Acrid, grey smoke from wildfires south of the border hangover Sooke Harbour on Monday. The smoke comes from hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon and California that have destroyed whole communities and killed at least 35 people. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

EDITORIAL: Clean air can’t be taken for granted

Wildfires are a major concern to our daily lives when conditions don’t clear the smoke

We’re never out of the woods with wildfire smoke as long as fires are burning anywhere over a wide swath of land.

We sometimes forget that wildfires thousands of kilometres away can still have a massive impact on us.

It’s been shades of the summers of 2017 and 2018 all over again with the massive influx of smoke from wildfires to the south in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Some of these wildfires are the worst ever experienced in those regions. Portland, Ore. had the worst air quality anywhere in the world a few days ago, with Vancouver not far behind.

This is very concerning because the air quality in the entire Pacific Northwest is far better than most regions of the world. Beijing, China, for example, has a constant haze hanging over the city, and that’s just from the usual particulates in the air.

Again, climate change is rearing its ugly head and, whether some people choose to believe it or not, the weather and atmosphere around the world are undergoing a rapid transformation.

Fortunately, in B.C., the wildfire situation has taken a downturn in the last two years, but it can always flare up at any time and much earlier or later in the calendar than the time it used to happen. The situation in the U.S. is evidence of that.

Lightning does cause numerous fires each year, but there are so many resulting from human behaviour, and that must change. Setting off pyrotechnics for a gender reveal party during dry conditions that led to a massive wildfire in California is just ridiculous.

If people aren’t going to use common sense, and it seems that’s not going to change in this day and age, harsher penalties and restrictions or outright bans must be imposed. No one wants any government to run our daily lives, but with so much stupidity going on, that’s going to become necessary for some semblance of control in the future.

We have never seen more wildfires in populated areas, and that tells you all you need to know. People are causing many of them with their careless actions, and we all have to be accountable to make sure it stops.

The tragic loss of so much land and residences is just too much to bear.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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