South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department members posed with the “Welcome Home” sign they produced a few days before the evacuation order was lifted. The firefighters put in a lot of work to ensure the homes and cabins on South Green Lake and area were protected from the Elephant Hill fire. Ken Alexander photo

Green Lake Residents welcomed home

Ken Alexander’s bi-weekly correspondence for the Green Lake area.

Just before 3 p.m. on Sept. 12, there was a caravan of vehicles sitting at the RCMP and Military check point on Hutchison and North Bonaparte roads.

In the lineup, there were several wives of the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD) firefighters, as well as many permanent and seasonal residents.

South Green Lake and area residents received their evacuation orders on July 29 and they left their homes with as much of their valuables as they could carry.

The Elephant Hill fire was the beast that was threatening our homes.

On Aug. 2, the SGLVFD returned to full operational status with five firefighters. The ranks swelled in the following days and the department was available for service 24 hours a day.

Under the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC), they were tasked to “Fire Smart” all residences within the Fire Protection Zone.

The duties included: removing flammable material from, on and under sundecks; checking for open windows, doors and attic spaces, moving propane and gas containers away from residences; and opening gates, including cutting chains that were locked in place, to allow for quick access if there was a fire.

The OFC also tasked firefighters to complete Property Triage Assessments on all properties. Properties that had hazards or were unsafe for firefighter in the event of wildland or structure fires were noted.

Firefighters also marked the culvert locations on South Green Lake Road, so they could be used for getting a water supply hose to the offshore side of the road to provided a water supply if the Structural Protection Units were deployed to the offshore properties.

Firefighters also checked the operation of domestic sprinkler and pump systems that had been put up by residents before they left.

The apparatus hours totalled 248; labour hours were 708; fuel costs were $3,424; food costs were $3,324; and miscellaneous costs were $1,007.

Open House

The SGLVDF is hosting an Open House at the fire hall (458 Green Lake South Rd.) on Oct. 8 from noon to 3 p.m., and everyone is invited.

It will be an opportunity to meet the firefighters and chat with old and new friends.

A thank-you board will be available for folks to write on. When it’s completed, a photo will be taken and sent to all the departments that came and helped protect our community.

Fire Smart information will be available, as will snacks, coffee, tea and water.

Celebrations of Life

There were two Celebrations of Life for two longtime, well-loved residents of the South Green Lake family, and both were held on Sept. 30.

A large crowd of friends and neighbours attended Marg Veto’s celebration at the Green Lake Snowmobile Club clubhouse.

The same can be said of the celebration for Gerda Pirson, which was held at the 70 Mile Community Hall.

They both will be missed by the entire community.

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