July 10th, 2015 by Jan

I know because of my post on FB about Peet, some people who have never been here before may be taking a look. Please know my story about Peet is the story after this one. Scroll down and thanks.

Today I have no pucky to write anything. Ken and I are grieving Peet so much, it hurts.

So today I have copied and pasted info about the fire, that others have written.

The first is from our friend Kassie, whose house we bought here in Sechelt. She gives better fire updates than I can, but her words echo mine. Under that is some education about fire terminology that helps me understand things better when official updates come in.

We’re holding our own.
Our Fire is now 300+ hectares large, still burning, with 40% containment. This means that currently they’ve stopped it from burning into our residential areas. They did, as a precaution, evacuate 18 remote homes that are accessible by boat only.
Air quality here is a hit and miss thing. The smoke is thick and nasty at times. Ash falls like snow at times. It all depends on the winds shift. The windows are getting a workout.
We just got 20 firefighters shipped in from Ontario yesterday, yaaaay. So our manpower in firefighters as grown to 100 personnel doing three, round the clock shifts. This will make a huge difference in containment.
So all in all, compared to other BC fires … like the two wildfires currently burning in pemberton, bc … which just one of those is well over 20,000 hectares burning … We can’t complain, as odd as that sounds.
The weather people say that we might get rain within days. All we’re saying is … Make it rain for a week straight with no lightning, please!

Many people seem to be confused about the terminology used in forest fire control. Here is a bit in layman’s terms:
Command: The organization that is charged with administering fire operations. It could be the Forest Service, a timber company, a local fire department, or a native band.

Control: When the command organization is confident that they have the resources to deal with the advance of the fire, it is said to be under control. A fire which is out of control means the command organization is not confident the advance of the fire can be stopped.

Contained: A fire is said to be contained when it has a ‘guard’ around it. This is a pathway about 1m wide cleared down mineral soil (ie: not combustible material). It can be wider if cleared by machines such as a bulldozers, but most places on the Coast it is done by hand (due to inaccessibility by machines, too steep). This is the main job for ground fire crews. In very steep areas too dangerous to work with ground crews or machines, a fire can be deemed guarded by fire retardant lines laid down by air tankers (waterbombers using water mixed with non-flammable chemicals). It can also mean portions or all of the fire has come up against non-combustible material (Rock bluffs, water bodies). THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE FIRE IS OUT. It is certainly possible for the fire to jump the guard if winds come up. Once the guard is in place, the fire is monitored constantly for escapes, which are attacked and guarded again.

Mop-Up: Putting out hot spots within the guarded area is known as mopping up. A fire is said to be, say, 40% mopped up when that amount of total area of the fire is out. Mop up is done from the around the guard, in towards the centre of the fire area to secure the perimenter. On large fires, it is not always practical or necessary to mop up 100%.

Patrol/Monitor Stage: The fire has been mopped up, and is being patrolled for hot spots on foot, from the visually from the air, or with infra red scanners (like night-vision goggles) for hot spots.

Out: Once the fire area has been patrolled for an amount of time with no hot spots observed to the satisfaction of the Forest Service, the fire is deemed to be out. This does not mean it is safe to enter the area, as much of the standing burnt trees and ground will still be unstable.

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