Running out of air

Posted on Aug 22, 2018 in Media

REPOSTED from PG CITIZEN Aug 22, 2018

B.C. is burning again and obviously not much has been learned from the fires last year when it comes to getting them under control. I hear people saying that this will probably be normal in the future and there is little we can do about it. Rubbish.

I do not accept that and do not believe it. When it all started all of a sudden last year climate change may have had an impact, but can certainly not be held responsible for all fires.

Naturally, we have to continue fighting the fires, but there should be an equal focus on fire prevention. We cannot prevent thunderstorms, but we can adapt and minimize the available fuel and remove dead wood for instance. Our fire fighters deserve all the praise and certainly have to be commended for what they are doing. Sad however, that the resources are so limited which allows small initial fires to get out of control. Our government does not seem to understand the impact these fires have on our society. I am not just referring to the potential loss of life and assets, but also to the huge impact it has on our economy: our tourism industry will take a dive, our forestry industry has to deal with huge losses, the damage to our health and well-being is devastating. The overall costs are high and have to be carried by the tax payer. All that is impacting our economy which inevitably will lead to job losses.

The current horrendous fire in California has been started by an arsonist.

The bad fire in Greece has been started by an arsonist.

According to an analysis of fire causes, close to 40 per cent of all B.C. fires last year started due to “human causes,” arson included. Yes, arson.

It can be assumed that the “close to 40 per cent” for human causes can be applied this year as well because many fires started without a thunder storm near, days later. As a matter of fact, completely new fires are still showing up lately without a thunderstorm.

It often is reported that there is a fire but “only a few acres in size.” Such a fire gets out of control fast and the circumference increases to a length that requires many individuals, plus equipment, to fight it.

Two hundred military personnel can most likely not change much. It is too little too late, and should have been 2,000 or more and the fitting equipment along with it.

In closing, it is extremely frustrating that we in beautiful B.C. are obviously unable to get a handle on it.

Albert Koehler Sr.

Prince George