Saturday 30 May 2015

A Guy Has To Eat

I live in a province that has issued a province wide fire ban. That means no open fires at all, anywhere, “that means you!” and be careful with that ATV. God help you if you toss a lit cigarette out the window when you are driving. If you are stupid enough to have a fire in the city, you have to keep it small, away from anything flammable and be able to extinguish it at a moments notice.


I am sitting here looking out the window at the rain dripping off of the leaves of our birch tree. It is pooling on the roads and there are birds washing themselves in the puddles. It’s about time too; those birds were getting pretty ripe. I guess it has been raining for about four hours now and hopefully it will continue all night. That should make the firefighters and farmers in this area pretty happy. Unfortunately, I suspect that the rain is contained around this area and it is still tinder dry in other parts of the province where 41 fires are burning approximately 43,000 hectares. Hopefully this rain will move to where it is most needed in the coming days.

There was this guy I went to school with that I asked if he had a summer job. He said that he was going to catch a flight out to northern BC and fight fires for the summer at $18/hr. That was real good money back then. “How do you get a job like that?” I said. He told me that he doesn’t have a job yet, but he will just hang around a town up there and before too long there will be an out of control fire and they will need people to fight it. I wondered how dangerous the job was and he told me not at all. They drop your team and some shovels at some remote location by helicopter and you are supposed to make a fire break. The reality is that there is no way you can do that job without a couple of weeks and a backhoe.

“Well, what do you do all day?”

He smiled one of those Cheshire Cat smiles, “Well, usually we are dropped half way up a mountain and it has a really good view of the fire off in the distance. We smoke weed all day and watch the smoke blow around in the wind. Most of the time we can’t even smell the smoke, they don’t let untrained fighters any where near the actual fire.” He told me that a lot of the fires are started by humans that need work for the summer, probably some of the guys he was working with.

Well, so much for my faith in the human race. I guess a guy has to eat. 

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