Wildfires Held

Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 1
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 1
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 2
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 2
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 3
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 3
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 4
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 4
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 5
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 5
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 6
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 6
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 7
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 7
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 8
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 8
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 9
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 9
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 10
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 10
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 11
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 11
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 12
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 12
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 13
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 13
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 14
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 14
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 15
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 15
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 16
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 16
Wildfire - Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada - 17
Wildfire – Hutch Lake, Alberta, Canada – 17

The school year is complete and I am settling into summer bit by bit. For the most part we have a smoky haze surrounding us. Ten kilometres south of High Level, Alberta a wildfire burns and tonight’s most current report is that fire is being held. But, there are sixty wildfires in our region, some threatening communities; residents in the community of North Tallcree have been put on evacuation alert. We are not quite a tinderbox, but our forests are dry and we’ve had little rainfall.

Yesterday, I drove out to Hutch Lake, 20 kilometres north from High Level and saw that forest on the east side of the highway was smouldering; air tankers and helicopters slinging water were dropping water on the fire. I was able to photograph a team of the smaller Amphibious Airtankers as they dropped water on fires and skim across Hutch Lake loading water into pontoon tanks.

Listening to – Gillian Welch’s ‘Red Clay Halo,’ Billy Bragg and Wilco’s rendition of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Airline to Heaven,’ Badly Drawn Boy’s ‘A Minor Incident’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Shelter from the Storm.’

Quote to Consider – “Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times … I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliot Erwitt

13 thoughts on “Wildfires Held

    1. Hello, hello:

      It is something when in the same day both the sun and moon appear as red-orange disks in the sky. We are still able to see our neighbors’ houses with the smoke up here, but it has been thick at times. And, there has been a concentration of firefighting efforts surrounding communities.

      Hopefully, a good rain will help with things. Take care …. 😉

    1. Hey there, Maralee:

      We have clearer skies today and it’s Canada Day. I hope rain finds its way to both our locales – it’s needed. We are blessed with firefighters, pilots and experienced wildfire strategists, up here. And, we are dealing with a year when the snow pack has been thin and the moisture in the ground has been limited.

      Stay safe, too.

    1. Hello, hello …

      I posted an image of the late night sun from within a smoke haze from Saturday night. It looks like the smoke you’re getting is likely from Saskatchewan – there, they’ve started evacuating northern communities.

      1. I’ll look for that photo. Another very red sun this evening so I took a few quick shots. The moon should be out soon and I’ll see if it is red again.

        Yes, I heard on the news about towns being evacuated.

      2. Just looked outside and the moon is very red. News reports say the smoke has drifted across much of the Upper Midwest in the US.

        One summer back in the mid-1990’s I was working in the Superior National Forest when there were some huge fires in Ontario. Although I was many miles from Canada I could smell the smoke from the fires. That must have been some intense burning. I remember actually getting nervous and thinking there was a forest fire close by.

      3. Up here, the moon was more clear than red last night.

        The Superior National Forest is just under Ontario … you would have been very close to that fire; smoke and perhaps heat/weather may have changed in relation to the fire. You would hope for very good communication about the fires on either side of the border. Currently, my daughter is the nervous one in our household. Most people on our street have bags packed in case of evacuation.

        The smoke is around us, here, in a haze. I drove out west from High Level last night and two fires have now merged into one of 12500 hectares. My vice-principal e-mailed staff to let us know that our school gym will be used for one of the communities being evacuated last night – North Tallcree; it’s possible that another community will be coming in today from Meander River. I was out near the airport last night when all air tankers returned; they’d had a long day and were touching down between 10:00-10:20 p.m..

      4. Even my contract officer seemed unaware of the Ontario fire until I told him (I heard about it on a public radio news show). It was very dry in the SNF that year, too.

        I’ve been looking at photos and news reports on the net from Canada. It is very smokey indeed. This must be difficult for people with lung problems and for the elderly and very young.

        How did these fires start? And are the fires burning in forests killed by pine bark beetles?

        I hope all goes well for you, that the fires slow down and rain comes.

      5. Good day, good day …

        It is quite smoky, our way. Yesterday we had a minor rainfall and it seemed to clear the air for us; today, it’s back to smoke and haze. Smoke is difficult for our elderly with respiratory problems – the wildfire management team has advisories about steps to take … one of them being seeing a medical professional. Perhaps it’s a good thing that this is happening during summer holidays so that kids can be away from the fires and smoke.

        The fires have all been started through lightning strikes in a very dry year; we are center-point to the world’s largest timber stand. The pine bark beetles are a problem usually associated with the province next to us to the west, British Columbia. There have been fires in the Okanagan area associated with the beetles.

        Thank you, for your well wishes on behalf of all, up here. Take care …

      6. I’ll be staying tuned, as they say, to events happening where you are.

        I was looking at the local weather report for where I live and in addition to sunny to partly cloudy they also noted “smokey”. There is a haze in the upper atmosphere that doesn’t look like the usual white cirrus clouds.

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