elderly neighbour came over and asked my daughter if she would come and get her if they had to evacuate.