Monday 6 May 2024

Mike: A Tragic Turn of Events

    First of all let me say that none of this tale is from firsthand knowledge.  I have pieced together the story from a couple of sources and I think this is what happened.

     Immediately after our forest fire last year, everyone was very curious about how it had started.  Slowly, after filtering through all of the different speculations, this story came out.

    I didn’t know Mike very well.  I once gave him a couple of chargeable batteries for a drill, that I no longer needed.  Mike was always a very friendly guy, who raised, trained, and sold purebred German Shepards.  He and his wife lived surrounded by bush on the slopes of the mountain.  

    It seems that Mike had done some clearing and last May he decided to burn the debris.  His fire got away from him a bit, and help came to help him put it out.  Some of these people, who I think had equipment, offered to continue to help Mike, but he declined their help.

    The next day, May 5th, a strong wind came up and re-ignited some still smoldering ash on Mike’s land and the fire spread, turning into the full-blown forest fire that swept across the slopes of Teare Mountain and McBride Peak.

    I can only feel sorry for Mike.  I am sure he was personally devastated having been responsible for causing the forest fire that spooked the whole community, leaving a huge scorch on the very visible mountain slope across from McBride.  

    I seems that Mike had a heart problem and had been in the hospital in Prince George.  I am not sure whether that was before or after the fire.

    A few months after the fire, Mike’s cows had gotten out, and made their escape down to the valley bottom.  Mike, desperate to retrieve them, was running around after locating them, in an attempt to round them up.  Mike must have exerted himself too much in that attempt, and he had a heart attack and died.

    I often think of Mike when I see the scorched side of our mountain, and I feel really sorry for the unexpected bad turn his life took.  

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