“The impossible just takes a little longer.”
This was the attitude of the Southside Tatalrose ranchers who, with the exception of one man and his two sons, all joined together to fight, and stop, the Nadina Mountain fire. These heroes accomplished this in spite of government bureaucrats who ordered them to evacuate and let the fire burn. The R.C.M.P., whom I have always had great respect for – now I find that they are not an independent force who can think for themselves using logic and common sense, but were ordered by bureaucrats from above to evacuate everyone and block any fuel, food, or equipment to the heroes on the fire line. When they told my son, Justin, and the other men to leave they defied the order saying “The one way we’re leaving this fire line is in handcuffs.” Thankfully that didn’t happen. What repercussions these brave men might face now is unknown.
The nearby community of Takysie Lake was devastated when they were told to evacuate and let the fire burn. Some homes, whose owners defied the order and stayed to protect them, are still standing.
At first the forest service did not have any hope of stopping the confagation but as the days passed and the ranchers held the line, they relented and started helping with water drops etc. to cool the fire a bit before it reached the line. The R.C.M.P. were ordered to prevent and fuel, food or equipment from getting to the firefighters and they had to bring it in on the backroads in the middle of the night. They even warned people that if they tried to cross by boat they could be subject to a $5000.00 fine. To their verdict however, when the saw that the ranchers were doing the “impossible” – holding the fire, despite the hot, dry weather and no help from government, they apparently defied their orders to let the Southside burn and started allowing access. This allowed the good people of Burns Lake and area to come to the rescue or the worn out ranchers and help hold the line.
Needless to say, I am so proud of all these men and the women who stayed behind to feed them. My ranch is still green and the tall timber along the Tatalrose Road and the timber that can be seen by boaters on Francois Lake is still standing for wildlife and everyone to enjoy, hopefully forever. My son and his family are carrying on the tradition of love and respect for the land and nature. I couldn’t be there to help but I am so proud of the heroes who accomplished the impossible.
Former Southside resident