I feel as though one aspect of this strange pandemic period, is that we’re getting some signals that the future could be quite different from what we’re familiar with.
At home, we’ve had the occasional conversation (mostly short in duration because it ends with a frustrated “who knows? and how can you know?”) about the future of travel. So maybe I’m a bit primed to ask about many things: is this a thing of the past?
All you can eat buffets? Cruise travel? Whirlwind 10 day 18 stop travel itineraries? Wet markets and deforestation? I mean, one can hope. Can we outgrow our addiction to plastic straws and party balloons? Can we use discomfort to adapt to some of the changes that drastically need to take place?
So, with spring suddenly generating record-breaking temperatures, the first warnings came out from the BC Wildfire Service saying: things are dry. Be careful. And I thought: huh. Maybe the fire – the bonfire, the camp-fire, the hearth – will become a winter feature… and will phase out of our summer traditions.
Maybe, because we’ve given up so many things this past year, that came up with less resistance and disappointment than last year, when the fire warnings started… Maybe, after almost a decade of wildfires, smoky summers and fire warnings, I’m ready to adapt to the idea that a camp-out doesn’t need a campfire, or that yard work doesn’t need everything to burned. (Couldn’t it be chipped and composted? Or buried as base layers in hugelkultur garden beds? Why can’t yard waste and forestry wreckage be released back into the soil, instead of the atmosphere?) Couldn’t we use candles inside or solar power lanterns, for our ceremony?
Just ahead of last weekend, the BC Wildfire Service shared that areas within the Coastal, Cariboo, Kamloops and Prince George Fire Centres are all currently experiencing a drying trend and increasing temperatures.
“The BC Wildfire Service asks those taking advantage of the outdoors this weekend to be careful with activities that could potentially spark a wildfire and to be extremely cautious when burning. Grass and other fuels are cured from the winter and have not had a chance to green up, leaving fuels dry and volatile. Warmer temperatures and windy conditions can cause fires to quickly get out of hand. The majority of wildfires that start in early spring are human-caused and entirely preventable.”
The weekend, as it turned out, saw the first wildfire activity – one north of Kamloops and one northwest of Merritt.
From their post on Facebook, and shared via the Village of Pemberton:
Under conditions of low humidity and little precipitation, it will not take long for the grass to dry out and become flammable, especially in windy conditions.
Currently, you can still burn in BC. But I guess the question I would pose is: do you have to?