Firefighters continue to fight the growing wildfire that has destroyed much of Fort McMurray. But what is it like to be out there fighting a fire so big it’s actually making its own weather system?
Lynda Steele caught up with former North Vancouver firefighter Noel Hendrickson, who calls the Fort McMurray fire an absolute “monster.”
“You just realize that you’re at the mercy of nature, despite your best efforts there isn’t a whole lot that individuals can do as firefighters when something is at that magnitude.”
Hendrickson says he can only imagine how frustrated the crews fighting the Fort McMurray fire are feeling.
“When it’s dry, when the winds are up, you’re kind of in a waiting pattern as a firefighter. They’re not going to put you in harm’s way unless you’re saving someone’s life. When the fire is as active as it is, you’re probably only working in the less active areas.”
He says as a former firefighter, he completely agrees with stiffer penalties for people who are careless and start a forest fire.
“We’ve seen people in tinder dry conditions flick cigarettes into a ditch, and as a group of firefighters we’ve actually pulled people over and basically given them our opinions. You know, you can’t change anyone, and I would agree with stronger laws.”
Hendrickson says many people are just not aware about how easy it is for a fire to start.