Opinion

Campfire ban in parks should be permanent

It's pure stupidity our provincial government has temporarily lifted its campfire ban on the island, and elsewhere in the Coastal Fire Centre, after recent light rains.

Campfires and all other burning, regardless of size, should be banned all year — except perhaps during winter — in provincial parks to prevent idiots or accidents from claiming more of our precious woodlands and wildlife.

As proven by our sadly annual forest-fire season, humans simply can't be trusted to handle fires, or cigarettes, properly.

Even well-tended campfires can see sparks rise, then smolder before erupting into an inferno.

By then, it may be too late for our dedicated fire crews and aircraft to snuff the blaze before it toasts timber, threatens towns, and kills irreplaceable ecology — not to mention loss of human life.

Just ask folks in Kelowna who were recently evacuated due to yet another round of bush blazes.

Firefighters have their hands full with lightning strikes and other natural fire causes without the folly of Victoria's gamble that marshmellow toasting and weanie roasting won't start a forest fire.

Tonnes of polluting smoke and ash billowing from just one of those awful blazes is toxic to everything and everyone, especially folks with respiratory issues.

And those provincial bans don't cover fires started on farms and other private properties outside park boundaries.

The time has come for British Columbians to evolve past the frontier mentality that says campfires are necessary for a rustic ambiance. Most cooking these days is done with propane or other flammables.

Barring emergencies, campfires have no place in our parks. The risk is just too great.

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