Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said that Pat Jasper went to help save the Chilco ranch. He did, in fact, go to obtain supplies, and found his home burnt when he returned.
The Chilco ranch in Hanceville near Williams Lake had stood for 100 years when a wildfire that had grown to over 100,000 hectares in size blazed nearby over the summer.
People were ordered to leave the area, but a select group of ranchers stayed to defend their homes against the flames.
Some nevertheless endured heavy losses.
Coverage of the Hanceville wildfire on Globalnews.ca/bc:
Jordan Grier’s family has owned the Chilco ranch for almost three decades.
It was the place where he and his wife were married on the front lawn.
So when an evacuation order was issued for the area, he stayed behind along with some co-workers to defend the family homestead against the fire.
“If we didn’t have the people here who really care, I tell you, there would not be a bolt left on this place,” Grier told Global News.
It took an immense effort to save the ranch, keeping buildings sprayed with water.
“If you didn’t stop spraying your house at the time, it was jumping on to the grass beside the house,” Grier said.
But he wasn’t the only one who stayed.
Pat Jasper left his X-J Ranch to gather supplies for a couple of hours.
When he returned, his ranch had burned down.
Now he works at the Chilco ranch, while his wife teaches school.
“Same as we always do,” he said.
Grier and Jasper are among dozens of ranchers who were hit hard by the summer’s wildfires.
“We lost all the grass and a lot of infrastructure and fences,” Grier said.
The Chilco ranch may have survived the flames, but now there’s a rush to rebuild as much as can be done before the snow flies.
“I got the best crew in the world,” Grier said.