Saturday, June 25, 2011


I recently finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, and if you are familiar with that book, you know that the four elements (water, fire, air and earth) play an important role. In my last post, I wrote about the fire. This time, it's time for water...

This weekend it was my turn to supervise the fire crew at the PRF. On a normal summer weekend, that would mean that two students would be in, manning the two fire towers for fire detecting. However, with all the rain we have had in the last few days, there would be no need to have the students come in, and I would mainly be working in the office, open and close the gates (the PRF is open to the public in the summer, mainly for fishing), and keep an eye on the place. Nothing too crazy, you'd say. It was looking like it would be quiet and I was actually looking forward to catching up to some of my work and get things done. Well, it was not to be...

Take a look at this and try to find the differences:

The photos are taken from a slightly different angle, but they were taken at the same place, about 2 hours apart... If you click on the top photo, you can see a beaver dam in the distance (where the green ends, and the darker colour starts, is where the dam is), and the water is obviously lower on this side of the dam. The second picture shows the water to the road, and the dam in the distance. The water is just simply flowing over the dam. There is a serious threat the road here can break, if the culvert can't handle all the water.

Now look at these:

Yep, same place again and about 3 hours apart as well. So a complete wash out. We had opened the gates this morning, but luckily nobody got stuck on the other side of this wash out, and we were able to have everybody out by 3 pm. I decided to lock the gates for the rest of the day, seeing that this could be a potential hazard... Once I found this wash out, I decided to follow the water to see if this wave had taken out more culverts. Well, unfortunately it did, and a I came upon a smaller one at the far end of the PRF. Some other crossings are not very stable either, and all the crossings have humongous water levels. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

In the midst of this all, a lady came to the office, obviously upset, telling me that her husband had left to go home, and was supposed to be home two hours ago... Luckily that ended well, and I think he probably just lost track of time.

At least I will have some help tomorrow, so we can check out all the crossings and culverts and make sure they are either well marked, or cleared from any debris. So much for trying to do office work. But it sure makes for a fun and interesting day!

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