We can’t be trusted; that is the bottom line.
We have had two wildfires in our region since April — one at Cat Lake and the other at Shovelnose Creek, which burned 38 hectares since it started May 13, and is still not out as of press deadline.
Both are suspected to be human-caused.
(Provincial Natural Resource officers are asking anyone who has information on how the Squamish Valley fire started to contact the Ministry of Forests Compliance and Enforcement Program on its website: or call 1-877-952-7277, or #7277 on a cellphone.)
The BC Wildfire Service, which has recently banned open burning, uses science to determine when to put in a campfire ban.
This determination is based on multiple factors, such as the current and forecast weather conditions, resource capacity and something called Buildup Index which is, apparently, a numeric rating of the amount of fuel available for combustion.
That is all well and good, but the science does not take into account the utter selfishness, irresponsibility and disrespect of some folks.
Of course, there are good folks who do the right thing when it comes to fires — but more than a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch for us all.
There have been 294 fires so far in B.C., less than two months into the fire season, which runs from April 1 to March 31, 2024.
So far, 80 of these were caused by lightning, 14 are of unknown cause, and 200 were human-caused, according to the BC Wildfire Service data from May 24.
Last week, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) asked visitors and locals to respect the backcountry on its territory, which includes the area where the Shovelnose Creek started, and leave the land the way they find it.
But we collectively can’t be trusted. Thus, for the sake of our forests, wildlife and ourselves, it would be best if the BC Wildfire Service could ban any type of fire, including campfires, from April through September.
(Heck, since discarded cigarettes are one of the top causes of people-powered wildfires, it might be wise not to trust us with matches — or lighters.)
Sure, we can have those little barbecues or whatever, but don’t trust us with actual fire-starting implements.
While we could explain how to prevent wildfires by properly dousing campfires, not target shooting in the woods where prohibited, and the like, let’s be honest, we all know what we are supposed to do and not do.
Embarrassingly, we just can’t be trusted to do the right thing.
And so, our province burns.