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I’ll never forget that low, sad feeling’ – National Observer

by ahnationtalk on June 9, 202360 Views

June 9th 2023

From across the Hay River, April Glaicar watched as smoke and flames engulfed trees and a wildfire rapidly approached Kátł’odeeche First Nation in the Northwest Territories. On May 14, a wildfire that started east of the First Nation spread west, forcing its residents to evacuate.

Glaicar, a lifelong resident of neighbouring Hay River and an artisan jeweller and photographer, grabbed her camera to document the fire as it drew closer. What she witnessed was “alarming.”

“You could see these huge plumes of smoke, but I didn’t really have a sense of proximity because it was in the distance,” said Glaicar. “As it progressed, the smoke colours changed, and sometimes there was a glow of fire behind the smoke.”

While she was watching the smoke turn from gray to black, she was joined by residents of Kátł’odeeche First Nation who had just been evacuated. They sobbed and gasped, she said, as they watched the flames close in on their homes, recognizing the places that were being enveloped by the fire. Some prayed out loud for their homes to be spared.

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