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Editorial: Warmer weather brings heightened fire danger

The forests surrounding us are drying out, providing the perfect fuel for a wildfire

While sunny summer weather is perfect for backyard barbecues and other outdoor activities, the warmth also comes with danger.

The forests surrounding us are drying out, providing the perfect fuel for a wildfire. At the same time, people are planning for or heading out on camping trips with the hopes of a memorable experience.

Each summer the Coastal Fire Centre gears up to fight numerous wildfires started by lightning strikes or humans. While there is no way to reduce the number of fires started by lightning, blazes caused by human carelessness are a different story.

The majority of fires caused by humans are not the result of someone intentionally starting forest fire. They are caused by a cigarette butt dropped out of a car window, or campers who thought they put their campfire out before leaving.

Straightforward precautions can be taken to ensure campfires don’t get out of control. Top of the list is to check out the area before the fire is lit and make sure local fire bans are not in effect.

Keep the campfire small, less than half a metre in height and diameter, and contained within a fireguard by removing combustible materials in the surrounding area. When leaving, douse the area with plenty of water and ensure the ground is cold.

For anyone planning to have a campfire this summer, taking a few simple precautions and using common sense can be the difference between a great experience and a nightmare.

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