Well, not really…….but kinda…..
It seems a newish local decided to do some burning on his property a few days ago. He wanted to clean up the bush around his new building site. He did his thing and then hosed it all down. Then he left for the weekend. But he didn’t know what he was doing. The fire had gone to ground and so the roots were left still burning. And the wind was up . The wind was REALLY up. And a forest fire ensued.
He has a partner and the partner showed up later and saw the fire, freaked out and ran for help. He ran to the nearest neighbour. The neighbour has a phone. The newbies don’t have one (at least not one getting reception). Neighbour is on satellite service and together they phone 911. Mildly hysterical. 911 answers. 911 on satellite is answered in Houston, Texas. Operator there doesn’t know from BC. Doesn’t know from remote islands. Satellite 911 less useful than the fire. Hysteria escalates. So does the fire.
Neighbour gets on VHF radio. Calls neighbours. Most neighbours are not monitoring VHF but enough are. Mind you, the ‘enough’ are mostly 65+. Still, a dozen golden oldies and a woofer show up with shovels. Smoke everywhere. So thick is the smoke, they cannot find the flames. More VHF calling gets through to the BC Fire Service and, within a few hours helicopters and a water bomber are on site.
Neighbours are sent home. The pros are now on the job. And this crew, it seems are good. They go at it and within 48 hours or so they have it contained and likely under control. They don’t say that but it feels that way. The reason they are reluctant is that the larger fire has also gone to ground. They know about that and need to do post-flame fire fighting. In comes a big pump and down goes a few miles of temporary pipe and hosing. Pump runs for two more days. Firefighters camp overnight. When they are established, they quit the camp-out but continue the dousing. Two more days of pumping and drenching.
The fire is out.
They did good.
Sal was at the post office today. The mail plane complete with five tourists came in. When they landed, the pilot ran into the office, “Can I use the phone?” Informed that there was no phone, but (get this!) he managed to hail another plane from the ground. Sal has no idea how he did it because the reason he wanted the phone was because the electronics on his plane went down and when a plane drops communications, they assume it has gone down. He was trying to head off a air/sea search launch.
The second plane relayed a message back to base. Two planes were then sent out to retrieve the tourists. Pilot then borrowed the small tool kit at the post office and fixed the electrics using PO duct tape. Sal gave him a muffin.
He hugged everyone and flew off.
Neighbour came in wanting to buy one of our books. No money. Traded goat cheese.
Sal had been there late. Just came home. Another day. Another adventure.