Smoke billowing out from the Copper Canyon fire behind Mount Prevost. (Photo by Bud Gagnon)

Smoke billowing out from the Copper Canyon fire behind Mount Prevost. (Photo by Bud Gagnon)

Back country ban logical next step

Time to take a hard stance so more fires don’t ignite

Close all public access routes to the B.C. back country. Now.

Drastic times call for drastic measures and we’re certainly in that situation in the province now. The last thing we need is more careless people in remote areas causing additional fires in the midst of the worst wildfire season in B.C. history.

It’s truly time to take a stand. Wishy washy decisions over so many years have gotten us nowhere.

The simple act of instituting a campfire ban has always been met with resistance. It was on again, off again throughout many summers, but the time has come to make the campfire ban mandatory in B.C. during the months of July and August.

To the provincial government’s credit, an extended ban has finally been put in place this year. It’s hard to question it, although there are always the privileged few who feel it’s their right to have a fire while they’re camping.

Well, those days are over, folks, as it seems these long periods of hot and dry weather are here to stay due to climate change. We’re just going to have to learn to live with the alternatives and that’s not so bad with today’s portable propane units being so realistic.

The same hard look needs to be taken at keeping people out of certain wilderness areas for the sake of the environment and the residents of communities located close to some of these devastating wildfires. Some fires will likely still be burning in October, depending on the weather and if we get any kind of a break from Mother Nature.

The bottom line is our firefighting crews are taxed to the max and the enormous size of some infernos is alarming. Prevention is going to be a huge part of the cure going forward.

It doesn’t take much, and most human-caused fires from ATVs or motorcycles are presumably inadvertent, but just having more people in the tinder dry woods still tossing their cigarettes can truly be catastrophic to so many.

So get used to it outdoor adventurers. Conditions have just become far too dangerous to continue playing around in the summertime and it only makes sense that a hard line be undertaken to stop it during fire season.

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