Canadian wildfire attack south of the border has Washington family in tears - InfoNews

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Canadian wildfire attack south of the border has Washington family in tears

A Canadian based air tanker drops retardant on the property of Boddy and Cindy Poirer near Curlew, Washington, on Sept. 8, 2020
Image Credit: Facebook / Cindy Poirer
September 12, 2020 - 6:30 AM

The B.C. Wildfire service is not only fighting fires but boosting relations between the U.S. and Canada.

The wildfire service has been assisting its American counterparts with a large wildfire that broke out just south of the national border, providing air tanker drops since Sept. 8.

One Washington couple is particularly grateful for the wildfire service’s assistance on the Customs Road wildfire, which is now estimated at 1,045 ha and only 15 per cent contained.

Boddy Poirer and his wife Cindy moved to an acreage in Ferry County, Washington, near Curlew six months ago.

On Sept. 7, Cindy reported on social media the fast moving fire was right below their property.

“Praying we don’t lose everything,” she wrote on social media.

On Sept. 8 around 6 p.m. she reported: “Angels from above over our cabin! We’re not out of the woods and our neighbours are not either please keep praying.”

Her Sept. 9 post reads: “This is the sweetest news! The only thing we lost was our winter hay load we just picked up the same day the fire started… Everything 360 degrees around us is scorched, just a little patch where our home is made it."

“My wife and I have a new slogan these days, and that’s God bless Canada,” Boddy said in a telephone interview today, Sept. 11.

“It was probably one of the most amazing sights and feelings I’ve ever had. We were battling this fire coming up the mountain here – I had flames about 10 feet over the top of my cabin,” Boddy, who is a disabled army vet, says. “I had put all of my disability back pay into getting this land and getting this property. We just moved up here six months ago, and I just saw all that going away, very quickly.”

Boddy says they had to flee the property because the flames were so close. They moved down the road to safer ground and watched what appeared to be an inevitability – the destruction of their house.

Just then, Boddy saw a spotter plane.

“As the flames were coming over the cabin, the spotter plane puffed out some white smoke and a siren went off, then a fixed-wing – with a yellow nose – I’ll never forget that plane, started dumping retardant. That and another plane basically boxed us in, to the point where the only thing we lost up here was about three quarter tonnes of hay and a water bowl,” he says, his voice straining with emotion.

A B.C. wildfire air tanker working the Customs Road wildfire in Washington earlier this week. The air tanker came to the rescue of Ferry County residents Boddy and Cindy Poirer, saving their cabin from the flames.
A B.C. wildfire air tanker working the Customs Road wildfire in Washington earlier this week. The air tanker came to the rescue of Ferry County residents Boddy and Cindy Poirer, saving their cabin from the flames.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: J. Foster Fanning

“They saved everything we own. The burn marks are about 10 feet from our cabin, and about a foot from our RV. They saved everything we own,” he says again, pausing to collect himself.

“My wife and I would hug that pilot if we could. Our land is black, but our home is untouched because of them,” Boddy says.

Boddy and his wife are printing a photo of the air tanker.

"It's going up on our wall," he says.

The Customs Road wildfire in Washington State was stopped by an air tanker drop just metres from structures on the Poirers' property earlier this week.
The Customs Road wildfire in Washington State was stopped by an air tanker drop just metres from structures on the Poirers' property earlier this week.
Image Credit: Facebook / Cindy Poirer

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