EDITORIAL: Fire risk fuels extreme caution

Campfire ban is necessary so resources can be directed where required

If you’re having a hard time keeping your lawn from frying in this heat, just imagine how fire crews feel trying to battle flames roaring through forests and fields.

It’s obviously hot and everything is drying out, making for some extreme conditions.

Fire ratings across the Kamloops Fire Centre are high, with spots of extreme. So it’s no surprise that a campfire ban has been issued effective today.

The ban comes just days after a small grass fire spread rapidly up the hillside next to The Rise Tuesday, threatening a couple homes. And it also follows Wednesday’s fire in Becker Park.

Anyone witnessing the fires, especially The Rise blaze, knows how much man-power went into them.

It wasn’t just one fire department, but three, plus wildfire crews from across the region who came in to lend a hand.

Day one of the fire saw 22 firefighters, three helicopters and two air tankers, overnight 20 firefighters continued to snuff it out and 40 took over for them the following morning.

As a result, the ban serves as one more avenue to help keep firefighting resources from being spread too thin. Crews are needed to respond to naturally-caused fires, not careless human-caused fires.

In this day and age, with all of the knowledge we have around fire safety, and particularly with the 2003 wildfires in mind, there is no excuse for human-caused blazes.

Sadly, they are still a reality.

On average, 40 per cent of the province’s fires are human-caused.

That is exactly why campfire bans are necessary.

So if you were planning on cuddling around the campfire this summer and are now a little soured by the ban, remember, it is our own carelessness that caused the ban.