‘We’re Praying to God for Some Rain’ says Williams Lake Man on Evacuation Alert
Williams Lake, B.C. – Surinderpal Rathor has lived in Williams Lake since 1974 and the wildfires currently surrounding the Cariboo city are the worst he’s ever seen.
“It’s pretty smoky. There’s a whole bunch of trees in my back yard and I can see very little of the trees,” he told 250News this morning from his centrally located home about a three-minute’s drive from downtown. “My street must be half-empty. I know four or five of my neighbours are gone. It’s hard to breathe.”
He has 10 family members living in Williams Lake – including his wife, grand-kids and in-laws. His elderly mother has been sent to Prince George.
An electrician, his workplace – Tolko industries – has been shut down like all the mills in town and says there’s nothing to do now but wait for word of a possible evacuation order.
“There’s a million things going through my mind but I’m scrambled, you know? It’s hard to concentrate. What do you take with you when you leave? We are ready if we have to go,” he says.
“But you can’t take the feelings, your feelings will be left behind. Then there’s the security of your house, your life-time savings.”
He says all the rumours that have been circulating on social media aren’t helping matters.
“A good example of that is Friday night. We were told the Chief William gas station, the store and the Sugar Cane Reserve burned down but it wasn’t true. With social media there’s all sorts of information out there you know? People need to watch that.”
Rathor says he’s been coping by drinking lots of cold water and staying close to his family members.
“We’re hugging each other, praying to God for some relief, some rain. That’s all you can do.”