Acrid, grey smoke from wildfires south of the border hangover Sooke Harbour on Monday. The smoke comes from hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon and California that have destroyed whole communities and killed at least 35 people. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Acrid, grey smoke from wildfires south of the border hangover Sooke Harbour on Monday. The smoke comes from hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon and California that have destroyed whole communities and killed at least 35 people. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

EDITORIAL: 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 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 kilometres away can still have a massive impact on us.

It’s been shades of the summers of 2017 and 2018 all over again with the massive influx of smoke from wildfires to the south in Washington, Oregon, and California.

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

RELATED: Here’s how you and your pet can stay safe from the wildfire smoke blanketing B.C.

RELATED: Canada Post to suspend delivery to parts of southern, central B.C. due to wildfire smoke

This is very concerning because the air quality in the entire Pacific Northwest is 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 choose to believe it or not, the weather and atmosphere around the world are 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 than the time 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 must 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.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Wildfires

Just Posted

'I swear that dog is being good,' says photo submitter Karen Jackson.
Vancouver Island looking for a few good caring canine companions

ElderDog’s goal to expand program of assisting older adults in the care and well-being of their dogs

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
Providing hospice in a time of pandemic

Vancouver Island hospices forced to adapt during a time when grief counselling greatly needed

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Bill Reekie and his then-four-year-old granddaughter Lily. Photo contributed
Alzheimer’s: beginning the Unplanned Journey

Watch for the signs and reach out for the help that is available

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

A new well in Youbou is expected to meet the community’s drinking water needs for years, announced Klaus Kuhn, director for Youbou/Meade Creek. (File photo)
New well provides fresh water in Youbou

Well expected to meet community’s needs for years

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

Most Read