The Evacuation Order for Kleena Kleene and Tatla Lake has been lifted. Highway 20 is now open without restriction all the way to Williams Lake.
The above photo was taken by Ken Juvik, the information officer for the BC Wildfire Service. The location is the Anahim Lake mill site where the big fire tent camp is situated for the north parts of Kleena Kleene fire and the Precipice fire. He has been in and out to check on me and the dogs a number of times – and has been the second person to buy Harry’s book!
While I was writing the previous post, a neighbour called to invite me to a pizza dinner. They live in the Order zone and it would take 20 mins to get there, with a stretch of only 5 minutes on the highway. Could I risk it without being stopped by a lockdown patrol? I met half a dozen vehicles and eyed each of them with apprehension, but they were all fire fighters – or, with one exception – other guests to the dinner. It was so wonderful to have a social event again. All of us had great fire stories to tell.
During the time I was there, the Order was Lifted. An automated phone call came to my neighbour’s house. There was an enormous sense of relief. The dinner became a celebration of freedom.
Driving back home I no longer had to sneak around. But it was odd. I had been hiding from the authorities for so long I could hardly get my head around this strange emotion of not feeling guilty. I was reminded of an ant I watched once. It was at Nuk Tessli; a draughty window had been sealed with sheep’s wool and a few fibres trailed onto the windowsill. An ant was harvesting a dead horsefly. However, the fly was caught in one of the wool fibres. The ant trotted along her destined path but as the fly reached the end of the fibre, it became harder and harder for the ant to proceed. Finally the tension was so great that both ant and fly were whipped back to the starting point. Friends were visiting and we laughed and laughed at the ant’s repeated attempts to haul the fly along and her repeated ignominious flights back to the start. In the end, I took pity on her. I cut the wool fibre. Out of consideration for the ant’s plight, I waited until the fibre was completely slack. But the moment I cut the thread, even though there was absolutely no tension on it, the ant went crazy. She still held onto the fly but she ran in all directions and could no longer find her way. Ants follow scent trails. Why would the fibre’s release create a problem? Driving back to my liberated home that evening, I knew exactly how the ant felt.
But it’s not over till it’s over. We have said this among ourselves so often in the last 7 weeks. Warm weather is predicted, which is likely to cause winds and flare-ups. And we will certainly be plagued by smoke – as is the case this morning. But the fire-fighting machine is in place and tomorrow I’m going to town! It’s supposed to still be reasonably cool then, both here and in Williams Lake, 3 and half hours’ east, and if I leave early I should get home before the possibility of increased fire activity.