Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)

Editorial: Diligence required as fire danger rises

Last week an open burning ban came into effect for the Coastal Fire Centre

As we continue to endure this heat wave our thoughts turn to one of the big dangers of this hot, dry weather: wildfires.

Several fires are burning in the Interior of B.C. this week. On Vancouver Island so far things have been quiet on that front, but no doubt with people beginning to head off on summer vacations that take them into the bush and forests that will start to change, as it seems to every year. Yet every year we still hold out hope that people will heed the warnings and do their part to keep our skies clear and smoke-free, and our lands un-charred.

Last week an open burning ban came into effect for the Coastal Fire Centre, of which we are a part here in the Comox Valley.

That means no fireworks, no sky lanterns, no binary exploding targets, and no burn barrels or cages. These restrictions apply to all public and private land unless otherwise specified in a local government bylaw.

Campfires were also banned B.C.-wide as of Wednesday, as the area began to emerge from the crushing heat wave that saw record high temperatures hit the province.

(Not everyone is getting the message though. According to an environment ministry spokesperson, 22 violation tickets were written province-wide for campfire ban violations between July 1 to 4. That is $25,300 in fines issued over this time period.)

You should also beware of using ATVs that may cause sparks (for that matter, keep any eye on your gardening and renovation equipment). And if you smoke, please use a proper receptacle for the discarded butt.

Wildfires are miserable to try to put out once they have started, especially when the temperatures soar and there’s no rain in sight, so it’s vitally important that we do everything we can to prevent ignition.

A little extra care can safeguard our beautiful outdoors, and also our homes and our lives. Well worth it, don’t you think?

–Black Press