To the Editor,
It is great that the Alberni Valley News is still passing on news about the Dog Mountain fire to those not at or involved with Sproat Lake.
The glib and total blabber from the Coastal Fire Center that this is how they deal with fires throughout the province, “allowing the fuel to burn within the perimeter”, means let the entire Dog Mountain peninsula smoulder and burn until it runs out of combustible materials or Mother Nature puts it out.
Only thanks to Mother Nature do we have anything left there.
Dog Mountain was a jewel in the middle of one of, if not, the best lake in the province. It is surrounded by highly taxed residences and recreational properties. Those taxes run into the millions each year. These taxpayers should deserve better service and less destruction of their environment, airshed and view scape when so little would have been necessary to be done to extinguish the balance of these smoke-emitting hot spots without endangering fire crews.
For the money being spent monitoring the perimeter (translation: drive around in a boat once a day or fly over in a helicopter) these could easily be extinguished and more undercover and root structure could be saved. Not to mention the smoke, haze and stink still being emitted.
For those who are surprised how much green there still is in half the trees on Dog Mountain, you will be more surprised over the next few months and years as most of the remaining trees die off and turn into bleached and dangerous snags.
The process of letting the undercover burn in many areas of our province burns off needles and grass. On Dog Mountain, with minimal soils on bare rock, the roots of all the trees are just under the moss and surface materials. Most of the trees will have suffered fatal root damage.
If I was one of those property owners that are either in the smoke and burnt wood stink zone, or still and maybe permanently evacuated from my summer getaway, I would be seeking retribution and answers as to how this is being perpetuated by a seriously flawed policy and program.