Little ones from the Cariboo-Chilcotin born during July and August are part of a group called Summer 2017 Fire Babies.
It’s a name fire baby mama and wildfire evacuee Amy Emery came up with after she was one of many women who gave birth during the summer’s wildfires.
“I made jokes after our son Carver Emery was born, saying all the little fire babies should get together when they get older and start a rock band,” Emery said. “After that I started thinking about all the people that did have babies and seeing posts on Facebook and thought we should actually start a group and get together.”
The fire babies should get to know each other and stick together as they grow up, Emery added.
“They were part of something so big. They were little blessings that came out of such devastation I feel.”
So far 25 moms have joined her Summer 2017 Fire Babies Facebook page.
On Friday, Sept. 8 the moms and babies will be getting together for a group photo taken by Williams Lake photographer Laureen Carruthers.
“It might not be the perfect picture but we will fit them all in there,” Emery said of the group photo.
The majority of the babies were born the in Prince George, but some were born in Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Quesnel and Williams Lake.
Emery was due Aug. 2 but had gone into Cariboo Memorial Hospital from her home in 150 Mile House on July 6 because she thought her water had broken.
When the fires began on Friday, July 7, and it looked like it was not going to be safe to return home, Emery’s wife Danielle Biggar picked her up at the hospital with their two brothers, their dog and two cats and they drove to Prince George even before the evacuation order came down for 150 Mile House.
“The first day we got to Prince George there was hardly anything available so we stayed in a one-bedroom hotel room for two nights and then through a Facebook page were offered a place to stay by Elissa Meiklem,” Emery said. “We stayed there for about 25 days and then we went to a friend of hers, Sue Judge, that was going to be gone for a month.”
Emery gave birth to Carver Emery on Aug. 10 at l:25 p.m. He weighed eight pounds, 15 ounces.
Shaylene Dahl said Emery’s idea to create the Summer 2017 Fire Babies group was awesome.
“I was thinking myself that I would like to get together with some other fire babies,” she said. “It was a pretty exciting time.”
Her son, Thomas Asher Ziggy, will grow up with friends that are fire babies and they will have unique stories, she added.
“It was not the ideal way that we wanted to welcome him into this world, but it will still be a really cool story to tell him. That’s why his middle name is Asher.”
Dahl and her husband Lee grew up in Williams Lake and after moving away returned last September.
They evacuated to Prince George on July 9 after the hospital call ed them and encouraged them to leave Williams Lake.
She almost had Thomas in the car because the nurses didn’t think she was ready to deliver and told her to come back later.
Shaylene insisted Lee take her back inside because she felt she was ready.
“I was 9.5 centimetres dilated and gave birth an hour later at 4:06 p.m. on July 28,” she said. “But it went really well and I had no complications. He was eight pounds, eight ounces and 22 inches long.”
When Thomas was two days old, the Dahls drove to Kelowna to stay with family because of the smoke in Williams Lake. They returned home the third week of August.