As I write this I am coming to the end of my SIXTH WEEK since the evacuation from 100 Mile House. I am still staying with my sister’s family in Surrey and my horses and chickens are still being housed at a stable in Delta BC. My pigs were in Kamloops but we moved them closer to home and they are staying safe and sound to continue growing until it is time for them to be butchered.
I’m in a bit of an odd situation though because while my property is actually located in the community of Lone Butte, my mailing address is in 100 Mile House and was included in the initial evacuation order. That order was rescinded 13 days later and then three hours later the communities south of highway 24 which included my residence in Lone Butte, as well as Watch Lake and North Green Lake were put on evacuation ALERT. This particular alert is for the Elephant Hill Fire. Which is still, six weeks later burning out of control and destroying homes, livelihoods and neighbourhoods. AND much closer to my home than when the alerts & orders first came out.
This has been a long and exhausting experience with as yet, still no end in sight. For those who may be unaware, this year has been unprecedented in the amount of land that has been destroyed by forest fires. Our province has been under a government ordered state of emergency since early July. Firefighters from all over the world have been here for weeks to bolster the crews, while RCMP and military personnel have been on the ground assisting people who have to evacuate their homes and then providing security for neighbourhoods, communities & towns. I am not alone in my profoundly heartfelt gratitude for these brave people.
However, I am exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Like many others I am fed up too. I’ve been second guessing myself continually and have, in fact thought about heading home a couple of times. My head & heart tell me I should just suck it up and take the chance and go home, but my gut is saying no. Wait. And each time that I’ve thought “Well I’ll just go home tomorrow and see what’s up” there is a flare up on the fire. So I stay where I am with my animals and hope and pray daily that this will end soon. One way or the other – because having everything hanging in limbo is wearing exceptionally thin right now.
Oh – and assistance that is supposed to have been there weeks ago from the gov’t via red cross disaster relief is not exactly forthcoming. I’ve been in touch weekly, followed all instructions faithfully and still getting the run around. I realize that there were a lot of people that needed and applied for assistance at once – I am ONE if those, but many have already been home and received all three levels of assistance, while I’m just waiting for the first round. I am not bashing any volunteers – and I do understand that some things take time – but this entire situation from the initial response to the wildfires through to information sharing and red cross funding assistance has been (and continues to be) very poorly executed. It seems as though our political leaders and media are more concerned with photo ops & the latest tweets from the idiot in office south of the border -than with the real emergency that is still unfolding in our province. Oh – and Mr. Horgan & cohorts – the province of BC DOES NOT END AT HOPE.
In any event I am through ranting. I just want to be able to go home, safely. Without fear of having to uproot my animals yet again because the fire is still active and growing in my direction. Breathe, Laurie, just breathe… You, the Dogs, cat, chickens and horses are all fine.