Drought like conditions in the Northwest have left our region very susceptible to forest fires and the dangers that they present.
Currently there are five forest fives that are burning over area more than 10 hectares in the Northwest Fire Centre and one, near Takysie Lake that is out, but being patrolled to prevent further ignition.
Of course the two forest fires that are of major concern to the Northwest Fire Centre and the people in the communities near these fires are the Chelaslie River fire and the China Nose Mountain fire.
Both of these fires have caused the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako on advice from the Northwest Fire Centre to order evacuation of certain areas, as well as put other areas on evacuation alert.
The China Nose Fire even caused the closure of Hwy. 16 last Friday.
We should all be concerned about our neighbours who are on evacuation order, and the challenges the face as they try to ensure that their homes and livestock are safe from the approaching flames.
However, all of us should be concerned and thankful for the work that the hundreds of firefighters who are on the front lines, battling these blazes do for us.
They may be paid for their work, but they are out there risking their health and safety for our sake.
There are nearly 500 firefighters on the Chelaslie River and China Nose Mountain fires.
As a community we should give them a big thank you for long, tough hours of work they, along with the numerous volunteers who donate their equipment are doing to try and contain these fires and protect our homes and communities.
We should be doing as much as we can to help these people out, as well.
By that I mean listening to their various evacuation orders and by following the fire bans that have been set in place.
Only recently has the Northwest Fire Centre banned campfires in the region, but even before they did, campers and recreational site users alike should’ve been cautious and conscientious of how their actions regarding their fires could affect our region.
The one thing we don’t need on top of fires started by lightning, such as the Chelaslie River and China Nose Mountain fires are more fires started by humans.
As it is, the provinces resources when it comes to fighting fires is already stretched thin.
Firefighters from Ontario, Quebec and even Australia have been flown in to B.C., and into this region to help fight our forest fires.
A couple of weeks ago the cost to fight these forest fires was costing the province $3.5 million per day, that cost has almost surely risen in the subsequent two weeks.
Let’s be responsible and use common sense.
Follow the campfire ban.
Let’s also be appreciative of the work of those firefighters out in the bush right now, along with any other volunteers out there fighting the fires and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako for staying on top of the evacuation orders and alerts for the area.
As a community band together to help those on evacuation order get their affairs in order.
In times when it seems danger is around the corner we need to trust the professionals, knowing that they are working their hardest to help our community, and band together to ensure that our entire community remains safe and well.