Watch out for fires

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The summer heat has finally arrived in full force. The last couple of weeks have been mostly filled with sunny skies and high temperatures.

That is great for those on vacation and able to enjoy the summery conditions, but it’s also a time to be extra careful about forest fires.

We only have to look to the other end of the country to see what damage a fire that gets out of control can wreak.

Thousands of hectares of forest in British Columbia are ablaze and thousands of residents of nearby towns have been forced to evacuate for their own safety.

In the western U.S., conditions are even more dangerous.

Homes have been destroyed and people are dying because of wildfires that are out of control in continuing drought conditions.

Things aren’t that bad in this region but it could get there soon if conditions remain the same. Already, parts of the island’s east coast and central region are being labelled as “extreme” when it comes to forest fire threat. Some recent rain along the west coast has lessened the risk here, but that could easily change in a few days if the present conditions persist.

There is no way to totally eliminate forest fires, but the threat can be reduced by using all the safety tips we have been taught since elementary school.

We live in a region with thousands of summer cottages and cabins dotting the wilderness that surrounds us.

That increases the risk of forest fires, but taking precautions will mean the summer will be one of rest and relaxation ... not one of loss and destruction.

Smokey the Bear’s famous line — “Only you can prevent forest fires” — still holds as true today and it ever has.

Geographic location: British Columbia, U.S.

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