Canadian Firefighter Magazine

A prayer for rain where the wildfires burn

By Canadian Firefighter   

Features Blogs Editor’s blog

July 4, 2008 

Between travel and magazine commitments, not to mention the daily care and feeding of various corners of the web site that take time, I’ve let blogging slide down my list of priorities.

I’m going to fix that in the days ahead, starting now. (I know, I know, you’ve heard that before!)


I’m actually en route to the Maritime Fire Chief’s Association conference and trade show in Lunenburg, N.S., and taking advantage of the eastern trip to squeeze in a weekend visit with family. Change, the old saying goes, is as good as a rest.



While editing some copy last night I was listening to music and a lyric from a song jumped out at me. I’m guessing most of you have never heard of them, but a band I like is called Death Cab For Cutie, and their work is typically rich and lyrical, soft and easy to listen to, highlighted by melodies that get trapped in your brain.


A song from their new CD, Narrow Stairs, is called Grapevine Fires, and it revolves around a California wildfire and a family coping with the disruption in their lives. As songs do, the lyrics have deeper implications, but that’s the gist.


Anyway, I wasn’t paying much attention to the words when these three lines at the end of the song absolutely clobbered me as I waded through magazine content:


The firemen worked in double shifts.
With prayers for rain on their lips.
They knew it was only a matter of time. . .


Letting alone for moment that firemen work on trains and firefighters fight fires, I thought it was a brilliant encapsulation of the commitment and work ethic of fire fighters, and the robust optimism within the fire service.


I’ve met a lot of people in my travels and the moment just clicked for me. I thought of the Porter’s Lake fire in Nova Scotia last month, and the forest fires in northern Saskatchewan right now, and how those firefighters won’t be at family gatherings or golfing or enjoying a summer weekend in the next 48 hours.


So maybe if it rains where you are this weekend, before you grimace spare a thought for the men and women tackling those blazes, and the ones across Canada that will surely follow this summer.

Print this page


Stories continue below