Looking north on the day the fire jumped the Salmon Valley.
Gary Hucul, c. 1998
Photo credit in order of appearance:
1. Google Map, satellite view, c. 2015
2. & 3. Photographer Gary Hucul, Silver Creek Volunteer Fire Department, c. 1998
The Silver Creek Volunteer Fire Department was fighting the fire between Johnson and Branchflower Roads when the fire jumped across the Salmon Valley and raced up Mount Ida, at 3:30 in the afternoon on August 5th.
Photographer and firefighter Gary Hucul had worked the fire from the beginning. He was on Johnson Rd. with a fire engine the day the fire came down the mountain forcing people at the end of the road to evacuate. It was a frightening experience. Gary knew the firefighters were in trouble when the grass caught fire and the deer started running out of the bush.
Gary and his colleagues used up all their water spraying down as many homes as they could and after their water ran out were forced to retreat. That’s when Gary realized that the fire had crossed over his head and was running up Mount Ida.
Other Silver Creek firefighters had the new engine and tender working on Branchflower Rd. The two groups regrouped at the staging area on Edes Rd. They needed more water and a new plan of attack. Gary stopped long enough to take these two photos.
The photo of the smoke is shot pointing northwest showing Gordon Muik’s home, outbuildings and bridge going up in smoke. The other photo was taken seconds later, pointing south. Its view is close to Gary’s home on the other side of the Salmon Valley Rd. He and Alice Hucul were lucky. Their house didn’t burn.
When Gary got the photographs developed he couldn’t believe how different they were. It was like they were taken on different days.