It is not often that a museum curator is challenged with telling the recent history of a topic that, to some, is still very raw and emotional. The Flight from the Flames is the story of the Silver Creek Fire K30285 that took place in 1998. For some it is a memory, for others, a wound – only superficially healed. For many it was an opportunity to take stock and question what we valued most.
There were many contributors to this story: the Salmon Arm Observer, the municipal government and staff, the Ministry of Forests, Rapattack, the army (Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment), RCMP, area fire departments as well as volunteer firefighters from around the Province of British Columbia, Provincial Emergency Preparedness (PEP), members of the Shuswap Amateur Radio Club, Shuswap and Vernon Search and Rescue, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Mennonite Disaster Service, and many, many individuals.
The community did indeed pull together. The fire and subsequent evacuation brought out the best in us.
To those individuals who lost homes, pets, family treasures, barns, outbuildings, and livelihoods in the fire, we hope there has been healing and recovery. Thank you for your grace in allowing us to remember the event that both devastated and united our community.
Deborah Chapman, Curator
Salmon Arm Museum staff, c. 2010