B.C. WILDFIRE SERVICE image

Editorial: Fire shows impacts of choices in the outdoors

We’re united against fire – and anyone who carelessly causes one

Sometime around mid-afternoon on Tuesday, when the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire was estimated at about 131 hectares, its graphic representation on the B.C. Wildfire Service map changed from a red dot to an orange flame. The icon signified that the wildfire had been classified as a ‘fire of note’ because of its visibility and/or threat to public safety.

We remarked that it wasn’t just a dot on the map anymore, and then immediately regretted such a stupid comment. Because when the fire was ‘just’ 107 hectares, it wasn’t just a dot on the map – it was an area already three times the size of Bowen Park burning out of control and spewing enough smoke to impact air quality down in the Cowichan Valley.

Wildfires happen in British Columbia every summer, but one this size, 13 kilometres from Nanaimo, is close enough to be causing unease.

There’s been speculation about the cause, but it’s still under investigation. B.C. Wildfire Service suspects it’s human-caused, and after two other wildfires in the Alberni Valley were sparked by people, it’s no wonder that frustrated firefighters were asking folks this week to “smarten up.”

We don’t know what it must have been like to be on the ground in the Nanaimo Lakes area on Wednesday in 32-degree heat made hotter by fire. We’re grateful for firefighters’ efforts and especially their successes in keeping us safe. It would be a poor way to repay them by selfish choices with cigarettes, campfires or firearms.

Something good that comes from this sort of calamity is that it does show Nanaimo’s sense of community. We’ve heard about lots of offers of help in case the evacuation alert turns into an evacuation order. We’re united against fire – and anyone numb-skulled-enough to carelessly cause one.

Thank you to everyone helping to keep fire at bay, and Nanaimo safe.

UPDATE: Nanaimo Lakes fire holds again Thursday, will be monitored overnight



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

UPDATE: Man who was missing has been located

Search and rescue teams, RCMP were involved in search in south Nanaimo

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP asking for help from any motorists who might have dashcam footage from Oct. 12

Hundreds of Island leaders expected at next week’s summit in Nanaimo

State of the Island economic summit happens Oct. 23-24 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

City of Nanaimo looking at closing two lanes of Front Street, adding bike lanes

City councillors to discuss $400,000 project at finance and audit committee meeting Oct. 16

UPDATE: Man who was missing has been located

Search and rescue teams, RCMP were involved in search in south Nanaimo

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

Most Read