We took a trip to Wauconda this morning to take some photos for a Seattle newpaper and on the way home we decided to go through Bonaparte, Lost Lake, then up Havillah Road to home in Oroville. Along the way we noted a light dusting of snow on the hill tops. Too soon!!

Snow On Bonaparte

Snow On Bonaparte

And a quick stop at Lost Lake – it was darn chilly at 34º. We made it a really quick stop.

Lost Lake, Okanogan Highlands

Lost Lake, Okanogan Highlands

We also passed another dusting of snow on a roadside cut just 10′ off Havillah Road at Hungry Hollow Road. Might have to dig out the cross-country skis sooner than I thought!

It was such a nice day we decided a quick detour up Nine Mile Road was needed – good choice! There’s no time of the year this isn’t the most beautiful place on Earth.

Oroville And Cascades Beyond

Oroville And Cascades Beyond

Love with a little laughter

by Dennis Peterson

Shannon Rider Garoutte has, in a single image, given us all a smile, shown us our animals also need our love and help, and demonstrated that we cannot forget to find a moment to laugh when all around us has gone off the rails. Brilliant, funny, poignant.

Shannon Rider Garoutte Photo

Shannon Rider Garoutte Photo

I’ve bit my tongue for the past few days but I just need to speak my mind.

So begins Joanne’s Facebook post. We’re listening.

The media has hundreds of articles about the fires. Interviews and pictures of ground crews, shots of bombers and stories of last minute evacuations. But there is something going on right up on those fire lines the media doesn’t show you. It’s the heavy equipment operators. Nowhere to be seen in these photos. They are the dozer operators in deep in the fire zone making fire guards and clearing pads for emergency evacuations. They are the skidder and water tanker operators supplying the water to fight these fires and making it possible for these ground crews to do their work. They are the truck drivers standing by ready to move all the equipment at a moments notice.

These operators take every bit the risk as the other fire fighters but they also risk something else. Their livelihoods. Those are their trucks, dozers, skidders and water tankers. The rest of the year, that equipment puts food on their family table. I can’t imagine how it must feel to look down on your own equipment surrounded by fire as you are being evacuated in a helicopter because the fire took a sudden turn. I can’t imagine how hard it is to go all night trapped by the fire with no way out and all you can do is hope and pray you make it out.

These are not men from far away places. These are locals who have set aside their businesses here in Nipawin, White Fox and area to work on these fires.
All that we the friends and family ask is that those in charge step it up and ensure their safety and that they are being treated as they should be, as heroes too.

Joanne Francis Photo

Joanne Francis Photo

This and other dramatic and beautiful photos can be seen on John Lindsey’s Facebook page. Please visit and comment his fine photos.

John Lindsey Photo

John Lindsey Photo

Nine Mile Fire Zone

Nine Mile Fire Zone