Why, when a large portion of British Columbia is ablaze and there is a complete fire ban across central Vancouver Island, do people still insist on having backyard bonfires?
The complete lack of common sense by people who are willingly setting fires for their own pleasure in spite of the ban is beyond comprehension. The Alberni Valley is only a week past multiple wildfires, with one on Arbutus Ridge still alight, although considered controlled by the Coastal Fire Centre.
Yet the Monday morning ‘water cooler’ chatter was about this neighbour or that person down the street who had lit a campfire in their backyard on the weekend, or about the poor air quality due to the wildfire smoke from around the province.
The RCMP is reminding people enjoying the outdoors to be careful with any smoking materials because of the extreme fire hazard in the area. It’s a $575 ticket if you get caught dropping a cigarette or other smoking materials on the ground or disposing of them improperly.
The Port Alberni Fire Department responded to a few calls last week for smouldering bark mulch where people had thrown cigarette butts and the material caught fire.
The back country is closed around the Alberni Valley, and the RCMP are urging anyone who sees suspicious activity or vehicles, including ATVs, operating where they shouldn’t to report them. This is not about access, this is about safety.
There should be no need to remind people of that when we’re suffering through the high hazard conditions that B.C. has experienced in the past few weeks, but sadly, there are those who aren’t getting the message—much to the detriment of the rest of us.
— Alberni Valley News