Tinder dry: fire prevention better than the cure

The fire departments have been kept running of late with the stifling heat turning everything tinder dry.

So far, we have been lucky. Numerous bush fires haven’t turned into infernos thanks to the efforts of our volunteer fire departments in beating the flames back.

Just last weekend saw blazes break out in both Sahtlam and on the Malahat.

The one on the mountain even came perilously close to the Malahat fire hall itself.

Then there are all the call-outs for smoldering bark mulch.

Most of these fires are personcaused. We’ve been fortunate not to have any lightning storms to spark blazes.

Even in this heat we see far too many people flick their cigarette butts out their car windows. Or they just drop them as they walk down the sidewalk.

Don’t do that. All it takes is for someone to kick that butt into the flower bed and the bark mulch creates a perfect medium for it to reignite. Most who are throwing their cigarette ends from their vehicles do not make any attempt to make certain they are

extinguished before they do so.

It’s basically like tossing a lit match into some kindling.

This kind of foolish carelessness is causing a hazard and a waste of time for our busy fire departments.

While temperatures look as if they are going to cool down a bit by the end of the week, there is no significant rainfall in the forecast to change the fact that things are dry, dry, dry.

It’s something we must consider carefully before doing anything in the woods, especially lighting a fire for any purpose.

The crunchy brown grass, the

trees and twigs are becoming perfect fuel for a blaze.

All it takes is a spark. If for some reason you do need a fire, keep it small, clear the area around it and make sure you have enough water on hand to put it out if need be. And when you are finished with it, make sure there’s nothing left but cold, soggy ashes.

If you can’t do all of those things, don’t light a fire.

The danger is too great and the potential cost devastating.

So while we’re thinking water conservation, we should also be thinking fire prevention.

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