Haunting photo-poems from B.C.’s fierce forest fires

A B.C. poet and her husband have captured the terrifying power of our summer forest fires in words and photos.

Susan McCaslin and Mark Haddock have created a disturbingly beautiful photo-poem series about the wildfires that have torn through the Cariboo region of B.C., particularly at Young Lake, where their family has long had a cabin.

Here is the introduction to their series of 16 haunting, alarming photos, with accompanying poems, which has been published online by the literary journal, The Goose:

Susan McCaslin (poems)
and Mark Haddock (photos)


In July 2017 one of the many raging summer fires in the Cariboo Region of BC swept north from
Ashcroft, eventually forcing many residents to evacuate the area. My husband’s family has had
a cabin at Young Lake since the early sixties. Our cabin was spared
due to the valiant efforts of firefighters, but the boathouse, dock, motor boat, and canoe were demolished, along with many of the trees on the property, and 192,000 hectares of surrounding forests. In October of that year, we came back to survey the damage. This photo-poem sequence is our collaborative reflection on the devastation of the natural beauty of the bio-region due to the effects of human carelessness, land management, and climate change.

Two samples:






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