OUR VIEWS: Channel your inner Smokey the Bear

Jul 27, 2012

Farmers struggle as their crops wither. Water levels plummet. Yards, once a brilliant green, have turned brown as they bake under the intense sun.

Let’s not compound the problem with carelessness.

With the dry conditions comes the legitimate threat of wildfires. It only takes a spark to cause what could be a catastrophic fire, resulting in the loss of life and property.

One large fire already ripped across the Upper Peninsula earlier this summer, and families out West have lost homes in the infernos that have swept through entire forests and towns.

Many wildfires are started by lightning strikes. There’s nothing we can do to prevent those.

What we can control are the fires started by humans.

It doesn’t matter if you’re lighting an innocent campfire to roast marshmallows on a mild summer evening or a larger blaze to burn brush on a Saturday afternoon. In such dry conditions, these fires are a threat. Even a cigarette tossed out of a car window could ignite a blaze.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources publishes a safety guide for fires. If you’re going to burn, then look up on the guide at michigan.gov/dnr and read the tips offered.

Perhaps the most important advice offered is to never leave a fire unattended. Always have easy access to water in case the fire begins to spread, and always thoroughly douse your fire with plenty of water when you’re done.

Ignoring these simple rules could have a disastrous effect.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

albion89

We lost two souls and 346 homes in Colorado Springs during a span of two hours Jun 26, 2012. Last April I recall reading a local newspaper article about the increased forest fire danger for our upcoming summer due to a lack of winter moisture, etc. In my mind, I thought to myself, "...that will be somewhere else." Somewhere was HERE, and it can happen in the Tri-Cities too. Preparation and having a plan for varying natural disasters is prudent. Such providence can save lives. http://blogs.denverpost.com/capt...

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