There were angry grumblings form the Nimpo lake/Anahim Lake residents when they were put on Evacuation Order and subjected to what was virtually a lockdown. The communities are 30 km from the Precipice fire, which seemed to be largely under control. It is being blasted by huge crews of firefighters and helicopters. All this according to the Facebook reports I receive from residents there. (By the way, a publisher gave me a Facebook page but I never normally do Facebook and never check my page. So don’t bother to write to me that way.)
The majority of residents in Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake decided to stay put. However, if they were caught driving around, they got a bollicking from the cops. Knowing they might be shut in for a while, people went to the store and tried to buy supplies. A cop was waiting there and ranted on about that they’d had a month to get stocked up, and if they chose to disobey the Order, they had to stay on their properties. (I had been trying to go to Williams Lake to shop for over 5 weeks by then It was not from want of trying.) The cop said if he caught them running around a second time without a permit, he would force them out of the area.
One man went to the dump – he figured that was a necessary job. He thought he’d pop into a neighbour close by – the cops caught him and accused him of “loitering” and gave him a hard time. And this person is a staunch and much valued member of the community! And the cop even knows him!
We swapped stories on the phone. A woman got fed up staying inside and went for a walk with a neighbour. Part of their route was along Highway 20. The heard a car coming and ran for the bushes to hide. Sure enough it was the lockdown police. They were not seen, but my friend was wearing a pink sweatshirt. She vowed to put on her cammos next time she went for a walk.
“It’s funny,” she told me on the phone “- but it’s not really funny either.” I had been skulking out of sight for so long it was less unusual for me to behave this way.
Throughout the whole time of the fire, groceries had continued to be delivered to the store on Tuesdays. I was running out of a few things like organic nuts and miso, but I wouldn’t have been able to get them from the store anyway. However, I was getting short of dog food. I phoned up to check that the shipment had arrived. Apparently, that evening, shoppers had been stopped again, so I vowed to sneak in early Wednesday morning. The fire is usually calm then – and maybe the hard-working lockdown police would be having a lie-in.
First I went to my post office. Kleena Kleene has had only one mail delivery since the fire began. However, some mail has arrived by air at Nimpo, and as I used to have my address there, occasionally odd letters turn up – usually from government departments, despite my repeated telling them to change. Fortunately the post person knows me and she emailed me that, while Kleena Kleena had been upgraded to alert a week or so back, a letter had been put by her into my KK mailbox.
It is in the opposite direction to the store. I went there without incident and then to Nimpo, seeing no one but fire-fighting crews on the road. I was a bit early for the store (which opens at 8.00:AM this time of year) so went to the Tweedsmuir Air float plane base to chat and have a coffee. (I didn’t realize at the time that I was actually “loitering.”) In fact, Anahim and Nimpo Lakes were upgraded to Alert later that day. Kleena Kleene remained on Evacuation Order. The police barricade was moved east to compensate. Another neighbour went to the store a bit later than me, and drove home just as the new barrier was being put up behind them. They got through just in time!
Nimpo Lake had been comparatively clear of smoke, but I could see part of the KK fire as I came closer to home.It wasn’t long before I was back in the smoke.I have noted that the smoke thickens as the wind just begins to start up. That is when it smells the strongest – the flames are beginning to stir. Once it gets going, the smoke rides much higher and the ground becomes clearer again. This had happened for a couple of days, now – before I went to the store there were some nice afternoon pyrocumuli from the south end of the fire.The north end was also showing activity.But things quieted down as the sun went to bed. The same pattern happened the day I went to the store. But that afternoon, the fire exploded.