We’ve been lucky so far this summer.
We haven’t had a large number of brush fires as we’ve suffered in previous years.
The skies have remained clear, rather than filled with choking smoke, something that everyone with breathing difficulties is no doubt especially thankful for.
The Lizard Lake fire was particularly bad last summer. We got several calls at the newspaper from people convinced there was a fire actually in the Cowichan Lake area somewhere as the dense smoke rolled in from that blaze.
And there was that period of several days when the sky turned a weird hazy colour and the sun looked like an orange disc. Ash drifted down, settling on everything.
It looked like a lighting crew from a post-apocalyptic film had gotten hold of the environmental controls.
A cool start to the season was good news on the fire front, but now we’re well mired in dry, hot conditions where any spark can spread, well, like wildfire.
A wildfire in California that started as one acre spread in one hour to engulf thousands.
The Fort McMurray fire was a cautionary tale for all of us in how quickly things can change and just how vulnerable we are to the forces of nature.
It’s wonderful to live surrounded by the trees, but it has its dangers as all that wood and brush serve as perfect accelerant and food for hungry flames.
A campfire ban went into effect this week and it’s vital that we heed it.
It’s not a matter of trying to avoid a fine for being in contravention of the dictate, it’s about preserving our communities for all of us.
With everything as dry as it is, it takes just one spark to ignite a potentially deadly fire.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are, you must respect that you can never be fully in control of fire.
It takes seconds to get away from you, with potentially devastating consequences.
You don’t want to be the person responsible for the destruction of someone else’s home, business, community or land.
You don’t want to be responsible for people or animals losing their lives.
And care needs to be taken not just with actual matches, either.
Don’t drop your cigarette butts without thinking and making sure they are completely extinguished.
And as the letter writer below states, don’t head into the woods with your ATV or dirt bike. These machines can create sparks on rocks, and even just their hot metal parts can be enough to cause a conflagration.