Fire crews make a difference

Editor: We are overwhelmed with some of the people who went over and beyond their usual scope of their jobs to make a safer world for us.


We are overwhelmed with some of the people who went over and beyond their usual scope of their jobs to make a safer world for us. As many know several wildfires were present this summer in this area but because the Chelaslie fire didn’t impact the more urban environment, other than days of smoky air, you may not know how serious the conditions really were. Over 330,000 acres burned beginning with a lightening hit in early July showing the first telltale mushroom plume on July 8. The wildfire crews are amazing people: hardworking with great attitudes, always a smile even at the end of 14+ hours in the smoke. When over 130 people move into a remote area and set up camp, your world changes and with this group of people, it was definitely for the better.

As many of you know this has been the driest summer in many years out here at Ootsa Lake. With the huge increase of traffic from pickup trucks to low-beds to semi trucks pulling camp trailers in, the surface condition of east Ootsa Lake Road became pulverized. Literally clouds of dust 100 feet in the air with no visibility. The hairpin turns were treacherous and there were too many close calls in spite of drivers staying at the speed limit or less.

Steve Gailing with Lakes District Maintenance came out to look at things and then Josh Pressey with Ministry of Forests Nadina branch made calls to Ministry of Highways and within a few days there was dust control measures taken and visibility returned. It’s really encouraging to know our government and the various businesses involved do work on behalf of the best interests of our people, livestock and wildlife. We are so fortunate to live in this part of the world.

We are grateful to Josh, Steve, Ryan the pilot, Andrew & Shane, lots of Chris’s, Amy, Beth, Donna B, Cliff & Laura and all the others from across Canada (every province but P.E.I.) and Australia.

Happy trails and be safe,

Ian & Annie Van Metre


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