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Letter: Buckets full of thanks to B.C.’s firefighters

'In this day and age, it’s all about making ourselves as ready as possible'
Bernhard and Mary Thor.

We’re sending buckets full of deep appreciation out to all the firefighters and BC Wildfire Service personnel who came from near and far to work with their courage and diligence this past summer. Their monumental jobs were nothing short of formidable as they tamed such a tempestuous dragon with a mind of its own, growing and blowing in all directions over the Bendor Range. Whether delivering the goods with boots on in steep terrain, aiming through the smoky air, or over the rough road with machinery, their personal sacrifices and devotion demonstrated genuine inner callings. What we witnessed was outstanding. Thank you all!

In 1970, near Casper Creek, we cleared land, with man- and horse-power, covered by huge amounts of logging debris. As the small trees grew by leaps over time, our labour turned to annual stewarding of the land and managing the surrounding forest. This important activity has become an annual spring workout. FireSafe activities are more important than ever as weather patterns change here and everywhere. We try our best to be prepared.

Thanks to friends, in the nick of time, we obtained our irrigation water from the creek. Since previous wildfires had come too close for comfort, we fortunately invested in high-pressure roof sprinklers for structural protection. Tactical preparation can really help avoid disaster—not only for oneself, but it will positively affect the next-door neighbour’s safety, too, and could even save the whole community from a bad outcome. The BC Wildfire Service and firefighters will definitely benefit if we do our homework. Wherever we are, we all can do better to clean up our places and exercise regular maintenance. But who can tame the wind’s directions and turbulent gusts? In this day and age, it’s all about making ourselves as ready as possible.

At both ends of the Interior Salish corridor, our St’at’imc Nation neighbours have been generous with sharing their land-stewarding practices and Fire-Safe knowledge. The welcome advice was taken to heart and put into action. Glued to his mountain perch this season, the old fellow’s fire education included some extreme hands-on experience and side-by-side instruction from the Salish Crew’s Mount Currie unit. All the generous teachings throughout the years, and particularly this recent close-up mountain episode, have become treasured gifts... as too is our home, still standing!

(Read more about the Thors’ efforts to preserve their home from last summer’s wildfires here.)

Bernhard and Mary Thor // Casper Creek

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