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Shovel Lake Fire Update

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Shovel Lake fire to the west has grown to over 30,000 hectares (74,131 acres). The fire, she is enjoying her run I suspect, as she's gone south, then west, then east, then north, then back south, back up north - it's like she's going "woo hoo, I have so much area to play."


My co-worker/friend Lynn stated Search and Rescue arrived to her home yesterday and informed she is officially under alert - she's on North Shore, north side of Fraser Lake. She said it was interesting to see how they do this - they put a paper on her door stating she is under alert, provided her with information and placed a ribbon up at the top to indicate her home has been tagged. She's ready to go if needed.

She is affected by the south end of the Shovel Fire, but as she said, it's still quite far from her home. Due to the fact there is only two ways out - one is to get in the lake and wait for help, and the second is to drive either east or west on the (gravel) road to safety, they have to provide early alerts.

Her daughter and son'n'law are affected by the Inland Lake fire on Francois Lake, to the south-west. They have twin girls, who are one year old. Apparently the girls are struggling with the heavy smoke, so they are packing up to head out (but not sure where they are planning to go). I'm not sure how much that one has grown, as the news doesn't focus on central and northern BC. However, the mayor of Fraser Lake stated it has slowed it's progression towards the narrow channel where they feared it would jump Francois Lake, over to the populated area.

Here is a recent photo - people are on the safe side of the fire, with Francois Lake between them and the fire, even though it appears they are in the middle. This is around 50 minutes from my home and where Lynn's daughter and son'n'law live. My friends Wendy and her husband, also live here.

The sun is bright today - yesterday felt like we were in the middle of late fall. The temp is rising too. The winds were rough yesterday, not a good sign. I washed my car as it's white and ash stains white vehicles if it rains. It was also so covered in ash, it looked black. That's not good for anything either, as the ash gets everything. It took a bit to ensure it wasn't stained when I was done, but got it all done. I'm sure I'll do that a few times before the season is over. There is no rain in the forecast.

To the south, around Cache Creek, there are mud slides and heavy rain. My friends who live in Lilloet sent photos of the heavy rains. They were all hit last year with extensive fires, and the vegetation isn't there to hold back the hills.

To the south-east around Pincher Creek (BC), the fires are moving into Alberta. My cousin Sarah is planting trees in the area and they are being closely monitored. She's out of the fire zone, and they've had to switch out a few times where they are planting.

Kootney region (south-east) has had one of the highways shut down indefinitely due to the fires jumping the highway.

There are fires over on Vancouver Island, outside the city where my nephew lives; he's fine.

Up north is devastation, at Telegraph Creek.

Apparently every fire region in BC has fires happening. My brother said the local mill is working at full-out pace, sending out processers and skidders, getting the logs out of the areas around the fires....which comes with "wth" reactions. Profit outweighs safety and common-sense....but the guys, like my brother, for the most part are bush wise and they'll do what has to be done. And if things change, my brother will step up to work hauling equipment if it comes down to that - until then, he'll keep driving until Forestry steps in and shuts down everything.

This is the one my brother detours around, in order to log.


My camera is in my bag, as I'm driving all round the fire zones this week. I will stress, I am safe, my family is safe and hopefully it will rain. (with no lightening storms)

My concern is we will get a call for Mum to go to VGH and if that happens, we'll have to decide if Mum and I will go down by the health bus or if I'll drive the longer route with them both, so they can have a holiday. Or maybe by then, the mud slides would have subsided and fires would not be threatening the highway system.

I forgot to add that piece, to the south-east about 3 hours, they are looking at evacuations from the city of Quesnel (West Quesnel).

My friends, along with my auntie and uncle live in Quesnel, but they are not on the west side. They are safe.

Lovely summer it is here in BC, and I think of all the other areas who are dealing with fires and weather devastation throughout the world. I truly hope everyone reading this, is safe and their loved ones are safe too.
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