Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:17

Burstall farm family deals with major losses due to wild fire

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Blackened carcasses of cattle scatter the fields near Burstall after last week’s devastating grass fires swept through the region. Leaving nothing but charred remnants of homes, yards, livestock, livelihoods and lives in its path.

Dirt from high winds covered the earth where grass once grew and it resembled a wasteland much like a scene from the dirty 30’s. Families mourn their losses and are forced to turn the page of a new chapter in their lives.
The Job family grieves not only the loss of the family home but the memories of their mother Eileen who was lost to cancer five years earlier. The devastation to the Job family is heartbreaking.
Allen Job, Eileen’s widower, remarried, Pat Job, a Fox Valley Hutterite Colony teacher some time later. The couple lost their home, yard and farm in the fire last Tuesday night.
The Job family surrounded what was left of the farm house late Wednesday afternoon last week. Tears of sadness and loss were shared by all. “These three kids grew up in there (pointing to the rubble),” Allen Job said tearfully. “It’s hard. Lots of memories of Eileen (Allen’s late wife) in there and a lot of new memories. There has been a lot of community support offered,” said Allen Job’s daughter-in-law Amanda.
According to residents, the community of Burstall was evacuated to Acadia Valley due to the proximity and seriousness of the fire. The Fox Valley Hutterite Colony students showed up to show their support and offer aid to the Job family. Friends, family and volunteers stretched out a helping hand.
“My family is safe. That’s all that matters,” Pat Job said emotion-filled when she spoke. “The Red Cross has been amazing. That’s why I have a jacket. They gave us vouchers for the hotel and for the people who were evacuated, some pretty cool fleece blankets and because we lost everything they gave us a clothing voucher so we could get some clothes. Even at Walmart this morning they let us take the tags off of them so we could go. We’re really grateful to all the firefighters and people who helped. To the Red Cross and to all the people who volunteered at the evacuation centres. We are very grateful. We are thinking of those who lost loved ones in the fire.”
Walsh native James Hargraves was killed in a vehicle accident enroute to battle the fire near Hilda while a Richmound man was severely injured. Two men, Ron and son Evan Wedrick  from Tompkins were seriously injured in the fires.
Learn more about the Canadian Red Cross programs to make a donation, visit


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