The Maple Mountain fire during the summer of 2018 brought the wildfire issue close to home. (File photo)

EDITORIAL: Preventing wildfires

So far this year, 598 fires have destroyed 18,608 hectares provincewide.

After a relatively uneventful spring and early summer, wildfire season has arrived.

So far this year, 598 fires have destroyed 18,608 hectares provincewide. This includes 117 fires which have burned 1,638 hectares in the Kamloops Fire Centre’s region. This region includes the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Some of these fires are burning close to home.

The Eagle Bluff fire, southeast of Okanagan Falls, is at 225 hectares and an evacuation alert has been issued for the area.

In the Similkameen, the Richter Mountain fire, south of Cawston, is at 403 hectares and while crews are continuing to battle this fire, an evacuation alert has been rescinded.

READ ALSO: RDOS rescinds evacuation alert for 41 properties near Eagle Bluff wildfire

Other fires have been reported elsewhere in the region.

And with the weather forecast calling for hot, sunny weather, the wildfire risk is increasing.

This year’s wildfire season is far less intense than 2018 and 2017, the worst years on record in British Columbia.

During each of those summers, a provincial state of emergency was declared and the total fire damage was well past one million hectares.

The costs of firefighting efforts in each of those years topped $600 million.

Those of us who were here during those summers will never forget the heavy smoke, the poor air quality, the limited visibility and the emergency preparations in case of an evacuation alert or evacuation order.

We have also seen other catastrophic wildfires, including the Garnet fire in 1994, the Giant’s Head Mountain fire in Summerland in 1996, the Okanagan Mountain Park fire during the devastating 2003 fire season and others.

While some wildfires of note have been caused by lightning, others are human-caused.

Because of this, it is essential to exercise fire safety at all times, especially during the summer wildfire season.

Prevention is far less stressful and far less costly than working to control and contain a wildfire.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Art sessions coming to Keremeos park

Four art programs will be offered in Pine Park From late June through July

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read