OUR VIEW: Avoid the heat this summer

As we face warm weather and higher temperatures, please remember the impact you can have.

A weekend of very warm weather around the Saanich Peninsula and elsewhere in Greater Victoria should stand as a reminder that even the slightest inattention to artificial sources of heat could be just the thing that sets our spring and summer ablaze.

The Island, or at least parts of it, are experiencing water restrictions early, almost as if we’re in drought conditions. While our water reservoirs have been in good health, we just might find ourselves facing more restrictions to ensure area fire departments have enough supply on hand to subdue any fires that pop up.

And they inevitably do.

The bane of many firefighters‚ whether they be based in our communities or based out of the Coastal Fire Centre that handles forest fires, is human-caused blazes.

These are the classics — campfires not attended or properly extinguished. And cigarettes carelessly tossed to the curb by smokers.

Of course, the former assumes campfires are even allowed when things warm up as they did over the weekend. People going out to camp to enjoy a day in a park would be well-served to find out beforehand if campfires are even allowed right now. Don’t ask, and you could be facing a fine. Campfires, after all are not a right, but a privilege. Or at least they should be treated as such.

The latter still baffles many people. Why do smokers think they have the right to toss their smouldering garbage out car windows or into the grass as they walk along a sidewalk? Not all do, but the ones who do, make it easier to call for an outright smoking ban. Enough forest fires have been caused by this irresponsible action.

As we face warm weather and higher temperatures, please remember the impact you can have.

The fires of Fort McMurray, Alberta — while we’re not trying to draw a parallel in causes here — should still be fresh in people’s minds.

Not to mention last year’s human-caused blaze near Port Renfrew.

As always when you are outside, camping or otherwise, take care and try not to contribute to a summer that doesn’t need to be any hotter.