Recently we have been breathing, tasting, squinting, through the pall of smoke that has blanketed our province. The children, elderly, and those with respiratory ailments are at risk. Much as that has impacted our lives, there are many who have suffered much more as a result of the cause of the smoke.
Fire of any nature is scary and has to be respected. Most of us have had a campfire or a burn pile at one time or another and most of us take precautions to keep them safe. Wildfires are a different story. They are unpredictable and many times only are extinguished when Mother Nature cooperates with water from above. Wildfires create their own winds and can travel at high speed on the crowns of the forest.
People in the path are under the stress of an evacuation alert or worse, are evacuated and not sure if they will have a home to go back to. Many lose their homes and have to start over having lost the possessions gathered over their lifetime. Those who are on the front lines risk their lives to control the inferno and sadly some don’t return to their loved ones having paid the ultimate price for their heroism.
Most of the fires this year were caused by lightning, over which we have no control. The ones that are human caused are a real tragedy as they could have been prevented. Common sense, unfortunately for some, is not that common. Discarded cigarettes and carelessly left campfires are usually the culprits. Ashtrays are not part of today’s vehicles so drivers sometimes see it necessary to toss their butts out the window rather than using a solution such as a cup of water in the drink holder, which is standard equipment in today’s vehicles.
Hopefully the air is cooling down and we will have some moisture to aid in extinguishing the nearly 600 fires burning in the province. Unlike last year, most are away from populated areas. While this is a blessing, it affects the economy of the province as it is consuming our natural resources.
We can be thankful on the coast that we only have to put up with an orange sun and keeping the windows closed until it passes. Our thoughts and prayers are with the fire crews and those whose homes and livelihood are affected.
We can put up with a little smoke!
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