A man who lost his family’s home in Montelake, British Columbia, said his sister had escaped while the car’s tires were melting.
Kevin Cook said his sister Jackie Cook left when told by the fire brigade, but was unable to save her cat, bird, or mother’s ashes from a fierce wildfire.
He said she managed to collect the dogs.
“When she left, her van tires were melting,” he said in an interview with Alta’s Sylvan Lake. “She only wanted to grab a box of my mother’s ashes, but she couldn’t even do that.”
Jackie Cook is one of many who was kicked out of his home on Friday by a wind-fueled wildfire in British Columbia Interior.
He said the family wanted their property safe as the fire brigade was pumping water right next to the house to fight the wildfire.
Kevin Cook finally contacted his sister over the weekend and said she was surprised at the speed of the flames.
“It was so crazy because all the hell was unleashed and it came down the valley,” he said. “It jumped the track and went up to both sides.”
He said there were no warnings from local governments or governments about the threat posed by the fire.
The property was not insured because the insurance inspector reschedule the inspection for COVID-19, Cook said.
Cook said his sister had recovered and started an online fundraiser to feed the animals she cares for.
The devastation was due to cooler temperatures and better fire conditions, giving the crew the same effort to fight the White Rock Lake wildfire that struck Monte Lake.
Taylor MacDonald, fire intelligence officer at BC Wildfire Service, said the fire (burning nearly 560 square kilometers) on Monday was not growing very well.
“It was a bit of a pardon for the ground crew,” she said. “We continue to monitor the weather.”
More than 160 firefighters, 138 structural guardians, 16 helicopters and 53 heavy equipment are fighting fires.
The weather forecast shows the hot and dry weather returning to the area. McDonald’s says the fire department is watching carefully.
According to the Ministry of Forestry, there are currently about 270 wildfires, most of which occur in the southern inland, and eight wildfires have occurred in the last two days.
The wildfire service said it has begun cleaning emergency guards south of the fire by scraping brushes and debris with heavy machinery in case the wildfire advances.
McDonald’s also advised residents who may have chosen to stay behind to work to save their property from an invading fire.
“There are well-trained and well-equipped firefighters here who can safely start a fire,” she said. “It’s not safe to do their job when you have to worry about residents who haven’t been evacuated or who are left behind to fight a fire.”
Public Security Minister Mike Fernworth said in a statement that he understood the stress of residents forced to leave the house, but emphasized that evacuation orders and warnings were not neglected.
“People must follow those orders and leave as soon as an evacuation order is issued,” he said.
Wet weekends allowed the city of Vernon to lift evacuation alerts triggered by the same fire, but orders or alerts from three districts, two communities and two indigenous peoples are still in place. ..
According to the state, about 6,600 properties were ordered to evacuate in BC, and residents of more than 32,000 properties are said to be ready to leave in a hurry.