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Wisconsin family on fishing trip escapes Canadian wildfires

(WAOW) — A week on the lake turned into a natural disaster for a Wisconsin family caught in Canadian wildfires.

Lynne Killian and her family were out on Miller Lake, a peninsula off of Lake Huron, with smoke across the lake.

“We were fishing all week and just taking pictures of smoke in the clouds,” Killian said. “It’s there; it’s off in the distance and you don’t think about it.”

That is, until a plane landed at their dock.

“We were just scrambling to get everything out of the cabin,” Killian said.

As the fire spread, Killian and her family had a decision to make: go home or keep fishing elsewhere. They chose the latter, opting for Wagon Lake — which was also hit by a fire a few years ago.

“Of course my sons came from Arizona so they wanted to fish (laughter) and we said okay we’ll go to Wagon,” Killian said.

After a successful day of fishing, the family looked out their cabin’s kitchen window and saw another fire in close range, which raised a new crop of questions and concerns.

Killian, a flight attendant of 35 years, kept her cool until she found out she and her family might have to float for their safety.

“When you see fire all around you and it’s moving in it is just a teriffying experience…if I’m going in the water, all bets are off,” she said.

Thankfully, a helicopter call saved the day, and likely much more. Killian and her family are back at home and safe.

“They say you kiss the ground when you land and you do…if we did not have the satellite phone it would have ended very badly,” Killian said.

Tom Lally

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