It was a trying weekend with areas of the North Peace being put on evacuation order and evacuation alert. Relief came early Sunday morning with rain and snow and by the afternoon most orders were rescinded to alerts or lifted completely. This weekend really highlighted that we all need to be ready in case of an emergency. I spent most of the weekend organizing my documents, photos, and items I would want to take if I was put on evacuation order. It is always good to be prepared as we are in for a long hot and dry summer.
Wildfire season has begun early this year due to an extremely mild winter with minimum snow. The ground is dry, the temperature is unusually warm, and when the wind picks up it is the perfect conditions for wildfires to spread quickly. Many of the fires in the region were started with human error…we need to be more diligent and keep ourselves and our neighbours safe by following the fire bans.
It is extremely important to know which region you live in (we are in the Northeast here in the Peace Region…not the Northwest) so we belong to the Prince George fire prohibitions and area restrictions listings. You can get up to date information on prohibitions and restrictions on the BC Wildfire website. Ensure you know what the restrictions are as you could be faced with a fine of up to $1,200! I have heard of a couple of people in the Region already receiving fines.
I mentioned it is important to be prepared. All of us here in the Peace Region have been faced with the reality that someone we know, our family or friends, were or still are on evacuation alert or were evacuated at some point in these past few weeks. It has made me realize that it is really important to be prepared and know what to take (if time permits). Over the weekend I walked around my house thinking what were the items that I just couldn’t live without. I quickly realized that besides my babies (my cats – Bear and Oreo) there wasn’t much I was physically attached too…maybe some photos albums and my computer if I had time. Don’t get me wrong I would be extremely upset if I lost my belongings, but they are belongings and items that can be replaced with time. I did realize that I didn’t have any sort of first aid or emergency kit ready…this was a problem. I found on the Peace River Regional District Facebook page a handy one page image that displays a basic emergency supply kit. I will be organizing this kit to have on hand this summer and so should you.
Thinking about all of the fires that are still burning here in the Peace and the tragic fire in Fort Mac I am once again overwhelmed by the sense of community and how people near and wide are lending a hand in any which way they can. Northerners are a special type of people. They are courageous, strong, and bond together in time of need. I have never lived in a community nor city that has displayed these traits as much as my fellow Northerners. I am once again proud to call the Peace region and the North my home. Stay safe everyone and remember to subscribe to the Peace River Regional RSS feed or their Facebook page to get up to date information.