The Maple Mountain fire during the summer of 2018 brought the wildfire issue close to home. (File photo)

The Maple Mountain fire during the summer of 2018 brought the wildfire issue close to home. (File photo)

EDITORIAL: Preventing wildfires

So far this year, 598 fires have destroyed 18,608 hectares provincewide.

After a relatively uneventful spring and early summer, wildfire season has arrived.

So far this year, 598 fires have destroyed 18,608 hectares provincewide. This includes 117 fires which have burned 1,638 hectares in the Kamloops Fire Centre’s region. This region includes the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Some of these fires are burning close to home.

The Eagle Bluff fire, southeast of Okanagan Falls, is at 225 hectares and an evacuation alert has been issued for the area.

In the Similkameen, the Richter Mountain fire, south of Cawston, is at 403 hectares and while crews are continuing to battle this fire, an evacuation alert has been rescinded.

READ ALSO: RDOS rescinds evacuation alert for 41 properties near Eagle Bluff wildfire

Other fires have been reported elsewhere in the region.

And with the weather forecast calling for hot, sunny weather, the wildfire risk is increasing.

This year’s wildfire season is far less intense than 2018 and 2017, the worst years on record in British Columbia.

During each of those summers, a provincial state of emergency was declared and the total fire damage was well past one million hectares.

The costs of firefighting efforts in each of those years topped $600 million.

Those of us who were here during those summers will never forget the heavy smoke, the poor air quality, the limited visibility and the emergency preparations in case of an evacuation alert or evacuation order.

We have also seen other catastrophic wildfires, including the Garnet fire in 1994, the Giant’s Head Mountain fire in Summerland in 1996, the Okanagan Mountain Park fire during the devastating 2003 fire season and others.

While some wildfires of note have been caused by lightning, others are human-caused.

Because of this, it is essential to exercise fire safety at all times, especially during the summer wildfire season.

Prevention is far less stressful and far less costly than working to control and contain a wildfire.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rachel Spanier opened her new business, Rikki Lou Who’s Gift Emporium at the corner of Alexander Street and Lakeshore Drive on May 11. Space at the rear of the store is dedicated to her other business, Head Gamez Hair & Company. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Lookie-loos welcome at new downtown Salmon Arm business

Rachel Spanier combines gift emporium and Head Gamez salon at one location

A thief or thieves broke into a kitchen at the grandstands at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds recently, destroying a door apparently with the intention of stealing copper. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Man found sleeping amidst damage on Salmon Arm fairgrounds

Agricultural association dismayed by vandalism, thefts in kitchen, dance studio

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)
UBC Okanagan student transitions from professional hockey to nursing

Adrian Van de Mosselaer credits his younger brother for the push to get him back to learning

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Letter writer concerned there was a lack of notice by School District 83 regarding the May 12 board meeting on the district’s Long Range Facilities Plan. Discussion at the meeting is expected to focus on Salmon Arm schools, including the J.L. Jackson campus. (Google maps image)
Letter: Public provided little notice on Salmon Arm school facilities meeting

Writer questions what constitutes proper communication

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Glenmore Neighbours/Facebook)
VIDEO: Parade of ducklings stalls Glenmore traffic

Duck and ducklings trek across Glenmore, guided to pond by residents

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in South Okanagan

The area will see higher police presence ahead of a forensic examination

Most Read