Monday, May 23, 2011

Chinlac Hike - May 22

Paul and Nowell

Today we hiked out at Chinlac, which is just northeast of Vanderhoof.  In 2005 we were hiking there and a big forest fire erupted while we were enjoying our lunch by the influx of the Stuart and Nechako Rivers.  We were a bit scared about it, but I had faith in our experienced leaders.

Gail H. was on the fateful 2005 hike
Gail H. having fun at Chinlac just before the fire erupted

Ok, time to leave!
As soon as the smoke started getting thick, we decided to pack up and leave immediatlely  We were walking towards the smoke plume.  For a bit we were worried if the cars would still be there.  We started spotting spot fires and tried to put them out.  But as we hiked further, there were more and more of them.  The trail that we had walked on an hour or so before was now heading into the fire!  I understand why a recent fire surprised the Slave Lake residents, it comes out of nowhere!

Down below is video that I took of some hikers trying to stamp out spot fires.

We decided to head down to the river and walk there.  We seen water bombers flying by all of a sudden.  I doubt they saw us on the ground.  We walked 1 or so km around the fire and walked back up when it was safe to.

One of many spot fires

Forest before the fire

To be continued.....

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