Yes we are home safe and sound. It took three hours to get back home yesterday afternoon. I had started this post yesterday but by the time the RV was emptied and things put away I was totally worn out. Today I did the RV laundry and made sure that everything that belonged here in the house was in the house. I always forget the hot mats 🙄 Tomorrow the RV bathroom and kitchen gets cleaned along with a vacuum. No sense dusting as somehow the dust gets in while it is in storage.
Our home as well as all of Holiday Park is wonderfully fine. Lots of ash and debris to be cleaned up but that is to be expected. Some who stayed wished that they had left. Others were alright with staying. I am still glad that we left, in our minds it was the right thing to do. Friday the day we left was the worst of all we have been told. The firefighters worked so hard in the most difficult situations, 16 hour shifts breathing that toxic smoke. Monday the toxicity numbers were off the chart. Yesterday they were down 50% and today even better. The air quality has been at an 11+ for several days.
I have to say that when we opened up the house yesterday we never expected to smell so much toxic smoke. I coughed and coughed. However with all of our windows open it did not take long to clear out. There was quite a bit of ash all over which Colin cleaned up with his “leaf sucker upper “, no idea what it is called. First we fed the girls a late lunch and then we unloaded. Of course I had packed more than we need as we did not know if we would ever be back. Better to have more than less. And for those who want to know, I did not do my kinesiology exercises while away, nor last night. I should resume today but I made the decision to do this post instead. Not your fault but mine!!
For certain mañana. Thank you all for reaching out to us, it really did help ground us. The girls loved their walks and Colin enjoyed his guitar and me my vino and a book. We really went back and forth about returning yesterday ( Tuesday ) but finally made the decision to return. Once the RV was unloaded, the winds picked up and rain began to fall. Then it stopped, then it rained heavy, then another pause. It was off and of and then we had rain like we have never had rain. Straight down and heavy. That rain cleared the smoke This morning we woke up to blue in the sky and very little smoke and only a “1 low risk air quality” ( thank you Sue K for the air quality link).
However as today progressed the clouds came in as did the winds. No rain but we did start smelling smoke again. We are down to a “3 low risk” this evening. There are three separate major fires burning and they are still out of control but thanks to many boots on the ground (500 firefighters from all over ) they are mostly keeping the fires away from homes and structures.
I read yesterday that a singe firetruck from Ellison saved an entire condo complex here in Lake Country, a day or two ago, just the few firefighters and their truck. These men and woman are so very brave and never give up. There have been photos thru homeowners cameras of a single fire-fighter saving a home and another three others stopping a fire from going up a berm and saved at least 3 homes – true heroes. So many more stories like this. And then there are the restaurants and individuals and community groups coming together to feed all the firefighters plus those evacuated from their home. Many of the fire-fighters are also evacuated from their homes. One of the fire chiefs today ‘joked’ that he was running out of underwear and his family was also evacuated. These fellows have not been home since this all started 😥
Our provincial government had put a travel ban in effect for two days in all of BC. Hotels, airbnb’s and campgrounds were full. There was nowhere to house the evacuees and of course that was important. As of today the ban only remains for West Kelowna, allowing for some tourism as well as accommodation for the evacuees. Many are offering rental properties at a discount, some places are offering free accommodation for a few days. Our BC community is first rate, so many have come to together to feed those sleeping on cots in an arena, some just sitting in a community centre, the food bank is making 1000’s of boxes everyday, many are opening up an extra bedroom in their home. It is going to take us a very long time to get back to some sort of normal. Did you even think about the grapes on the vine, might be a very smokey harvest?
Sadly today is that day that those who lost their homes will find out their fate. 180 homes destroyed 😥 😥
I honestly don’t have time to reply to your various comments but I will, especially if you had a question. I need a few days to get back to normal re the business and preparing for Mexico. But thank you very much for your comments, it has bolstered us.