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Editorial: Banning campfires logical thing to do

Wildfire situation can’t continue without preventative measures being taken
Smoke from an out-of-control fire near Lodgepole, Alta., is shown in this May 4, 2023 handout photo. An out-of-control wildfire has caused thousands of people to flee their homes in Drayton Valley, Alta., and the surrounding rural area. (Photo by Alberta Wildfire /The Canadian Press

It’s time for the province of B.C. to permanently prohibit campfires from May through September.

Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at. But it’s not worth the risk of additional human-caused wildfires.

It’s only early May and there are already numerous wildfires raging out of control in Alberta and some in B.C. as well.

The continual on-again, off-again campfire bans in this province can’t continue. The reality is we’re going to be in dangerous conditions for wildfires probably forever more.

There are great options now for campers to still have the experience of campfires with such things as propane units.

And, really, isn’t it a bit selfish and unnecessary to think campfires are more important than our forests?

Sure, people will argue they’re careful and it’s not going to be them responsible for a wildfire. But you never know and the way things are now, you just can’t make exceptions.

There will surely be enough human-caused fires by people in the back country so we don’t need any more from a situation that can be controlled.

In addition, lightning, of course, will spark several wildfires each year – particularly in the Interior – and there’s nothing that can be done about that.

It all adds up to a campfire ban being the most logical thing to do, whether people like it or not.

This year is shaping up to be a devastating wildfire season considering there are a few months of potential hot weather ahead.

If you look at how generally cool and wet it has been so far in 2023 and how many floods are occurring around the province, you wouldn’t think we’d be experiencing any wildfires yet. But it’s happening simultaneously with regions of intense flooding so it’s a double whammy no one wants to see.

Preventative measures can go a long way so even if it’s on a trial basis, it’s better than playing flip-flop with the public and potentially leading to one more wildfire than necessary.

We’ll survive without campfires, but many communities might not survive if a wildfire comes through. We don’t need any reminders about what happened in Lytton.


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– Black Press

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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