Sunday, July 6, 2014

Smoke gets in your eyes . . . and lungs . . . and hair . . .

The Northwest Territories is having its worst fire season on record. So far, there have been 141 fires, 26 of which have been extinguished.

Kakisa, a lovely little community south of Great Slave Lake, was evacuated a few days ago. Although the fire took a run at it, none of its signature log buildings were burned. Things did not go so well at the Hoar Frost River, in the East Arm of the big lake, where a home was burned to the ground.

Highways have been closed and re-opened due to smoke, and the fire has come dangerously close to the fibre optic line that keeps everything from the internet to bank machines working in Yellowknife, N'dilo, Dettah and Behchoko.

Friday night we received a call from the territorial government to see if anyone was out at our cabin along the Ingraham Trail. They were planning to close the road, and wanted to know who was in the area. Memories of the fire that came through in 1998 and wiped out a neighbouring cabin, just a few hundred metres from ours, but left ours standing. A couple of scorched pillars supporting the outhouse was the only damage.

We've had a lot of smoke in town. The photo above shows the hazy shoreline across from our house. That by no means has been the worst. There have been a couple of times when you could only see a few hundred yards.

In the meantime, we wish for rain and cooler weather and hope that things do not get worse.