Since my January bus-pass had become effective, I thought I would give it a little work-out, and take a run out to Central Park in Burnaby on New Year’s Day; just to make sure it was still there. The last time I was out that way was last summer, and on that occasion, just as I began my afternoon hike, this sensitive
little nose of mine had picked up the unmistakable aroma of burning wood. Knowing that there are no campfires allowed in Central Park outside the picnic area (and there only in BBQ’s), I eventually managed to follow the smell of the smoke back to its source.
Chasing the smoke had involved leaving the trail I was on, and crossing a couple others, before plunging back into the denser bush once again. Though you are never too far from a trail in the park, they wind sufficiently, and the park is certainly large enough, that it is possible to lose your bearings for a bit. To put it bluntly, and with a certain amount of embarrassment, I was a little bit lost when I finally came up on what was definitely an abandoned campfire that someone had tried to put out, but not well enough, and it had now, by burning into the thick mossy undergrowth of the rain-forest floor, escaped its boundaries. This, over whatever amount of time had elapsed until I got there, had now produced an area about 20-25 ft. in diameter, where smoke was literally coming up out of the ground, and in some places at least, the ground was too hot for me to walk on in my runners. Ever more dramatic looking were the two small trees about 4-5 ft. apart that were now burning from the ground up to a height of about 2 1/2 to 3ft. up their trunks.
Since I refuse to carry a cell-phone, and my efforts at trying to beat out the flames with a small little rag that I found on the ground were doing no good, I finally had to leave the area (no one was responding to my shouts for assistance), searching around the trails until I found a lady who lent me the use of her cell-phone on which I called the Burnaby Fire Dept. The problem then was that the lady was too busy to help me herself, and the Fire Dept needed someone to meet them at the entrance to the park. I was able to do that, but then I had to find the fire area again! Needless to say, after a few wrong turns, I was successful in getting the firefighters with their portable water sources, axes, and other various equipment into the proper place. They promptly thanked me, and even more promptly sent me away, saying the area was unsafe for someone dressed as I was – really?
They must have done their job, however, because I was able to get some pictures of what still resembles the Central Park I’ve come to know and love, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you here today. And don’t mind the cheeky little squirrel, he was just mad that I forgot to bring my bag of peanuts. Other than all that, I hope your New Year has gotten off to a good start, and that it just keeps on getting better. Everybody please try and stay healthy, happy and safe.