Hay bail on fire
Steve stamping out fire

Just past Medicine Hat on our way to Calgary, we looked up and saw smoke billowing from farmer's fields. At about the same time, local radio was calling for all hands on deck – anyone who could lend a hand to snuff the out of control fire was welcome to try and help. Not having any particular schedule we headed towards the blaze just north of Redcliff.

When we got to the scene, there was actually several different fields on fire as the blaze had spread over several kilometers. There were water trucks with hozes on the scene but they were taxed and spread thin. Therefore the locals were running around batting at small fires with shovels and laying wet tarps over the advancing flames.

Being an expert in firefighting, I started a new tactic – instead of bashing the flames with a shovel I started dug dirt from the field and threw it on the flames. This proved to be quite useful and several locals started incorporating the technique into their fire squelching routines

Eventually we were black from soot and covered in sweat. But there was rejoicing because we had put out one of the sections of fire. Leaving the bigger fires to the professionals, we went for a little swim in the Bow River.


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