We must act wisely to avoid fire disasters

Dear editor,

Fire! What horrors we are witnessing in the Fort McMurray region.

My heart goes out to the residents, First Nations and firefighters. Vancouver Island is heading for more drought.  We need to act wisely. Smokers turfing their cigarettes out of vehicle windows are a fire just waiting to happen.

Felling trees for ‘a view’ during drought conditions, when even foresters have put down their chainsaws and also leaving the branch material on the ground to provide fuel to any spark, is asking for serious trouble.

Clean air and abundant, clean water is critical to all life.  Why do we continue to allow the burning of any piles (construction, forestry material,etc)?  The sky is not a free garbage dump.  It is a part of a complex atmospheric system.

Water cannot save our properties during wild fires when drought has dried up the sources.

Where are the regional education campaigns about chipping materials, recycling and responsibilities for sending construction materials to approved dumpsites?  Where are the health reports from the inversions that the Comox Valley experiences ? Where are the fire department education campaigns about NOT burning, that will always be cheaper than dealing with fires ?

There are job opportunities for people with trucks who could pick up refuse or construction material, which WON’T be burned on someone else’s back property because it is cheaper.  A double receipt system might confirm that the loads went to a regional dump.

Education campaigns, using young people paid on summer holidays, to provide  information at markets, festivals and in neighbourhoods, about what our atmosphere is made of and how burning is no longer a cheap solution, it seriously hurts; the positives of composting; the need for a different approach to how we work on our properties and more.

F. Cochran

Courtenay

 

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