Our plan was to fly to Edmonton and meet my brother there and we would all head back to his farm, 3.5 hours north.
I remember three years ago, we were going to visit my brother and we were worried about the forest fire situation. Nothing ended up happening and we had a nice visit.
This year, everybody in the world (it seems) is aware of the Fort MacMurry fires and I was wondering if it would affect our trip. Jesse didn’t seem worried because the giant Fort Mac fire is six hours away from his property, though he did mentioned there were closer fires. He said the air was smokey but nothing seemed to be happening.
Then two nights ago, a small fire near his town exploded from 80 hectares to 800 hectares and my brother’s tiny village was evacuated. Jesse was sitting on his couch watching a movie and waiting for the police to come knock on his door. He grabbed his cat and the emergency bag he had packed and took off to a friend’s house.
He’s safe for the time being and his house is still standing, but there’s talk of the larger (nearby) town (where he is currently residing with a friend) being evacuated and there’s talk of explosion warnings, should the oil wells catch fire. Jesse says half the able-bodied employees are helping fight the fires and the rest are working night and day to keep the oil wells drained.
So, needless to say, our original plan of visiting Jesse on his farm isn’t happening. We’re still going to Alberta (me, my mom, R1, and R2) but it’s going to be a different kind of trip. My mom’s brother will pick us up from the airport and we will go from there!
We may or may not see Jesse. We may or may not see his farm. We aren’t quite sure what’s going to happen, but we’re going anyway and, once the boys get over the disappointment of not staying with Uncle Jesse on the farm, we’re going to have fun.
Hopefully I’ll be able to update with some travel blogging sometime in the next week!