By Roy L Hales
Cortes Island Volunteer Fire Captain Eli McKenty received the page at 8 a.m. There was a fire at the Recycling Center on Squirrel Cove Road. As the island’s fire chief was not available, McKenty was in charge. He had, as yet, little indication of what lay ahead. Never-the-less, while he was waiting for his crew to assemble, McKenty received word that one of the recycling centre’s staff called. The flammable shed storage is burning and there is sounds of explosions. The staff member called 911 and was fighting the fire. McKenty alerted the ambulance and, as a precaution alerted an elite provincial fire fighting unit that it might be needed. Arriving on the scene some 40 minutes later, he discovered the fire had already spread to the trees. If this were an actual event, tomorrow’s newspaper headlines would probably say something like “Cortes Island Fire Leads To Mass Evacuation“. In reality, this table talk was one of the components of Cortes Island’s Emergency Preparedness and & Awareness Weekend. The talk also mentioned the great importance of businesses conducting a reverse address lookup on customers they are dealing with within Cortes, especially when fire hazards are involved.