By Lorene Keitch

Pioneer Staff

The fire season continues in B.C. The latest report is that province-wide, this is the worst fire on record, though not the worst year for the Southeast Fire Centre.

Fires continue across the province. Thankfully in the Columbia Valley, things are looking up. The closest fire to us, Verdant Creek, is slowing down and fire information officers confirm it is basically a contained fire now (see story, page 3).

While the Island Pond fire south of Canal Flats certainly disrupted lives for awhile, in the end no structures were lost and crews worked tirelessly to contain the fire before it reached any communities.

It is something to be thankful for– these wildfire fighters who continue to work on the front lines of these fires. They put in long days with hard, physical labour to help protect us. B.C. firefighters have been joined by crews from across Canada and around the world in the battle against the blaze. And for that, I think all British Columbians are most thankful.

The BC Wildfire service posted last week of a First Nations community in the Chilcotin that thanked the firefighters working there by hosting a feast, attended by BC Wildfire Service members, RCMP as well as a firefighter’s crew from Mexico.

We have a firefighter’s camp here right in Invermere, across from the School Board office. There have been a number of individuals who have dropped off baking, meals or other tangibles to thank the firefighters, and at least one daycare got kids involved in showing gratitude. The preschool class at Sonshine Children’s Centre baked and delivered treats recently to say thank you to the hard workers.

It is wonderful to see how the community, once again, shows care and concern to those around us, even those who are not a constant part of the Valley life.

Let’s continue to show them how much we appreciate their time given to keeping the Valley and forests as fire-free as possible. While they fight the fires, why not whip up an extra batch of cookies next time you bake, or drop by the grocery store and pick up a few goodies. It’s a small gesture but, I am sure, will go a long way. In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks goes out to the wildfire fighters.