Billie Gates, a writer and painter, was born in Ireland and raised in Ponoka, Alberta. She spends half of her time at a forestry fire tower near Grande Prairie. Here's what Billie has to say: "I am not writing the great Canadian novel, I am not starring in a movie to be filmed in Calgary, I am not having my biography done by the CBC. Heck, I am not even getting a divorce. I'm just boondoggling along the headwaters of the Pouce Coupe River, biding my time, waiting for the fickle finger of fame or the big giant lottery, which ever finds me first. In the meantime, I use up vast amounts of time and waste a lot of energy hating snow." She has written for the Notes and Dispatches section in issues 33 and 44.
Billie Savage Gates
I am down in the cabin and Ross, who is eighty feet up in the fire tower, sees smoke. He tries to report it but his radio isn’t working and nobody can understand him. They phone him back on the cell: does he need the water bombers? He says no, it’s just a spot fire. In that moment a huge gust of wind blasts through the cabin, blows a towel off a rack, slaps it against the valve of the water cooler and turns on the water. more »