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Forest fire

This picture of the Halifax skyline was taken last night. The smoke is coming from a forest fire that burned to within 500 metres of our house. We packed and got ready to evacuate last night, and didn’t unpack until a couple of hours ago. Fortunately, it’s been raining today and the fire is now under control. It started as a brush fire on Wednesday and grew quickly with high winds yesterday, fed by all the dead wood that’s been on the ground since Hurricane Juan five years ago.

It’s a real eye-opener to have to decide what you want to take with you at a time like that. I was home alone, so I had to do the packing. Of course my first thought was for Chance and the cats. Then, our guitars and my laptop. Thankfully, all my writing is backed up on a flash drive at my parents’ house, but there’s so much other stuff on my computer. I grabbed photo albums and important papers. I thought about my books, but I have too many to think about saving them all.

Which ones did I grab? My great-uncle’s copy of Evangeline. My Lord of the Rings set. My complete Shakespeare. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s journals. My own journals. My illustrated Anne of Green Gables. A biography of Charlotte Bronte. Tasha Tudor’s Garden. Emily Dickinson’s poems. Basically, I tried to choose a few that would be difficult or impossible to replace.

Oddly enough, one thing that never crossed my mind until the danger was all but past was my paintings. Duh! They’re irreplaceable. I suppose I’m just so used to seeing them on the walls that I didn’t think of them.

The extent of the damage isn’t completely known yet, but ten or twelve homes were destroyed and several others damaged, not to mention the acres of forest burned. All because someone got careless with fire. Please don’t!