Edgewood residents boxed in by wildfires on both sides of Arrow Lake

'There is no way out'

With fires burning all around them, residents of Edgewood are becoming desperate for help.

“My beautiful small home town, Edgewood, is currently completely boxed in by wildfires. There are two roads out, both on Highway 6,” Esper Espersen said in an email to Castanet.

“The road to Cherryville is currently closed and the road to Nakusp, which is across the lake via ferry, is closed as well due to a massive wildfire.”

The small town of Fauquier, which is across Arrow Lake from Edgewood, is on evacuation order as the Octopus Creek Fire burns unabated.

South of Edgewood, the lightning-caused Michaud Creek Fire is out of control at 2,670 hectares.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has issued an evacuation alert for Edgewood and Needles.

Residents and visitors should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. It is recommended to prepare an emergency kit and have a plan where to go if the situation worsens and evacuation is needed.

“Embers from that (Octopus) fire are landing on the Edgewood side of the lake and starting fires, local crews are fighting tirelessly to keep those from spreading, as there is no way out,” said Espersen, whose parents' nearby farm at the junction of Highway 6 and the road to Edgewood has up to 500 ostriches.

“They currently can't escape and will not leave, regardless. Not only are they trying their best to water the grounds around the ostriches to keep them safe, they are even taking on other people's animals as it is the best shot they have.

“My parents have absolutely no feed to maintain this, as all roads are closed and they have been focused on creating a wet barrier for the animals.”

Espersen has already endured losing a home to fire as a child.

“I know my parents will stop at nothing to save the animals and their house,” said Espersen.

“I am scared not only for my family's lives, but my whole close-knit community's. As of right now, they are slowly getting boxed in by wildfires – and with nowhere to go and no feed for any animals.”

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