Editorial: Attention to small actions can prevent forest fires

The summer is heating up, and many people have been excited about getting out and into the wilderness for overnight trips.

Soon enough, a fire ban will be put in place, and our province will be on fire once again.

Camping is a really fun way to spend the summer months, especially with so many amazing places right in our back yard. But, we have to work to keep them amazing.

By making sure that our fires are properly extinguished before bed and before packing up to leave a site, we can help limit the spread of wildfires.

That’s not the only way to help minimize fire risk across the province. Even still, we hear stories of smokers throwing their butts out of windows. It can so quickly catch dry grass on fire. It is simply shocking how quickly a fire can start, and I have seen it first hand.

In Golden, we have another issue. A convenient and popular party spot has become a hazard to our forests. Those who are enjoying a recreational night at “the flats” have concerned citizens and the fire department over their fire use practices.

If the fire department has to show up to put out a fire each time there is a celebration or party up there, that is a waste of resources, and a dangerous decision by the partiers.

It doesn’t take that much effort to pack extra water, kick apart coals, and put it out before leaving a site. Not only is it disrespectful to the fire department, the location is so close to town it could destroy people’s livelihoods.

Recently, it was reported that an arsonist could be behind some of the fires burning in the Okanagan. This type of psychotic and careless behaviour is astounding.

One small action (like the flick of a cigarette or burning match) can be the end of lives for people, animals, ecosystems, and more.

A fire burning out of control is unpredictable, and takes a lot of resources to try to control.

The flames are threatening enough, but smoke inhalation has lifelong affects on people as well.

Pay attention to the small actions. Don’t let your mistakes become detrimental to our community, province, and planet. Play smart in our forests this summer, respect fire bans and restrictions, and don’t become a part of the problem.

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