As I write this post, a fire-breathing dragon wreaks havoc in the northern mining and lumber community where I was born and raised—Timmins, Ontario (a.k.a. the City of Gold). This is just one of many fires that has laid claim to over 45,000 hectares of forest. That’s akin to half the size of the City of Toronto.
On Monday morning, Terrol MacFarlane notified me of the horrific situation still unfolding.
She said, “People are throwing their hands in the air and spouting off that all they can do now is pray.” Mortified, she screamed, “What?!!” Then she paused. “Let’s band together. Don’t tell God how big the problem is. Instead, tell Him how big your God is.”
Terrol also pleaded, “Pray for rain! The Noah type of rain!”
I scurried to my laptop, and clicked on the You-Tube video she had just sent. My jaw dropped. I felt like I was hunkered down in a movie theater watching a Stephen King horror flick. The nine minute video broadcast a spine chilling event that began Sunday, May 20th at 10:30 p.m.
The local press reported, “A forest fire broke out in a bush area of Timmins near the bottom of Rae Hill this evening, prompting city officials to evacuate areas east and west of the fire zone.”
As the video rolled, I shuddered. A massive plume billowed thousands of feet in the air, blotting out the early morning sun. Fanned by high winds, the fire crowned, and then tore through the treetops, spewing ash into the atmosphere. The dragon, brandishing a forked tongue, mocked the majestic landscape that lay in its path.
By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, timber dry trees crackled, snapped, and popped like Rice Krispies. A few minutes later, the blazing orange ball scorched the southern edge of the highway. Stunned motorists watched helplessly as the beast swept across four lanes of traffic, sparking fires on the north side. I blinked. All that remained were hot embers and charred vegetation.
The local press went on to say, “Local firefighters scrambled to try to get control, without success.”
As of 8:00 p.m., Thursday, May 24th, the roaring beast continues to ravage the northern frontier.
My prayers for safety and rain go out to the residents evacuated from their homes and cottages, and to the brave firefighters risking their lives for the City of Gold.
To view the video taken by Shawn Winsor, click on this link.
To view the firefighter tribute created by Madeleine Chester, click on this link.
Thank you, Terrol for keeping me in the loop, and for posing this question, “What would you take with you if you had to evacuate your home?”