British Columbia wildfire season has been devastating, & the season has barely begun. Global warming, & extremely dry conditions have affected our forestry, the ranches, farms, & wildlife.
A province wide state of emergency was declared on July 7th/2017, & very quickly evacuations began. 46,000 have been evacuated from several towns, villages, & our city of Williams Lake was ordered evacuated July 15th. The smoke has been absolutely terrible, & many of the fires were lightning caused. The hectares burnt is unfathomable.
We got out on July 11th as we don’t drive, are disabled, & preferred to leave on the provided school buses to do so, rather than waiting to be ordered to leave within 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours, whatever.
This way we were able to pack some necessities, our pet carriers, food, & head north to Prince George, with our 2 kitties. Our son happens to live here so we had a place to go as many did not, but as we all had to register at reception centers, many found places to stay with Prince George residents, RV parks, & the remaining people are staying in the university gymnasiums, etc. We are also registered with the Canadian Red Cross. As of today, we are 10,000 in Prince George alone.
We are fortunate that the Red Cross & the people here in town have been marvelous with their out-pouring of care & offers for laundry services, entertainments, things for kids, pets stations, etc., free of charge. We have all been provided with vouchers for groceries/personal necessities, & the government has provided an allowance for our son to house us for the duration. Anyone caught short when leaving at the last minute have also been provided with clothing vouchers.
Rescue has been provided for pets lefts behind, & many with horse trailers have rescued horses. Thanks to the SPCA, & private citizens.
Today marks a full 2 weeks since we left home, & it finally looks like things are beginning to get controlled enough for us to perhaps get the news we could begin getting back to our lives. It will have to happen slowly as we can’t all go home at once, but we’re trying very hard not to get anxious.
On the lighter side, we have our 2 kitties with us, our son has 5 cats, & a dog, so its rather an interesting time, but better than having our cats in their carriers all the time. We have our own bedroom, & the cats “argue” with each other under the door, & the dog just barks.
Since fences have burnt, there are cattle all over the roads, so going home could be an interesting ride.
We want to whole-heartedly thank the city of Prince George, the Red Cross, the courteous bus driver who lifted me onto the bus because I couldn’t manage the steep stairs, & everyone who has been so helpful during this dreadful time.
Most of all, we especially want to thank our son, for driving us around on his days off work, providing us with a safe place, good food, & his usual fun company.