EDITORIAL: Forest firefighters earn our respect

These people deserve our thanks

When a fire starts in the forest, or in a home, most of us would agree that the “fight or flight” instinct that kicks in has us moving far away from the danger as fast as possible.

Not so for firefighters, particularly those who are dealing with nearly 150 wildfires across British Columbia this week.

These firefighters deserve our thanks: even from our safe office chairs, across the Strait of Georgia and safely away from threat of evacuation.

These firefighters have travelled from all corners of the province and even across the country to assist. They are battling to save people, and cities, and homes, and property and livestock, and so much more. Hope. A future for thousands of people who are sitting in evacuation centres, wondering whether they will have homes to go to.

These firefighters and other volunteers like therapists, medical personnel, veterinarians, law enforcement officers, journalists and others who are dealing with fires and their effects are in the meantime celebrating birthdays with strangers, missing milestones, even losing their own homes while protecting those that belong to others.

A firefighter will be the first to tell you their calling is not a noble one, they simply do what they do to help others. “Wouldn’t anyone?” might be their response.

This week, as they struggle to contain the worst of the fires in large populated areas, we say it takes a special person to walk into such danger to help others.

These people deserve our thanks, and our hope that they will soon have the upper hand.

They have birthday cake to eat, children and spouses to hug, homes to which they long to return.

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