Smoke from U.S. wildfires blankets parts of Surrey on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Black Press Media files)

Clean air can’t be taken for granted

Wildfires are a major concern to our daily lives when conditions don’t clear the smoke

We’re clearly never out of the woods with wildfire smoke as long as fires are burning anywhere over a wide swath of land.

We sometimes forget that wildfires thousands of miles away can still have a heavy impact on us.

It’s been shades of the summers of 2017 and ‘18 all over again with the large influx of smoke from wildfires to the south in Washington state, Oregon and California.

Some of these wildfires are the worst ever experienced in those states. Portland, Oregon had the worst air quality anywhere in the world a few days ago, with Vancouver not far behind.

This is very concerning because the air quality in the entire Pacific Northwest is generally considered far better than most regions of the world. Beijing, China, for example, has a constant haze hanging over the city and that’s just from the usual particulates in the air.

Again, climate change is rearing its ugly head and, whether some people to choose to believe it or not, the weather and atmosphere around the world is undergoing a rapid transformation.

Fortunately, in B.C., the wildfire situation has taken a downturn in the last two years, but it can always flare up at any time and much earlier or later in the calendar year than when it used to happen. The situation in the U.S. is evidence of that.

Lightning does cause numerous fires each year, but there are so many resulting from human behaviour and that must change. Setting off pyrotechnics for a gender reveal party during dry conditions that led to a massive wildfire in California is just ridiculous.

If people aren’t going to use common sense, and it seems that’s not going to change in this day and age, harsher penalties and restrictions or outright bans have to be imposed. No one wants any government to run our daily lives, but with so much stupidity going on, that’s going to become necessary for some semblance of control in the future.

We have never seen more wildfires in populated areas and that tells you all you need to know. People are causing many of them with their careless actions and we all have to be accountable to make sure it stops. The tragic loss of so much land and residences is just too much to bear.

Wildfires

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