Dry weather and a sudden, widespread dry lightning storm were mostly responsible for more than 200 forest fires so far this summer in British Columbia, Canada, closing highways and causing roughly 40,000 people to be affected by evacuation orders. Depending on wind direction, most people in the province (and also the people in neighbouring states and provinces) will wake up at one time or another to a smoke-filled sky.
The media likes to headline their stories with phrases like “BC is Burning”.
In light of the dry, brittle kindling that comprise much of the forest floor and cover the hillsides this hot summer, were such devastating fires inevitable?
What if BC’s First Nations revived the art of firekeeping? This was a highly valued and spiritual art, passed down from generation to generation, and generally involved controlled burning to clear out brush and create natural fireguards. The population is far greater now, and the scale of the fires much vaster, so perhaps the time of the firekeepers has passed. But I think we lose so much when we turn our backs on natural wisdom and tradition. What do you think? First Nations Firekeepers.
Meanwhile, if you are a minnow, there are minnow disasters to worry about. May I present a small selection of my favourite seaside-themed cartoons?
Have a safe and happy summer!