When you live in a small community like ours, everybody knows everything, and if you don’t know something- ask the lady at the post office- she’ll bring you right up to speed. I found out how small this town was when we moved into our current home. We discovered that the old lady next door on our right was born and raised in our house- She eventually inherited the house then sold it to the older couple on our left side- who then eventually sold it to us- The biggest news that has hit our community for the past 3 years was when some mischievous teenagers broke into a cottage and stole some alcohol, and the time this interpretative dance/workout called Zumba came to town and is held every tuesday night in our community center.
Everything was quiet and easy going around here until I looked at my phone at work on Tuesday and saw numerous missed calls, serveral new voicemails, and a new message from my wife that said “CALL ME ASAP!!!” So I called her asap only to hear a panicked voice saying “We’re being evacuated from our house!” My initial response was “WHAT!? WE’RE BEING EVICTED!?” shortly after I realized that she was actually saying evacuated not evicted which comforted me even less – Apparently some youngsters thought it would be fun to light up some fireworks during an EXTREME FIRE BAN on our local pride and joy “The Huckleberry Rock Cut” and literally set fire to 10 acres of pristine hiking trails, blueberry bushes, and trees that have been around long before our community was a community. We were given only minutes to grab as many photo albums and sentimental objects as you can stuff into your pockets before the smoke became too thick. There were police barriers on both entrances on the road and a few cops and fire fighters guarding cottagers docks and the golf course that backs onto the lake making sure nobody goes in and everybody is out. I am lucky enough to have 8 chickens in our backyard that I was legally allowed to pass through the police barriers to feed them. I used it as an opportunity to close our windows and close our doors to prevent major smoke damage. We were escorted by a friendly police officer who was just making sure we didn’t go wandering into our neighbors houses to make a quick dollar. Two bomber planes went around and around for hours scooping up water from the lake and dumping it on the blaze. We owe the remaining landscape to our local volunteer fire fighters who battled the blaze well into the following afternoon after the bomber planes were able to stop the fire from spreading. They are still finding hot spots in the area of the blaze underground- the fire is following the root systems from the moss, causing a real headache for the fire fighters. The pictures above barely do the damage justice- but it paints a pretty good picture of what it’s like-
We are now back in our home safe and sound- A big THANKYOU to our volunteers who risked their butts for our houses and our history. Our community will be telling their children and childrens children and childrens childrens children about the fire of 2012.
I was once told to have a bag on standby that you can grab in the event of an emergency like this- but you never think things like this will happen to you- lesson learned.
Here is a link on preparing an emergency bag- http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/green-emergency-pack.htm
- 50 flee as crews fight Muskoka fire (news.nationalpost.com)