Once again, the nightmare of a wildfire descended on the central Okanagan, reminding us of the horrendous 2003 wildfire that forced the evacuation of almost 28,000 people and destroyed 239 homes. This time though, the fire was very literally around the bend from us in Trader’s Cove, a small neighbourhood just north of us, overlooking the log booming grounds right beside the park. The fire was just behind a ridge, but just meters from houses.
This time though, we took advantage of our location and retirement lifestyle to grab our chairs and become onlookers as the aerial battle began.
At first, it was just a helicopter bucketing water from the lake and dropping it near the fire-fighters on the ground.
It didn’t take long for the small water-bombers to show up.
Watching the three fly down to skim the water and then zoom up to drop their loads was a fascinating show, as these pilots follow each other in quick succession. Look how close they get to each other!
We know the homeowners were unsettled, but the speed and intensity of the firefighting response must have been comforting. Eventually, the bombers pulled back, but the helicopter continued for some time, and the on-the-ground crew stayed on overnight. No homes were lost, and the news reported that the fire was caused by an unattended campfire, left by someone who was rough-camping up the hill. They left their tent and possessions behind and as far as we know, they never did identify themselves, likely because of the criminal charges and the cost of the firefight that they would have to face.