This summer is not the time for a campfire

While the hot, dry weather has created a water crisis on our rivers, it has also created another type of hazard.

Conditions are perfect for a fire to get out of control.

Yet, in spite of warnings and regulations, people are still not taking the danger seriously enough.

Lake Cowichan town councillor Jayne Ingram posted on her Facebook page her disgust with people in her area tearing down campfire ban signs and extreme fire hazard signs.

“Surprising how many people had campfires with the ban on,” she lamented.

“We are only trying to keep our community and Valley safe from a forest fire like a disaster in Kelowna.”

Her words deserve serious consideration.

In these tinder dry conditions it wouldn’t take much for a blaze to spread and destroy land and property, even take lives. Fire danger ratings for the Cowichan Valley are high and extreme.

And yet the Citizen’s publisher saw someone this week in a local parking lot toss a still-lit cigarette butt into the bark mulch in a flower bed.

This kind of thoughtless action can have serious consequences under these kinds of conditions.

It’s worth considering that 80 specialized personnel from Australia are now being brought in to help with wildfires burning in British Columbia.

“The high number of active wildfires in the province is stretching our firefighting resources,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “In addition to the support we have already received from other Canadian provinces and territories, we are grateful for the assistance we will be receiving from the Australian State of Victoria.”

In other words, the last thing we need are more fires to try to deal with.

On our front page we have a photo of a bush blaze that, thanks to our volunteer firefighters, was quickly doused.

But if someone hadn’t happened to be walking by the spot where the fire ignited, it could so easily have been an entirely different story.

We must cooperate to protect our community from this threat.

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