Friday, May 1, 2009

terrible beauty

Deborah Sharpe/
Yesterday afternoon a small brush fire, whipped by gusting winds, grew into a firestorm 5 miles long and 3 miles wide. It raged out of control for hours, burned 1000 acres and destroyed 8 homes directly across from the York Redoubt Site where I took these photos last February. This park is 4 miles away from my street. 

I was on my way home, mired in traffic, when I heard the news that houses were burning, streets were being closed and residents were being evacuated. I was not sure if my street was affected and I feared that Ms Jigs would be trapped on her own. The adrenaline surge made the drive home almost unbearable and I was tempted to park the car and run. I was lucky. The road closures did not include my street and I found my fluffy friend waiting contentedly at home. The fire situation was still unclear so I gathered a few things and prepared for the possibility of a speedy departure. I did not have to leave. The winds kept the fire moving away from my street and our house was never threatened. The firefighters got some help from mother nature around noon today. Heavy rain showers helped them get things under control and almost all of the evacuees have returned home. The news photos have been surreal, especially the images taken at night when the orange flames made it look like the city was ablaze. 

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