On Sunday afternoon, we noticed smoke in the air.
Being Notherners, and accustomed to forest fires, we took it in stride. There were no flames, we saw no water bombers. So we thought it was far enough away and went on with our afternoon. But the adults kept on eye on it.
As the evening came on, we noticed that it seemed to be getting closer.
By now we were getting our evacuation plan in order. We did this out of earshot of the boys because we didn't want them to get scared. It was unspoken, but my mom and I decided that we weren't sleeping that night. We were going to keep an eye on the fire and see if it was getting closer.
At 1am, there was a knock on the cottage door. It was the police telling us that we needed to evacuate - that the fire was only 14 km away - FOURTEEN! That's a heck of a lot closer than we had anticipated!
We woke the boys, grabbed our stuff and packed the cars. The boys were wonderful throughout the entire process. We told them that we had to leave because of smoke and the police wanted to make sure we were safe. They sat in the car patiently and didn't freak out at ALL. They did have a lot of questions, I mean who wouldn't, but they kept their cool. I am so proud of them!
When we tried to get my mother's cat, he took off - whether he thought we were playing or he was spooked, I'm not sure - and we couldn't catch him. He's still there, hopefully waiting for us to go back.
It wasn't until we got home that we realized just how big the fire was. We also learned that there had been a smaller fire IN town as well as another fire threatening a nearby city.
In fact, as of this posting, there are 46 forest fires in North Eastern Ontario. And because of the seriousness of it all, they've closed some highways and we are unable to get back to my parents cottage.
I'm still in a state of disbelief coupled with what-can-we-do-about-this-anyway. The only thing we can do right now is wait and trust that the firefighters will be safe and will save our land.