Out of the Smoke

20 Mar

Last summer, Vanderhoof was faced with an emergency situation we all have come to dread – wildfire!

The fire started near Greer Creek, but within a couple of days spread to engulf thousands of hectares. For those of us who live on the shore of Nulki Lake, there was particular fear, as we are surrounded by forest and have only one route to evacuate. If the order came to leave, we all knew it meant GO NOW or risk being trapped. As expected, there was mounting anxiety in our little community during that period, as the fire crept ever closer and we became enveloped in heavy, black smoke.

However, we were met with support and reassurance at every turn, which helped to keep us calm, focused and prepared. We know this didn’t just happen because it was someone’s job. We recognized that many of the folks involved in emergency response don’t get paid but volunteered their time and skills.

Of particular note were the volunteers from Search and Rescue who came to every house to deliver the evacuation alert notices on Father’s Day. We know they all had families and celebrations to attend, but here they were, checking every Nulki residence, summer visitors included, to insure everyone was fully informed, knew how to prepare, what to pack, who to call and where to get assistance should they have to evacuate. They probably answered a million questions that day, and in doing so, helped a lot of nervous people cope with a frightening situation.

The smoke is gone and the fire is now history. But the kindness and generosity of those volunteers will never be forgotten by the Nulki Neighbours! Their extraordinary efforts during the Greer Creek fire of 2010 reflected the true north spirit of volunteerism – supporting and giving back to the community in a truly significant way – for which they should all be very proud.

Note: Evacuation Alerts and Evacuations are only a small part of what Nechako Valley Search and Rescue group does. Check out the photographs of their water rescue practices – in the middle of winter!

Donna Klingspohn

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One Response to “Out of the Smoke”

  1. vanderhoofvolunteer March 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Evacuation Alerts and Evacuations are only a small part of what Nechako Valley Search and Rescue group does.

    Check out the photographs of their water rescue practices – in the middle of winter!!

    http://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=c7ae7141a64c6b1330a578c6363beec8&#!/group.php?gid=2759395148&v=wall

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