Captured by Fire

Captured by Fire

Surviving British Columbia's New Wildfire Reality

Chris Czajkowski, Fred Reid


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In the summer of 2017, wildfires dominated the headlines in British Columbia. As a low pressure weather system continued to cause lightning strikes, starting new fires, strong winds fanned the existing ones. Over two hundred fires burned in the province and nearly ten thousand people in or around the towns of 100 Mile House, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Princeton and Williams Lake received the instruction YOU MUST EVACUATE NOW. But not everyone left.

Captured by Fire alternates between the dramatic first-person accounts of wilderness dweller Chris Czajkowski and homesteader Fred Reid, who both ignored the evacuation order and stayed to protect their properties, animals and livelihoods. Living in a remote area, they knew that their homes would be of low priority to officials when fire fighting resources were deployed. Over the course of the summer, as alerts fluctuated and even the firefighters pulled out, both had to decide: when is it time to go?


Chris Czajkowski:

Chris Czajkowski has written eleven other books about her four decades of wilderness living, including Snowshoes and Spotted DickA Mountain YearA Wilderness Dweller’s CookbookGinty’s GhostHarry (all Harbour Publishing) and Lonesome (TouchWood). She lives in Kleena Kleene, BC.


Fred Reid has worked in agriculture his whole life. He spent over thirty years farming in the Fraser Valley before moving to the Chilcotin. He contributed to the organic standard for certified organic farming in British Columbia and assisted with the writing of Thailand’s organic standard. This is his first book. He lives in Anahim Lake, BC.