Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fire Update

Update on my British Columbia friend's forest fire situation:

Today the evacuation order came, and she, her grown son who works with her, and one of her interns decided to defy the order and stay at the farm. Other workers and her son's family left. It's the peak of harvest season, and with the continuing hot dry windy weather she has to dole out every precious drop of irrigation water she can to thirsty crops. She can run the well for 30 minutes, then lets it rest again and refill, then runs another 30 minutes...sometimes round the clock.

Tonight she called to say the hill on the other side of the railroad track that borders her vegetable fields is burning. THAT'S REALLY CLOSE! At times they've been able to feel the heat of the fire over and above the heat of the weather. They are standing watches tonight to look out for sparks on her parched land.

If they cross the barricade at the end of the road, they can't come back. Friends have arranged to meet them there with trucks, and pass boxes of produce over and do their best to get her orders out. The income is essential to her operation--and many veggies don't keep, and even so her small on-farm cold storage would soon be inadequate.

She has sent all her valuable papers, computer, etc. "outside" already, in case she would need to flee in a hurry, so she has no email contact with bank or customers (or friends). I'm really glad that we've been talking on the phone a lot more this summer, so that line of communication is already established.

Her great sense of humor is intact, so far. Someone asked her "What will you do with your pigs if the fire comes to your farm?" She replied, "Throw them some apples and toss in some barbeque sauce!"

1 comment:

Wandering Coyote said...

This is just terrible...My friend in near Chase is dealing with a fire in that community, too. This has been a terrible fire season.