My brother, Trevor, and I went up to the gravel pit above my parents place. [They were away in Australia.]
It is a sight I’ll never forget. First we heard it. It sounded like a huge vacuum cleaner, this loud roaring noise. As we looked at this side of Mt. Ida everything looked normal, but we could see and feel the smoke and wind. Suddenly the flames licked over the hump of Mt. Ida. The flames candled from tree to tree, you could see trees exploding in showers of sparks and flames. It was far enough away, we weren’t worried, but we were in awe. We stayed and watched for maybe 20 minutes. Then we knew we had to go.
The drive out along Foothill was like a thing out of the apocalypse. There was fire everywhere. I remember seeing John Barrow on his roof with a sprinkler. There was fire on both sides of Foothill. It was amazing.
Councillor, District of Salmon Arm during the ’98 fire
Photo credit in order of appearance:
1. Debbie Harrison, c. 2015
2. James Murray, Salmon Arm Observer, c. 1998